Decorating a (Rainbow) Bookshelf (for someone with a lot of books)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

As I've been (slowly) unpacking our belongings in our new space, I've been challenging myself to up my decorating game. (This is quite the challenge for me as I'm kind of a "leave my shoes wherever I feel like it" kind of person.)

I've always been inspired by perfectly decorated bookshelves, but some of the prettiest ones seem to hold more art pieces or framed prints than actual books. But then I swung by Tomissa's apartment and was so inspired by her rainbow bookshelf I had to give it a try!

Here are a few (basic) tips for decorating a bookshelf. (Keep in mind I'm no design expert, just a girl trying to make her apartment look slightly more put together!)

First, I've said it before, but purge your book collection, this is a necessary step and just makes things easier. Follow Marie Kondo's advice, and only keep books that belong in your "Hall of Fame"! (Easier said than done, of course, but worth an effort.)

Next, I recommend arranging the spines of your books by color. It creates a cohesive look making your shelf look more intentional and less like storage space. I had the most black and white spines, so did the top shelf in white and the bottom in black, with colorful books on the two middle shelves.

Even if you're not down for a rainbow display, you can use this next tip: edge your books. This, perhaps, is the most commonly known thing ever...but I just learned about it! Edging is simply arranging all books the same distance from the edge of your shelf. (I prefer about an inch from your shelf's edge.) This creates a uniform look regardless of book size, so if you have teeny tiny book like Catcher in the Rye next to the huge massive Steve Jobs book, it doesn't matter!

Finally, book ends are fun and beautiful and awesome....but they take up space. So, I simply use stacks of books as book ends. Start with a heavy, bigger book on the bottom, and get smaller as you work your way up the stack! Plus, horizontal stacks of books add some nice diversity to your shelves. 

What do you think? Would you try a rainbow bookshelf? Also, if you have any other bookshelf decorating tips...let me know! This is really my first attempt :)


  1. My goodness, we have tons of the same favorite keepers! Thanks for the shoutout, lady!

  2. A book with the title "Basketball" is in your Hall of Fame???? Seriously? hahaha I like the look -- and the edging. Good Job!