Bookshelves are a great way to display to others, as well as remind yourself, how cultured you are and/or pretend to be. I’ve been known to throw a few books in there just to throw people for a loop. And while they are a great storage solution, I’m a firm believer that they can also be used as a functional work of art.

I’m sharing a few ways to style your bookshelves in a unique way to make the most of the space and make a statement:

1. Add Artwork For Impact: Hang a beautiful piece of art within or on top of your bookshelf. It’s totally unexpected in the best possible way.  And, bonus, you can hide things behind it that need a place to live but may not be as beautiful as everything else on the shelf. (Or those few self-help books you’d prefer stay out of sight from your guests.) 

2. Make It An Accent Wall: This is very much a ‘go big or go home’ option. Paint your bookshelf a bright color. Make it a full wall and pack it to the brim. Get creative to draw attention to the space. 

3. Mix Elements That Celebrate Texture: I mean, of course you should use your bookshelf for books, but balance it with other elements that create a styled space. It’s always a great way to showcase pieces that are important to you. I’m big on gathering items when I’m traveling so everything you display ends up telling a story. 

4. Play With Color: I’m not saying you should buy books just because they are a cool color…but maybe think about it? I love when I see shots of how people have gotten creative with the color of books in a space. Have fun with a single tone of color (see my purple bookshelf!). Build a rainbow to bring constant joy to a room. Or create a fun pattern! I’ve seen flags, hearts, geometric shapes, etc. It’s cool and it makes you look ridiculously creative

5. Showcase Books As Art: Coffee table books do not just need to live on your coffee table. Covers can be art in themselves and you should make sure they are seen! Check out some great books from places like Assouline and museum gift shops that are always works of art in themselves. Or make sure to pick up as much as you can when there are book sales on sites like One Kings Lane, Gilt, and Joss & Main