Nate Berkus' Insightful Tips Will Change The Way You Style Your Bookcase

Bookshelves can be one of the most dynamic and personal elements in our homes. They offer up a chance to store and creatively display everything from actual books to art, family photos, and mementos. The challenge often arises in making the shelves both functional and attractive without being too chaotic, crowded, or cluttered. Design expert Nate Berkus, however, has some great suggestions for making your bookshelves picture-perfect, including advice on what to add to your shelves and how to best arrange the pieces.

Berkus suggests that, rather than simply lining up books spine-out vertically, a better tactic is using the shelves to present an array of orientations, including both stacked books and front-facing ones with attractive covers. This will not only fill more space and offer variation, but it will also allow more room to add other kinds of pieces like family photos, souvenirs, vases, and artwork that can help make the display more personal.

Decorate shelves as dioramas

In a TikTok, Nate Berkus suggests looking at each separate shelf as its own tableau or diorama. Once you have perfected each section, step back and take a look at the entire shelving unit and adjust as needed. You may simply need to move a diorama of one shelf to another location to achieve the necessary balance and desired results. He advises to think of each tableau as its own visual story and unique display, but also to consider how it works in the bookshelf as a whole.

Berkus also advises that the best decorated bookshelves have a mix of objects and books and include natural elements like baskets, crystals, stones, and plants. You should also include sculptural accents like vases and candles, as well as personal items like photos and souvenirs. Small boxes are a great addition, as these can not only look stunning but will also provide a hiding spot for smaller objects that you want to have tucked out of view. According to Berkus, for the best results, include a mix of heights and textures on each shelf.