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10 Effortless Designer Ways to Style Your Bookshelf - Megafurniture

10 Effortless Designer Ways to Style Your Bookshelf

Shelf-styling is a trend for modern HDB and BTO flats in Singapore. Even small rooms welcome a lovely bookshelf because of its multiple storage and display functions. 

Bookshelves are gems of home interior design. If you are looking for a perfect platform to personalise your interior theme, a bookshelf can help you in many ways.

It serves as a home for your favourite novels, ceramic collections, art pieces, framed photos, and other accessories. Shelf-styling also helps turn the cluttered corner into a fantastic focal point.

Read on to discover some easy ways to decorate your bookshelf and turn it into a multi-purpose display unit.

Before We Begin...

When decorating a bookshelf, focus first on the items that you already have to avoid breaking your budget or getting excessive decorative items. Think books, artwork, potted plants, some vases that occupy too much of your tabletop space, and other accessories that will help you achieve a cohesive design. The purpose of this is to reduce the clutter in different parts of your home and turn extra items into valuable decorations.

Find a common element to achieve cohesion with your decor. It can be the colour scheme or style. Once you display all your pieces on the bookshelf, you may now decide whether to buy extra decorative items or not.

Start with Large Items to Create Balance

Display Units and Bookshelves - Balance by starting with the larger items

When decorating your bookshelf, it is good to start with the larger items first to come up with a more precise estimate of the space. The basic layout strategy is to place larger items like vases, baskets, or artwork first in a staggered manner to get the balance right. Next, arrange your books based on your preferred style. You may also add smaller items or potted plants to add depth and texture to your design. Make sure to achieve cohesion by setting up a theme.

Apply the Rule of Thirds

Display Units and Bookshelves - Apply the Rule of Thirds

Seeing things in threes or in odd numbers makes a design look more balanced than when it's in pairs. When decorative items are arranged in odd numbers, they provide a focal point that anchors all other pieces. This adds extra appeal without making your bookshelf look too occupied. 

The rule of three does not only apply to parallel design. You can arrange three items on your open shelf, depending on your preference. Place two items beside each other, leave a small space, and then place the third item. You can also put a vase and horizontally stacked books in one cubby hole, then balance the look by putting a small ceramic plate on top of the stack.

Remember that you can break the rules. You can arrange by odd numbers first and modify it with what you think is best for your design.

Choose a Colour Scheme for Your Accessories

Display Units and Bookshelves - Choose a colour scheme for your accessories

A good way to achieve cohesion in your bookshelf design is to arrange items based on a theme or a colour scheme.

Having a scheme does not mean that you will create a monotonous interior design. You can choose one base colour for all decorations to give your arrangement a common element. You can also combine it with textures.

To create a uniform look, try stacking your books according to colour. Of course, this depends on how you want your arrangement to be. It is still important that you can easily find your books when you want to read them.

When experimenting with colours, make sure that you have a display unit or bookshelf that works well with your colour scheme.

Personalise Your Bookshelf with Your Mementos

Display Units and Bookshelves - Personalise your bookshelf with your mementos

The best way to personalise your home is to display the things that are memorable to you. Do you love to travel? Bring out your souvenirs, artwork, photos, or collections and create your showcase shelf. 

Alternate Book Stacking

Display Units and Bookshelves - Alternate book stacking

If you want to create a design mainly with your books, for your reading nook or home office library, for example, you can still create depth and variation by stacking books alternately. You can go with conventional vertical book stacking for the first shelf, diagonal for the second, and horizontal for the third. You can play with your configuration until you achieve a design that you love.

Anchor Your Books with Heavier Decorations

Display Units and Bookshelves - Anchor your books with heavier decorations

If you do not have a large book collection, you can create a mixture of books and other decor by stacking fewer books in a staggered manner and anchoring them with heavier items. This is both to physically balance the books and also to balance the design. For horizontal stacking, you can apply the rule of thirds by adding figurines or low decorative items on top of your reading materials.

Put Artwork and Other Ornaments Along with Your Books

Display Units and Bookshelves - Put artworks and other ornaments along with your books

Bigger bookcases give you the luxury of adding bigger decorative pieces like framed artwork and decorative baskets that can double up as containers. You can place these items in strategic places on your shelf to achieve balance.

Use a Dark Coloured Bookshelf

Display Units and Bookshelves - Use a dark coloured bookshelf

To create a bookshelf design that focuses on books, use a dark-coloured bookshelf. A darker piece of furniture makes a smart look and adds depth to your space. If you have books with lighter colours, a dark bookshelf can provide a bold and notable contrast to your area. When pushed through a monochromatic wall, this bookshelf can create a striking faux-built-in appeal.

Incorporate Natural Decorative Elements

Display Units and Bookshelves - Incorporate natural decorative elements

Greenery, indoor flowers, shells, decorative rocks, and other natural decorations can give your home a refreshing look with their unique and effortless details.

Some bits of nature and outdoor decor add an interesting touch to your HDB or BTO flat. A few natural greens, nudes, and ivories make your space charming and notably elegant, while woods and stones contribute to a rustic feel to your interior design.

Create a Gallery Wall Beside Your Bookshelf

Display Units and Bookshelves - Create a gallery wall beside your bookshelf

Complete a modern look by setting up a gallery wall beside a tall-legged bookcase. If you have a low and wide bookshelf, you can set up the gallery wall on top to fill in the blank area and anchor your whole design. 

For a practical bookshelf and gallery wall combination, align your wall art or framed pieces with the edges of your bookshelf. It is also essential to take note of your bookshelf's existing decorations to make it cohesive.


Amazing bookshelf designs are everywhere. On Pinterest, Instagram, and other platforms, you can see that people love to decorate with this versatile furniture. With a quality display unit or bookshelf, choice decorations, and a little bit of creativity, you can have fun while building your very own #shelfie.

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