Brilliant Styling Ideas For Modern Bookshelves

The versatility of bookshelves goes beyond the multitude of different styles and types that you get to choose from. Modern bookshelves, in particular, are great at blending looks and functionality in the sense that they not only turn the books and other items that they hold into decorations but the shelves and the units themselves often look beautiful and sculptural.

Modern Bookshelves

This allows them to stand out and to serve as potential focal points for the spaces they’re a part of. Check out some of our amazing modern bookshelves styling ideas.

Top Tips for Styling Bookshelves in a Contemporary Home

1. Wall-Mounted Bookshelves

Wall-mounted bookshelves are just right when you're looking for a way to fill an empty wallView in gallery
Wall-mounted bookshelves are just right when you’re looking for a way to fill an empty wall.

When you are searching for a way to add a set of bookshelves to any room in your home, make the most of any empty wall space that you have. You’ll find that wall-mounted bookshelves create a sleek and stylish design and won’t take up too much space in your home. They are ideal for home offices and living rooms, and you can add one in any color to match your home décor. You’ll find that wall-mounted bookshelves don’t get in the way too much of your home, and they won’t make your room feel smaller like some large bookshelf designs might. If you have young children, consider lifting these units high off the ground to stop them from bumping their heads on the bookshelves while exploring your home.

2. Match Your Bookshelves with the Wall

If you want the shelves (or any piece of furniture) to blend in, match it to the wall behind itView in gallery
If you want the shelves (or any piece of furniture) to blend in, match it to the wall behind it.

When it comes to choosing a new set of bookshelves for your home, we always recommend that you consider matching the bookshelves with the wall. This helps to make your home décor more aesthetically pleasing and creates a cohesive look throughout your home. While contrasting colors do sometimes work as well, you’ll find that this is a good option for making a room look bigger and less cluttered. If you can’t find a unit that matches your walls perfectly, opt for a very similar color but just a shade or two lighter or darker. Otherwise, if you are feeling crafty, you could consider purchasing a plain bookshelf and painting it yourself. This will allow you to use the exact same shade of paint to match your walls perfectly.

3. Organize Your Book Collection with a Large Wall Bookcase

A large wall bookcase with multiple compartments it great for organizing your collectionView in gallery
A large wall bookcase with multiple compartments it great for organizing your collection.

A large wall bookcase is ideal for anyone with a large collection of books. You’ll never be short for space when it comes to adding extra books to your shelves, meaning you can carry on purchasing the hot new releases with no issues at all. On top of that, you can also use the spare shelf space to add trinkets and anything else you may have floating around your home. Bookshelves have so many different purposes, and for anyone with a large family, they’ll help to keep your home looking tidier and more organized. If you have multiple children, consider assigning them each a couple of shelves, so they are responsible for keeping their book collection tidy. They’ll know exactly where their books are when it comes to doing their homework or heading off to bed, so you’ll avoid hunting around for their favorite book.

There are generally two main types to choose from: wall-mounted shelves and standalone units. Each has its set of pros and cons. For instance, wall bookshelves might give a space an open feel but they’d be fixed in place while freestanding bookshelves would be more flexible but also more robust. In both cases, the bookshelves would be practical not just because they provide extra storage space but also because they make it easy to organize the items, whether it’s books, collectibles, board games, files, boxes, or something completely different.

4. Add Accent Lighting to the Bookcase

Add accent lighting to your bookcase for a subtle yet dramatic impactView in gallery
Add accent lighting to your bookcase for a subtle yet dramatic impact.

Accent lighting can help to make your bookcase one of the focus points of any room. You only need to add a few subtle lights to make an impact in your home, and you’ll find this also adds a bit of mood lighting at night. It’s a great feature for anyone who loves to read and will draw more attention to your collection of books. You’ll find that many units on the market today come with lighting fixtures attached, and this is much easier than having to install the lighting yourself after purchasing your bookshelf. If you are looking for a simple fix to add more lighting to your bookshelves, consider adding a few lamps to the shelves to highlight the bookcase.

5. Use Individual Modules Instead of a Regular Bookcase

Multiple individual modules put together can be a fun alternative to the regular bookcase unitView in gallery
Multiple individual modules put together can be a fun alternative to the regular bookcase unit.

If you don’t have the space or need for a large bookcase, opt for individual shelves instead. These add a fun decoration to your modern home and will be a unique addition to any room in your home. As well as using these for books, you can enjoy displaying your favorite collectibles in this space. These are often much easier to install, so you can try adding these by yourself as a DIY project. When you arrange floating bookshelves yourself, you can also create a modern and unique display, which replaces the need to add artwork to your walls. It’s a great modern wall art option for homes, and you can place them as high or as low on your walls as you fancy, depending on how often you’ll need to access your books.

6. Organize Your Office with Bookshelves

Bookcases are also great for storing and organizing documents and office suppliesView in gallery
Bookcases are also great for storing and organizing documents and office supplies.

Bookcases aren’t just reserved for displaying books, and you’ll find they are one of the best additions you could add to any home office. They can be used to keep your files and documents well organized and can also hold your office supplies. Bookcases make it much easier to find something you need in a rush, as opposed to hiding your supplies in cupboards or drawers. If you’ve been working from home for the past year, it’s time to think about investing in improving your office space if you aren’t heading back to the office anytime soon. A set of bookshelves is a staple piece of furniture for any good home office and will give you many years of enjoyment and use.

7. Use a Freestanding Bookcase as a Room Divider

A freestanding bookcase can double as a room divider in certain contextsView in gallery
A freestanding bookcase can double as a room divider in certain contexts.

Bookcases offer many different purposes in modern homes, and they can also be used as a room divider to break up a larger room. If you have an open-plan home with a combined living, dining, and kitchen space, consider adding a large freestanding bookcase to split up the room. You’ll find that it helps to create some separation between each space, allowing you more privacy when you are spending time relaxing in your living area. This would also be a great way to create a home office when you are short of space in your apartment or home. They are much more attractive than traditional room dividers and will offer you a more exciting addition to your home. You could even take things one step further and add your television to this unit to maximize your space.

8. Add a Bookshelf With Open and Closed Compartments

A combination of open and closed compartments is ideal when it comes to bookcases and storage units in generalView in gallery
A combination of open and closed compartments is ideal when it comes to bookcases and storage units in general.

When adding more storage to your home, we always recommend using a mixture of open and closed compartments. This allows you to tidy away some of the clutter in your home without having to leave it on display for your guests to see. We think these bookshelves are ideal for anyone with children, as you can hide away their toys when they aren’t in use, creating a more grown-up aesthetic in your home. You’ll find these shelves create a much cleaner and less cluttered look in your living room or home office while also allowing you to show off your book collection.

9. Use Custom Bookcases for the Perfect Fit

Custom bookcases can be designed to perfectly fit in a designated space and to complement it just rightView in gallery
Custom bookcases can be designed to perfectly fit in a designated space and to complement it just right.

Bookcases are something that will last in your home for many years, which is why it’s often worth investing in custom bookcases. These can be designed to fit the exact measurements of your home, and you can add the number of shelves and compartments you need for your book collection or trinkets. It’s a great way to create a more designer look in your home, and you won’t have any awkward gaps between your bookcase and other parts of your furniture. Custom bookcases don’t have to cost a fortune, and you could even consider completing this as a DIY project if you are feeling ambitious.

10. Separate Your Kitchen and Living Area with an Open Shelving Bookcase

Use a freestanding, open shelving bookcase as a space divider between the lounge area and the kitchen or the dining roomView in gallery
Use a freestanding, open shelving bookcase as a space divider between the lounge area and the kitchen or the dining room.

An open shelving bookcase creates a modern addition to any open-plan home and can break up your living area and your kitchen or dining room. It won’t make the room feel too dark thanks to its open shelving design but will allow some separation between areas of your home. It’s a good option for open-plan apartments that lack different rooms, as it will feel like your home is much more spacious than it really is.

11. Wall-Mounted Bookcases for Any Home

Wall-mounted bookcases come in all shapes, sizes and styles so there really is one for each type of spaceView in gallery
Wall-mounted bookcases come in all shapes, sizes, and styles so there really is one for each type of space.

Regardless of how much space you have to work with in your home, you’ll have no issue finding a wall-mounted bookcase that fits your home. These bookcases come in all shapes and sizes today, so you’ll find one for even the smallest of walls. Make the most of the empty wall space you have around your home and add some extra storage with a stylish and modern bookshelf. They also come in a wide selection of styles and colors, so you’ll find an option that matches your walls and the rest of your home décor.

12. Long Horizontal Bookcases for Larger Homes

Long, horizontal bookcases can put an emphasis on a room's overall size and layoutView in gallery
Long, horizontal bookcases can put an emphasis on a room’s overall size and layout.

For anyone who is lucky to live in a larger home, emphasize the size of your rooms with a long and horizontal bookcase. Many homes aren’t fortunate enough to have the space for this type of bookshelf, so you can show off your space with this unique style. You’ll find that you can add so much to a bookcase of this shape and size, and it could also be placed underneath a television in your living room when it’s mounted on the wall.

With so many different types of bookshelves to choose from, not to mention the option of custom-built units, it should be relatively easy to find the one that’s just right for the space you have in mind. Still, it’s easy to get lost in all the details when you see a cute tree bookshelf, a rustic ladder unit, and a sculptural module and just can’t decide which you like best. At the end of the day, you just have to follow your heart.

13. Put Together a Few Modules to Create a Large Bookcase

It's possible to combine several individual modules to put together a large bookcaseView in gallery
It’s possible to combine several individual modules to put together a large bookcase.

A large bookcase can be created by adding a few smaller units together, as shown in the image above. Whether you already have a few units in your home you can match together, or you go out and purchase a few, you’ll find this to be a great way to accommodate a large book collection. It’s a good idea for anyone who is looking to fill an awkward wall space, where you might not be able to find the perfect shelves on the market to fit your home. By mixing and matching various modules, you’ll find a solution that fits any room in your home perfectly.

14. Add Sleek Wire Shelves for an Industrial Look

These sleek wire shelves have a chic industrial look and maintain an open and spacious feel throughout the roomView in gallery
These sleek wire shelves have a chic industrial look and maintain an open and spacious feel throughout the room.

You probably have a certain look in mind when you think about adding bookshelves to your home, but you’ll be pleased to know they come in a wide variety of designs to fit any home. These sleek wire shelves create an industrial look, which is perfect for a contemporary home or apartment. They also make the room feel much more spacious and open, as they aren’t as solid as other options on our list today. The size of these bookshelves is perfect for a smaller home or a bedroom, but you could of course add multiple units to fit a larger room or to accommodate your extensive book collection.

15. Be Creative With How You Use Your Bookshelves

There are many different uses for a bookcase so it's really fun to be creative in this senseView in gallery
There are many different uses for a bookcase so it’s really fun to be creative in this sense.

While you probably think that bookcases are only reserved for storing books, we hope you’ve seen that they can hold almost anything. You could consider adding bookshelves to your office to hold your office supplies, or you could add them to your family room to store games and DVDs. The kitchen is another place you may want to consider adding bookshelves, as they can hold spices and cookbooks so that you have them out on display at all times. In fact, almost any room in the home could benefit from bookshelves, and you’ll have no issue filling them with your favorite items you love having out on display.

Bookshelves are something that any modern home should consider adding if you don’t already have them. They aren’t just reserved for more traditional homes and make an excellent solution for storing books and almost any item in your home. Bookshelves come in all shapes, sizes, designs, and colors, so you’ll have no issue finding an option that fits your home décor.

Remember, you can mix and match various units and designs to create the aesthetic you are looking for and to build a storage unit that will be useful for your home. We love combining closed and open storage units, as they can help to hide the clutter in your home. Whichever one of these modern bookshelves styling ideas you go for in your house, we hope it helps to add the extra storage space you need to your home this year.