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Dec. 3, 2022

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Transform bookcases into showplace

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A minimal color palette of black and white, paired with brass accents, creates appealing decor vignettes on this bookcase.
A minimal color palette of black and white, paired with brass accents, creates appealing decor vignettes on this bookcase. (Scott Morris/Cathy Hobbs/TNS) Photo Gallery

Bookcases, especially those that are built-in, are often viewed as a decorating challenge. From functional uses to display purposes, if dressed and styled properly, bookcases can serve as a highlight or focal point in a space. Looking for bookcase design inspiration? Here are some top tips.

1. Create vignettes. Whether in pairs or small groupings, vignettes are a powerful way to display decorative elements on a bookcase.

2. Color-coordinate. When placing items, consider color coordination to create a harmonious look.

3. Integrate metallic decorative elements. From silver to brass, adding a touch of bling can help add a pop to a bookcase display.

4. Creatively display books. Books are often the cornerstone relating to the functionality of bookshelves. In displaying books, consider grouping similar colors and sizes.

5. Frame it and display it. Filled frames can add an interesting, decorative element to nearly any bookshelf display. Frames can be filled with various elements such as photographs, letters or mementos.

6. Integrate greenery. Whether succulents or small plants, greenery can add an attractive nature element to bookcase decor.

7. Infuse organizational elements. Elements such as baskets can be used to hold small objects and items to maintain an orderly, clean look.

8. Use bookshelf elements that elevate a room. Instead of just using the decorative elements in a bookshelf as toss-away decor, bring in elements and colors that keep with those in your space.

9. Place items in a pattern. Whether you desire the orderly look of items displayed vertically or in a alternating zigzag pattern, displaying items in a purposeful way.

10. Inspire and surprise. Consider displaying a favorite or surprise decor element to create a design focal point.

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