The options for styling and arranging shelves at home are literally endless — and therein lies the problem. Even expert stylists can feel overwhelmed when presented with an empty case; the limitless possibilities are daunting, to say the least. Thus, no matter who you are, it helps to have some inspiration when getting started. So the next time you find yourself with a completely cleared bookshelf, let these decorating ideas from celebrities guide the way.
Sure, these stars may not be decorators themselves. But let’s be real — they’ve had plenty of professional help in putting together their homes, and that clearly includes the curation of their bookcases. Plus, not only are they beautifully styled; they’re all incredibly different, providing a diverse range of displays to copy depending on the look of your home.
Bookshelf decorating ideas probably aren’t the first thing you’d think to look to celebs for, but trust us: They won’t let you down in this unexpected department. Here’s proof that they can be a trusted source of visual guidance the next time you’re lost on where to start.
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Though including books with covers in every color of the rainbow is a fun, eclectic look, it’s also not exactly for the minimalist. However, if you still want a book-focused display, you have options. Oprah’s shelves are a great example: She used only books featuring white covers and spines, which kept the whole moment looking uniform and neat.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s built-ins do seem to have a function: The top shelves appear to be housing files of some kind. Naturally, though, the impossibly chic model found a way to infuse style into the mix as well. On the bottom two levels, she’s lined up large, matching framed photos that are leaning against the back of the book case. These not only distract from the contents above, but make the entire setup look intentional and, well, just plain pretty.
A Mixture Of Vessels
Gabrielle Union has endless style, so of course she recognizes the power of including a range of objects on your bookshelves. In her home, she’s decorated her own with, naturally, some books — but also with a mixture of rustic vessels, such as bowls, planters, and vases. The combination, paired with her sleek black case, provides an eclectic feel and just the right amount of juxtaposition.
A Display Of Treasures
Contrary to what you see on Instagram, your bookshelves don’t have to be a painstakingly crafted curation. Kate Hudson’s home is proof of this. On her built-ins, you can plainly see an almost haphazard mix of stones, crystals, and trinkets intermingled with a collection of books. It’s the perfect antidote to the overly styled look, and one worth trying if you’re ready for a less precious aesthetic.
Looking to hide some of your possessions and bring your art collection front and center? Karlie Kloss has the answer. Rather than stacking them on shelves, the model hung her frames off the front — possibly disguising some clutter, while also giving the storage spot an unexpected detail. Though it’s a tried-and-true trick, it’s also one you don’t see every day. Thus, it’s a great way to add an element of surprise to your home.
You may only want to use your shelves for their originally intended purpose. If that’s the case, don’t worry — you can still incorporate intention and style. Take a page from Gwyneth Paltrow’s book (sorry, had to) and simply alternate the directions in which your volumes are displayed. With some stacked and some lined up neatly, the approach provides interest without looking messy — and keeps the focus on the important things.