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Via @liz_besanson IG

The Best Book Shelf Decor

Here, styling advice is one for the books. Literally.
Roxanne Robinson Oct 16, 2020
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E-books can prevail all they want. Nothing quite replaces the joy of a physical book. A home devoid of books looks empty indeed. While a hard copy book collection may feed your soul, styling them feeds your inner decorator.

Libraries date back to the 7th century B.C. by Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal. Located in modern-day Iraq, the idea was riche from the inset, intended for 'royal contemplation.' When discovered in modern times, over 30,000 cuneiform tablets were found arranged by subject matter.

A civilization developed, so too did the library, which derives its name from the Latin word liber, which means book – ironic that liberty is a similar word. Italian art and architecture photographer Massimo Listri captured some of history’s most impressive libraries for his 2018 book, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.

From then on, acquiring a home library was not only a sign of education, but it also went hand in hand with wealth as even after the invention of the printing press, books were costly to acquire for the average person. Proudly displaying a collection of books, especially in the home, became a predominant symbol of wealth and erudition by the 18th century.

Considering this concept, not much has changed for the avid book lover wishing to style their shelves at home. Wipe your memory clean of the card-catalog bookshelves of your school library. You can add pizzazz to book shelf decor even when styling just the books. The artful mixing of shapes and sizes, colors and positioning can create interest and visual intrigue. Case in point, this vintage Hollywood home’s bookshelf decor got a shout-out on Kristen Blazek’s @a1000xbetter Instagram and lifestyle blogger Emily Henderson’s blog. Rug Society’s Instagram gushes on this full wall, eight-shelf library with books broken up into unexpected groupings.

But other times, adding additional elements is in order for a well-executed bookshelf decor styling. Curios are also apt bookshelf decor and the right balance of books, objets, open space, and even plants or flowers can result in an alluring shelf styling mix. From novels to coffee table books, different varieties of book styles combine nicely with bookends, along with vases, photos, art, and candles - space permitting. Add a plant or flower to achieve a genuinely eclectic mix, and bookshelves can become any room's most celebrated centerpiece.

Sometimes the most exciting to style a bookshelf is by leaving it devoid of the books themselves, especially for the tech-savvy crowd. Sparse built-in shelves dotted with trinkets, but providing for plenty of negative space can also add a deep sense of drama to your room. And to accommodate such a decadent display of open shelf space, you can be sure to add storage space to your Ipad or E-reader to convert all of your favorite tomes to be digitally displayed.

Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter,, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and among others.
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