bookcase styling 101

The “big picture” is what we’re best at. Give us a room that needs refreshing, and we propel ourselves into rearranging the furniture, adding pillows and colorful throws, a great rug, lamps, whatever. But give us the task of accessorizing tall empty bookcases at the end of a living room, and watch us put on the brakes. Do you feel the same way? We’re currently working on just this assignment in a client’s living room, so we’ve been looking for inspiration. Below, what’s inspiring us.

Top down, Elle Decor May 2008, House Beautiful April 2008, Domino April 2008, House Beautiful April 2008, House Beautiful April 2008, Elle Decor April 2008, Elle Decor May 2008.

  • Fran

    Great post! And, yes, I do feel the same way. When it comes to styling, I get stuck more often than not.

  • Design Darling

    if you haven’t already, check out jamie meares’ blog, i suwannee (, and scan through her “bookcase of the day” archives, which are overflowing with inspiration. good luck!

  • Lindsey

    I’m so excited to find your blog! I just purchased the ‘Traditional Home’ magazine today after seeing Lauren’s fabulous apartment within. What an inspiration! I loved every detail. I can’t wait to continue reading your blog!

  • Susan

    I love the photo of the bookcases with wooden boxes—and also the photo of the bookcases with lots of real books—the kind you might read.

  • goodbone

    Thank you!

  • goodbone

    thanks for the link. very pretty site.

  • sketch42

    Gorgeous photos… I feel the same way!! In my own house, I freakin designed the bookcase, but I cant style it for sh@t!!!

  • avalonne

    These are very inspirational! I love bookcases. I need bookcases, because I don’t have enough surfaces in my room to put things on! I have all these adorable decor and no surface to put them on. Your about us photo is very lovely! Thanks for being so inspirational! I wish my mom and I could work together, but we’re in totally different professions.

    You’re probably very busy, but if you have a moment, please feel free to visit my blog, thanks!

  • Kate S.

    bookcases can be tricky. sometimes i feel like editorials are so “pretty” that they bookcases they feature just aren’t functional for organizational purposes. i love to see shelves crammed full of books, but in very stylish ways. this southern girl thinks your blog is great!

  • casey

    Lovely pictures; some I had never seen. The first is amazing. Great inspiration!

  • goodbone

    Thanks southern girl!

  • Practical Princess

    Love this blog. Great photos, great content!

  • zoeB

    The problem comes when you actually need to store things on the shelves/bookshelves! Things that don’t always fit in with the way you want it to look. Things that aren’t just decoration.
    Our homes in the UK are not always very big and if it was built in the last century probably doesn’t have much storage space

  • Sherry H

    I think the inspiration should be found in the client him/herself. I love the collection of wood boxes…but in reality do most people have the space to spare. The combination of books and collectible are probably the way to go. The bookshelves should reflect the persons personality whether collections, travels or desires. Great blog! Will check back! The photographer’s article in the Ritz-Carlton was definitely right on!