Bookshelf Styling Tips from HGTV's Emily Henderson

Four foolproof lessons from the mouth of the zhuzhing master to our ears.

Bookshelf Styling Tips from HGTV's Emily Henderson

"The number of blog posts and videos I’ve done on bookshelf styling is uncountable." writes HGTV star and interior stylist Emily Henderson in her new book, Styled. "It’s perceived as hard, and I get it. Your bookshelf is probably the most difficult piece in your living room to organize and arrange because of its many surfaces." Lonny readers know we've spent a good deal of brainpower pondering (and arguing about) the art ourselves. So we were elated to find this rather definitive quartet of lessons in Emily's latest tome. "For the majority of folks, it can be a bit of a dumping ground for books, DVDs, or random treasures brought back from vacation that you can’t think of anywhere else to display," she explains. "Time to pony up and style these intimidating suckers. These four vignettes show that styling your shelves doesn’t always have to go 'by the book.'"

1. Have Some Control

While your initial reaction might be to add books and other platforms to help ground a shelf collection, another (almost opposite) approach is arranging small art objects in a flat grid. It’s an easy way for your eye to read each piece. It works just as well, but is best on a lower shelf where it can get full exposure.

2. Hang in There

Try hanging artwork between shelving to add dimension and break up the monotony of stacks of books. Be sure to call the artwork out; a wooden chain draped over the frame and a clip lamp both work hard to highlight the piece.

3. Use Your Words

Cool typography prints with witty sayings, quotes, or mantras will pique a guest’s interest in your bookshelf, maybe more than a particular book might. You can go classic like, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” or you can go for something new, informal, and modest (so you won’t get tired of it quickly).

 4. Keep It Tight

Remember: a bunch of little things will look more organized if they are in a small color palette. Use each shelf to feature books and accessories in one or two colors. This classic Scandinavian collection

Find so much more styling and decorating advice in Emily Henderson's new book Styledout now. 

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