When we first laid eyes on Jill Gaynor’s Havenly space, we were amazed by her stylish bookcase. From the colorful bouquet of fresh flowers to the cheerful family portraits, each shelf was filled with distinct artifacts that felt both polished and personal. Since we have a serious thing for shelfies, we compiled a list of the ten essential tips to help you beautify your own bookcase.

1. Group Books  

Use a mix of vertical and horizontal book groupings. For a bolder look, group books by color or for a more neutral / subtle look, face book spines inward towards the wall.

2. Add Some Art

Smaller prints placed behind book groupings or decorative objects are a lovely way to inject some personality into your bookcase.

3. Go Green

Incorporate greenery or fresh flowers. Bring life to your bookcase with fresh greenery or flowers, which act as an organic sculptural element that contrasts nicely with books.

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[Image via Style Within Reach]

4. Mix Heights

Use a combination of taller sculptural objects and lower profile pieces to create an interesting mix of shapes and scales that draw your eye around the vignette.

5. Add Booze

Add a mini bar. Place your favorite cocktail glasses and martini shaker on a metallic tray to create the perfect spot to mix a drink.

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[Image via Lonny]

6. Shed Some Light

Add lighting. Small table lamps or art lamps mounted to the bookcase frame are a great way to accent certain shelves and shed some light on your decor.

7. Celebrate the Seasons

Incorporate seasonal decor. A painted pumpkin, bowl of ornaments, or a cheerful garland can add a festive element to your bookcase.

8. Get Creative

Use the front, back, sides, and top of the bookcase to showcase your art! Hang artwork or objects in front of the shelves on the bookcase frame to create a dimensional vignette. Or set the art at the back of a sparsely-filled shelf for a unique perspective.

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[Image via House Beautiful]

9. Keep it Simple

Stick to all neutral or monochrome pieces in order to create a more minimal, calming feel.

10. Get Personal

Include a few personal Items. Bookshelves are the perfect place for a few photos, keepsakes or travel mementos, just don’t go overboard here!


After styling your bookcase, you might realize that your entire room needs a bit of a polish. Why not tune up your room with a room refresh from Havenly?