How to Organize and Style Your Bookshelf


By Mich Lagdameo

Three steps to an Instagram-worthy yet child-friendly living room display

A bookshelf is definitely a home décor workhorse. It contributes so much to both the function and the aesthetic of any room! Well-organized and styled shelves are such a pleasure—your guests will love looking over your knick-knacks and books (and appreciating how well you managed to stash away clutter).

Also, a bookshelf is a curated vignette of your personal style. It’s both relaxing and challenging to take on a blank and empty shelf and use it to showcase your constantly evolving style philosophy. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to spruce up your home and define your aesthetic, so don’t shy away from those shelves!

Tell a unique story. Don’t be afraid to get personal—framed family photos and travel mementos make wonderful conversation pieces, and your favorite coffee table books stacked together paint a picture of your interests. Keep it kid-proof by placing more delicate items on the higher shelves, where they’ll easy grab attention (but can’t be grabbed by little hands).

Secure hidden storage. Decorative wooden or canvas baskets or storage boxes on the lowest shelf creates an instant storage solution. Since it’s just the right height for your little ones, consider stashing away toys and books in these containers for easy access and cleanup. Try choosing a basket or box in a vivid hue for a nice complementary pop of color, or in a pattern that will subtly add interest and pick up on other design elements in the area, like the throw pillows, rug, or curtains.

Keep it lean and green. While an artfully overflowing bookshelf can be very visually appealing, more often than not, a pared-down display makes just as much of an impact (while being easier to keep clean and tidy). Edit down your decorative elements and think about displaying them elsewhere (end tables and console tables are awesome for this). And don’t forget the finishing touch: A small potted plant will liven up and tie the whole thing together. Look into easy-to-maintain succulents you can perch on the highest shelf for that great pop of green.

Don’t miss the chance to flex your creative muscles and hone your eye for design. Moms have perfected the art of seamlessly blending functionality and a dash of pretty on the daily, on everything from food to fashion, so why not include your home décor? A bookshelf is a nice and easy way to start!


Mich Lagdameo is a mom to a precocious 1-year-old. She is a writer and editor by trade and calling, and she lives for books, leisurely grocery trips, cups of good coffee, long drives with her husband, and the Food Network. Her days are punctuated by the sound of her computer keys and her daughter banging into things.


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