Home Staging Tips: How to Style Your Bookshelves

  • 01 of 03

    Create Bookshelves that Look like a Gorgeous Backdrop

    Create Bookshelves that look gorgeous as a backdrop. Getty Images

    When you are preparing your home for sale, the interior staging is all in the details- from the furnishings, counters, cabinetry, and wall hangings.  One such detail is a bookshelf. While you may think that your books sitting there on a shelf aren’t reflective of your home’s character – think again. Therefore, instead of leaving them unfilled to avoid clutter, consider creating a tasteful and welcoming display that will help to bring interest and highlight the built-in features of your home. We...MORE point you home staging tips to style and create an ideal arrangement for your bookshelves.

    Start with a blank canvas and style your bookshelves

    Empty the bookshelves and wipe dust from each and every item. Pack away all decorative and clutter items that are not required during the staging process such as family photos, trophies, certificates and more. Displaying these can get in the way of the buyers’ ability to envision their family in the space. Decluttering your bookshelves will also help your stylish decorative items and the books you want to display stand out on their own.

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  • 02 of 03

    Use Color to Brighten Up Your Bookshelves

    Keep your bookshelves welcoming to buyers. Getty Images

    Accentuate your bookshelves with color

    Whether you are trying to stage built-in shelves or freestanding units, consider painting the inside of the shelves few shades darker than the surrounding wall color or at least in a complementary but a contrasting hue. This decor technique will help to draw buyer attention to the bookshelves and the display. Also, carefully select the items you plan to arrange on the shelves. In general, solid colored objects are good as they will pop among the arranged...MORE books. To keep things simple and clean, stick to a single shade for all the displayed items.

    Keep bookshelves visually simple and balanced 

    Staging your bookshelves does not have to be complicated. Once cleaning and coloring part is over, start arranging the obvious- the books. But don’t just throw any book on the shelf. Consider the looks and style before proceeding. For instance, books with bold or bright colored spines will help to add a pop of color in a dull or a drab living room whereas; in a formal study vintage collection with embossed printing would look good. Also, make sure not to stuff the entire shelf with books. Small groupings with bookends on alternate shelves will help to create balance and lend the room a more spacious feel.


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  • 03 of 03

    Ensure your Display Areas offer Plenty of Lighting

    Ensure plenty of lighting for display areas. Getty Images

    Categorize & showcase your book collection

    The books on the shelves should reflect the room you are in. As a rule, there should not be any text books in the family room or cooking books in the home office. Children’s books should only be displayed in their room or the playroom. Also, make sure not to showcase any book that expresses a view point be it religious, political, or social. Also consider categorizing books by subject, color or even height.

    Who says that bookshelves are for books...MORE only? Designers like to style bookshelves by using decorative items that help dress up a room are perfect for bookshelf displays. Small vases, decorative bowls, baskets, and boxes can be interspersed with books. However, stick to just a few. After all, we are not trying to add back the clutter!

    Lighting is essential to your styled bookshelves

    Bookshelf lighting is a great way to illuminate book spines and items placed alongside. If you have a spot on the shelf, consider putting in a small lamp, or use some cabinet or puck lighting to illuminate your display. Alternatively, scones on the outside of an open bookshelf would look lovely with a half rounded, opaque shade. This way, the light will be directed just at the bookshelf without interfering with lighting in the rest of the room. 

    When showing your home to potential buyers, the smallest details can make all the difference between an appealing house and a dull space. And with bookshelves whether or not you are selling should always look like works of art. So, get rid of clutter, blow off those cobwebs, and use these home staging tips to reorganize the shelves with sale-ready style!