This is an updated family room shelves post for 2023. Our friend, Laura asked if Debbie and I would style her shelves. So, we shopped for some larger pieces like boxes and succulents (which look less cluttered than lots of little things). Then we got to work! I forgot to take before photos but quickly shot some when we were finished.
Here are the seven steps to decorate bookshelves…
1. Empty all the shelves before you start the decor.
No one ever feels like doing this as it’s a lot of work…but it’s really important to get it right. In this case, the birthday girl was aerobically clearing the built-ins while Debbie and I organized.
Put all the accessories aside in one area.
2. Make the shelves more uniform in terms of spacing.
Most of Laura’s shelves were pretty uniform so that saved some time.
3. Paint or wallpaper the backs of the shelves (optional).
In our case, they were already wallpapered with seagrass which gives them texture and warmth.
4. Layer canvas artwork at the back of the shelf.
5. Then display larger decorative elements like photos, plants, boxes, vases, sculptures, and ceramics.
We bought the realistic-looking faux succulents on our shopping excursion, as well as, the pretty bone inlay boxes.
6. Fill in with books on the family room shelves.
I like to take colorful, glossy book jackets off when necessary for a more muted, neutral, calmer look. Leave some “air” around things. You can stack some books and have others vertically.
7. Add smaller items like photos in coordinating frames and keepsakes.
Make sure your items are pulled forward and not pushed to the back. Keep small decorative items to a minimum to avoid clutter.
The day before we styled the built-in bookcases, we had a nice lunch in Laguna Beach with this view…
Those are room shelving ideas for you to try in your own home.