How To Stylishly Organize A Bookshelf / by Erin Mulvany

We’ve all seen on Pinterest and Instagram those perfectly orchestrated bookshelves and coffee tables. We look at the photo, at our bookshelf, back at the photo and back at our bookshelf. Theirs is so simple, yet commands an interior design touch. How the hell do they do it? Well chances are they hired someone to stage the photo, but getting that stylishly organized bookshelf is easier than you think. 

Declutter & Dethrone

With my clients I have found two common issues: too cluttered or too organized. You want to find the happy medium between a hoarder and a perfectionist. You want to give your bookshelf life while maintaining a level of minimalism. Get rid of old, unattractive books like that photography book you’ve had since college that you still haven’t read or Twilight, that can go straight in the garbage. Also purge yourself of those pieces that may have sentimental value but lack ascetic value. We all love Back to the Future, but those figurines are not bookshelf worthy. Be ruthless; take no prisoners. 

Backing The Bookshelf


Create a backdrop for your bookshelf by inserting a pop of color to the back of the shelves. I am currently in love with the use of ceiling tiles to add depth and shine to any piece, instantly making it look more expensive. Whether you’re putting our signature color or adding a pop of grey, going darker is the preferable option.

Organizing Your Objects

Using a zig zag approach, place your largest objects first. Once you are satisfied with your shelves, add in smaller objects. Group clusters of items by odd numbers and add depth by spacing them from back to forth. If you have too much stuff and not enough space, use identical boxes to place excess knickknacks you may have that you cannot part with. After all is said and done, take a step back and view your masterpiece. If it looks out of wack, make sure you have the ratio of 1/3 of accessories to 1/3 empty space. 

Behold that beautiful bookshelf you have organized for yourself. These tips can also be used for a coffee table, desk or armoire. If you’re still having issues making the perfect spacing, contact us or post your question down below for Erin!