Minimalist Bookshelf Styling: Learn How to Make A Bookcase Look Pretty [3 Easy Ways]

Minimalist bookshelf styling looks so easy. You might think you would perfectly place a few items in the bookcase, then add a pièce de résistance, right? Or maybe you wonder, do you take one thing away, like you do jewelry?

Truth is, it actually takes some know-how to successfully put the whole ‘less-is-more” concept to work into your bookshelf decorating ideas. So we looked to the design experts at Modsy for professional decor advice and simple bookshelf ideas.

Read on to discover some easy bookcase styling ideas so you can style your bookshelf and your home decor like a pro!

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Learn to curate your bookcase with an eye to minimalism.

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CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn how to curate your bookcase with an eye to minimalism. You’ll easily create a professional-looking decor by using these bookshelf decorating tips.

So, What is Minimalism?

First, let’s make sure you know the basics of a minimalist decor.

Minimalism is when you eliminate things from your life and home unless they add value and are truly meaningful to you.

It’s a departure from cluttered spaces and instead, you prepare a place of honor for the experiences and things you love most.

You might think a minimalist decor needs to be stark, or can’t include collections.

That’s a misconception.

simple bookshelf decor

The point of minimalism is to remove those things that don’t hold value for you so you can focus on those you treasure.

You can do this any time your home has too much “stuff,” but an especially great time to do this is after the kids have moved out and you become an “empty-nester.”

You will be entering into a new phase of life and redefining your purpose, so what better time to evaluate what to keep and what goes?

Tips for Styling A Bookcase, 3 Ways

Picture this—you’ve downsized your home and all your new living room furniture has finally arrived.

You get it set up just how you want it and are ready to congratulate yourself (or take a well-deserved nap on your new sofa). Then you realize something is

missing…a sense of decor! Not to mention your prized collection of literary treasures worthy of display.

From your coffee table to your bookcases, it can be a challenge to find just the right decorative pieces.

To help, here are the best bookshelf styling tips to meaningfully accentuate your spaces with your treasures–taking cue from minimalism. Follow the bookshelf decor ideas as we style one bookcase, three ways and you’ll learn easy tips for minimalist bookshelf styling.

We’re showing an open bookshelf ideas in this demonstration, but you can easily apply these three bookshelf arrangement ideas to inspire your own built-in bookshelf ideas, office bookshelf ideas, or even for a bookshelf under stairs.

Because with these bookshelf makeover ideas, you have the ability and know how to make a bookshelf look pretty.

So, let’s get started!

Look #1 – Clean and Contemporary Bookshelf Ideas

minimalist bookshelf styling ideas
When you balance style with function, your most beloved books are at your fingertips.

If you’re looking for easy bookcase ideas that balance style with function, your perfect solution might be taking a clean and contemporary approach.

Start with the essentials and use your bookcase as a main hub for your favorite:

  • Books
  • Baskets
  • Little places to stash useful odds and ends

This gives you a nice mix of open and enclosed shelving, and provides a bookshelf with storage bins. That way, you won’t have to stress about keeping your bookcase neat and tidy 24/7. And, your most beloved books are at your fingertips instead of stashed out of reach.

Be sure not to overstuff your shelves with items, as that can make your bookcase feel more cluttered than curated.

Then, sprinkle in a few decorative accents, for that final polish, like:

  • A few succulents
  • Some small art pieces
  • A few unique decorative objects

Look #2 – Minimal and Modern

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A bookcase with a modern and minimal design will be decorative–but never crowded.

If you’re looking for bookcase styling ideas that embrace form alongside function, then this minimalist bookshelf styling is ideal.

With a modern and minimal design, your bookcase will be decorative but never crowded.

A modern bookshelf decorating idea calls for a pared-down approach. That means treating your bookcase more as a vehicle for displaying a few well-curated artworks and objects. 

Of course, you can still use it to house, you know, books, but consider a smaller number of carefully chosen volumes when it comes to modern bookshelf decor.

Bonus tip: Try placing large and bulkier items on the bottom shelves so that it draws the eye up, up, up! This will help create balance and direct attention to your more delicate and striking items on the top.

Look #3 – Artful and Eclectic

minimalist bookshelf styling idea 3
Mix up unique items to make a statement but keep a balanced look.

If you are a design rule-breaker, try dabbling in a more eclectic bookcase styling option

Have you collected treasures from the ends of the earth or from epic road trips?

Let them inspire your decorative bookshelf ideas. You can play with mixing up unique items to make a statement, such as bowls, vases, or your favorite decorative souvenirs. 

Since the items on display are so unique, it’s also one of the most interesting bookshelf ideas.

This look is all about making unexpected design choices. Don’t be afraid to be creative and display a few pieces you wouldn’t traditionally think to put on a bookcase. Try out some cool bookshelf ideas that reflect your personality.

Eclectic doesn’t mean sloppy or random, so be sure to keep your bookcase design feeling balanced. 

A great way to do this is to pick a theme or color palette. This will help guide your approach to styling and ensure the results feel cohesive.

Another of our favorite bookshelf design ideas is to choose items of different heights and shapes and stagger them along your shelves. This will keep your bookcase from feeling too “matchy-matchy” and create a lovely layered effect.

Final Thoughts on Minimalist Bookshelf Styling

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The beauty of minimalism is that it’s a very personal thing.

So what’s the best bookshelf design? We think they’re all great in their own way.

And now you know our tips on how to decorate a bookshelf.

To recap, bookshelf decor can be both functional while having a minimalist style; you can design it instead wholly based on your treasured art; and don’t be afraid to try out some creative bookshelf ideas. You see, that’s the beauty of minimalism; it’s a very personal thing.

Even better, these inexpensive bookshelf ideas work by displaying things you already have. The key is to make sure to showcase those things you truly love in a way to enhance your decor–minus the clutter.

That way, you’re already on your way to decorating your bookshelf like a pro!

If you want to continue designing a beautiful home decor, read this next to learn how you can create a luxury outdoor living space.

Need help finding the right bookcase styling ideas for your space? From finding a layout to picking furniture, Modsy Designers are experts at helping you bring your design vision to life. No matter if you just want to see it in 3D or need help from start to finish, there’s a Modsy Design Package that’s just right for you. Shop the looks in their bookcase styling studio for bookshelf design online, where you can bring the room of your dreams to life.

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This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.

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