How to Design your Perfect Bookshelf

It’s morning and the sun is shining into your bedroom, welcoming you to a new day. You stretch, yawn, and slowly make your way to your beloved bookshelf—you like to start your day by reading a poem or two. Only problem? Your carefully curated collection is, well, a bit disheveled. Books piled on top of each other, the spines facing your wall, unreadable. You spend a few minutes finding your new favorite modern poetry book, feeling exasperated. 


Worry not, though! Now’s the time to design a bookshelf you love. Here are some tips:



Find your style


Do you gravitate toward bright colors? Or maybe you’re a lover of all things neutral and natural. As you design your bookshelf, look for style inspiration on social media platforms. Consider taking your creative process a step further by making a Pinterest board or Instagram collection. This is a simple, organized way to consolidate your ideas for putting together the perfect space for your books. Plus, you might find fun DIY projects for your shelf!



Take inventory


Decide how many books you want to be displayed in your space. Because many of us have large collections, it can be overwhelming to have all your books visible. Are there works you’re regularly drawn to? Switch out a few on your shelf every couple of weeks. Or, if you don’t have much storage space, consider mounting multiple shelves to a wall or upgrading to a bookcase. Check out thrift stores for these—there are always secondhand treasures waiting to be found. Not to mention, thrift shopping is friendly for both the environment and your budget. 


Think about how you may want to organize your books. Whether you prefer to focus on visual appeal—ordering your books by color or size—or textual content—alphabetizing by author or title—creating a system allows you to easily find the book you’re looking for. Choose a simple method that works for you and your personality!


woman sitting next to bookshelf


Add some calm


Now that you’ve decided how you want your books displayed, incorporate some calming elements into your bookshelf. Do you love growing plants or want to start? Decorate your shelf with a small houseplant—preferably a low-light, easy to care for option like a snake plant or pothos. This will help add a natural feel to your space while greening up your shelf. Plus, placing two on either side allows the plants to double as bookends! If plants aren’t your thing, adding ethically-sourced crystals, incense, or a small essential oil diffuser will help bring a calming feel to your space. Since reading can serve as a means of self-care, view your bookshelf or bookcase as a way to create peaceful energy. 


Investing time into designing a bookshelf you love is worth the work. Intentionally creating a space for your books that is visually appealing, relaxing, and personalized to your favorite interior style will allow you to easily choose a book you’re drawn to, making it simple to read more often. Let your creativity flourish, and have fun!