Bookshelf Staging Tips & Tricks

Blog written by: Tabitha Black and Victoria Uhrich

Did y’all miss us?

After a few crazy weeks of helping put together 3 magnificent houses for the annual Parade of Homes, we are back and ready to share our expertise! We were so excited to be able to add a little Panache to these empty homes and show off their unique potential to buyers as well as arouse creativity in those looking for ideas on jazzing up their own homes.

One of our favorite projects is staging bookshelves, and lucky for us there were a few in these beautiful homes. We have so many frustrated customers, overwhelmed with the task of filling their shelves with statement pieces and creating the desired look, while keeping the clutter to a minimum.

So, we decided to give our assistance to all of you who are lost in this endeavor, and walk you through how we as professionals approach this task. Below are pictures from our parade homes that display 2 different bookshelves in two different looks, rustic and glam. We have done this in hopes that you will be better prepared to select items that fit your personal style for your own bookshelves.  This week's blog is focused around taking the headache out of staging your shelves by breaking  it down into a science and giving you picture examples and detailed explanations.


Styled by our wonderful designers Kendra Clark & Nikki Frazier from the Parade of Homes

Styled by our wonderful designers Kendra Clark & Nikki Frazier from the Parade of Homes

Styled by our wonderful designers Kendra Clark & Nikki Frazier from the Parade of Homes

Styled by our wonderful designers Kendra Clark & Nikki Frazier from the Parade of Homes

There are many ways to stage a shelf (because there are countless items you could to choose from to incorporate), but we have constructed 4 basic shelving techniques to help you build the best shelving space for your home.

1. Filling with books

  • This shelving is a great option for all you book collectors out there. You can fill this shelf with as many books as you want, BUT now use horizontal and vertical as your accessory. Turn some of the books sideways and then add a fun accessory, also try tilting some of your novels so that they are angled against the side of the shelf or other books. You can even put them all in a straight line with some statement bookends.

2. Less Is More

  • On this shelf, the goal simplicity. Pick a large piece or set of pieces to encompass the majority of the space. There will be so many items on your bookshelf, and it’s good to give your eyes a break by adding in some bigger eye catching statements into your wall.

3. Symmetrical

  • This style of shelf is an easier one to accomplish as it is a more familiar pattern to most, and normally includes a central focal point with mirroring accessories on either side.  If you are up for a challenge you can always play with items of different colors on either side or using the same item in a different pattern or shape.

4. Think odds

  • Our brains accept things as naturally beautiful when odd numbers of items are arranged together- don’t ask us why but it’s true. Our go to is a vase, picture frame, and some greenery, but there are so many more items you can layer together. (Think outside of the box when you can! Yes, there are technically 6 items in this picture BUT the way the items work together it works as 3- a set of matching vases, a pair of birds, and identical books)

*Remember you can use each of these layouts over and over throughout your shelving unit, but try balance out the heavier shelves (shelves with more items) with the shelves that are more scarce.*

 Below is our finished look.


Other pointers to help you on your way!

  • Carry your color through out

    •  If you have an accessory whose color stands out more than the rest of the shelves, try incorporating items in the same color family on different shelves but sitting on the opposite side of the shelf. This will allow your eye to rest easily on the bookshelf instead of being drawn to just one focal point.

  • Be creative with your bookends

    • There are so many different types you can choose from geodes or cement to metals and animals, but don’t forget to be creative. Instead try using vases, plants, or other accessories to holds your books in place.

  • Use the whole shelf

    • Your shelf not only has width to spread your items out in, but depth as well. Stacking your items and books utilizing the middle, front, and back of your shelves will give your design dimension and make your friends think you hired a professional.