*Guest post courtesy of Affinity56
Looking for a way to add some personality to your home and show your unique sense of style? With a bookshelf or two, it's easy to do exactly that. Bookshelves are easy to incorporate into almost any room in the house, but they need to be styled the right way.
You can add a sense of sophistication to your home and show off your intellectual side with a collection of books. But you don't have to make it look like a library.
With a few tips and tricks, there are some easy ways to fill and decorate your shelving units so that they are a reflection of you. Check out these 5 tips for styling your bookshelf to match your apartment.
1. Store More Than Books
Bookshelves aren't just for books. It’s fine if you want to fill your shelves from end to end with books that you've read and collected over the years. But if you want to create a fresh, modern look, mix it up by displaying more than books.
Bookshelves are ideal for displaying framed photos, statues, artwork, vases, keepsakes, and candles. Of course, it's always a good idea to add at least a few books—otherwise, it's just a shelf!
The trick is to mix up the placement of various items to create a visually interesting look. When it comes to books, you don't need to place them vertically side by side as you would see in a library. Do that in some areas, but in other areas, stack books horizontally instead.
The more variation you can create, the more interesting the look will be.
2. Embrace White Space
Some people feel the need to fill every inch of a shelf, but it's best to leave some white space. Empty space creates a place for the eye to rest and prevents a cluttered look. Rather than filling your shelves from edge to edge, make use of the blank space, but do so strategically.
If you have four shelves, stagger items on each shelf so that the white space varies from level to level. A good rule of thumb is to leave approximately 1/3 of the space empty. Whether you have a traditional sense of style or embrace a minimalist aesthetic, the 1/3 rule works equally well.
3. Add Some Plants
Houseplants are cool again, and it's no secret that millennials are all over this trend. Plants give you something to nurture and care for. They bring air into a space. And they're perfect for use in any home, including small studio apartments.
It's easy to find small potted plants, and adding one or two to a shelving unit is a great way to incorporate some natural greenery.
Different plants require different lighting conditions, so keep that in mind when placing a plant on a shelf. If your shelving unit gets lots of natural sunlight, use plants that need a lot of light.
If your shelf is in a darker corner of the room, make sure the plants you display don't need a lot of natural sun.
Colorful, patterned, or elegant flower pots and planters offer another way to add some personality to a shelf. Don't leave your plants in those flimsy plastic pots that they come in. Flower pots and planters are easy to find, so look for ones that capture your sense of style and bring your aesthetic to life.
4. Don't Be Afraid of Color
When it comes to decorating, Pinterest is still one of our favorite sources of inspiration. And with a quick search of bookshelves on Pinterest, you'll see that there is no lack of color. When it comes to color, there are a few different approaches you can take.
We love the look of a two-tone shelving unit where the outside is one color and the inside shelves and backdrop are a different color. Just make sure that if the inside is a dark hue, you fill it with colorful items.
If you want a bolder look, opt for a bookshelf in a distinctive color. Can't find one to meet your budget? You can always buy a neutral shelf and do some DIY with a colorful paint or wood stain.
If you rent an apartment, there's a good chance you have white or neutral walls. Adding a colorful shelf is the perfect way to add color and personality to your space.
On the other hand, if you have a white wall, a white shelving unit can look super chic. If your bookshelf blends with your wall, consider grouping books and display items by color to create a cool, contemporary look.
5. Contrast Is Important
The contrast of your bookshelf is as important as the color itself. If you choose a dark shelf, fill it with items in lighter, brighter colors.
To use shelves as a stylish display tactic, you have to be conscious of the color of the shelf and the items you plan to house within it. With a dark shelf, a dark background, and dark accents, items can get visually lost. Pay special attention to what you're displaying and how you're grouping items.
Bookshelves come in every size, shape, and color imaginable, and they're the perfect canvas for creating a unique display area in the home. They can add elegance, style, and sophistication to any house or apartment, as long as you know how to decorate them.
Use your shelves for more than books - incorporate framed photos, artwork, statues, and trinkets to create a unique look that's all your own. Unless you like a cluttered look, embrace white space and leave a bit of room on your shelf. Add some plants to bring in some natural greenery, and pay special attention to color.
When we say color, we mean both the color of the shelf itself and the color of the items you display in it. A brown wood shelving unit with dark books and neutral items won't look very exciting. However, a colorful shelf or a white shelf filled with colorful items can add some pop to your space.
Get creative and use your bookshelves as a way to showcase the books and other items you love. From a small two-tier shelf to a large floor-to-ceiling unit, the right bookshelf can add instant style to any home.