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. So, no matter who you are, it helps to have a little inspiration when you’re starting out. So the next time you find yourself with a completely cleaned out bookshelf, let these decorating ideas from celebrities lead the way.
Sure, these stars may not be decorators themselves. But let’s be real – they’ve had a lot of professional help putting their homes together, and that clearly includes putting together their bookshelves. Moreover, they are not only beautifully styled; they are all incredibly different and offer a varied range of displays to copy depending on the look of your home.
Ideas for bookshelf decoration are probably not the first thing you’d think of looking to celebs for, but trust us: they won’t let you down in this unexpected department. Here’s proof that they can be a reliable source of visual guidance the next time you don’t know where to start.
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While including books with covers in every color of the rainbow is a fun, eclectic look, it’s not exactly for the minimalist either. However, if you still want a book-focused show, you have options. Oprah’s shelves are a good example: She used only books with white covers and spines, which made the whole moment look uniform and neat.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s built-ins do appear to have a function: The top shelves appear to be files of some kind. Of course, however, the impossibly chic model found a way to add style to the mix as well. On the bottom two levels, she lined up large, matching framed photos that lean against the back of the bookcase. This not only distracts from the content above, but makes the whole setup look deliberate and, well, just 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 decorated her own with, of course, some books – but also with a mix of rustic objects, such as bowls, planters and vases. The combination, paired with her sleek black bag, offers 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 carefully crafted curation. Kate Hudson’s house is proof of this. On her built-ins you can clearly see an almost random mix of stones, crystals and trinkets mixed with a collection of books. It’s the perfect antidote to the overly stylish look, and one worth trying if you’re ready for a less precious aesthetic.
Want to hide some of your belongings and bring your art collection front and center? Karlie Kloss has the answer. Rather than stacking them on shelves, the model hung her frames from the front – possibly a bit cluttered, while also giving the storage space an unexpected detail. While this is a tried-and-true trick, it’s also one you don’t see every day. So it’s a great way to add an element of surprise to your home.
Maybe you just want to use your shelves for their original purpose. If that’s the case, don’t worry—you can still include intent 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 neatly aligned, the approach provides interest without looking cluttered – and keeps the focus on the important things.