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Bookcase Styling for Renters


Hi there!  Are you ready for our first “Monday Decor” post?  I really think the new plan of action will encourage me to keep decor and diy projects rolling in our new rental and also continue to find design inspiration.

Today I’m sharing our little foyer (my first foyer!) styling with you.  I was really excited to see built in bookcases when we walked through the house and have been anxious to style it with our books and decor. Here’s my process for decorating a bookcase. SONY DSCFollow the rule of thirds! 1/3 books, 1/3 accessories, and 1/3 pictures.

The first thing I did was separate all of my hardbound books from paperbacks and removed any dust jackets to expose pretty bindings. SONY DSCI love the look of color blocking.  So while I was going through my books I started putting them in stacks by hues (greens, blues, white/creams, and grays/blacks). SONY DSC

After I was finished dividing our books, I went through my kids rooms’ upstairs to add a few of their books to the foyer. (I like to have a few books for them near the living room.)

Our house is so bright and clean, I chose fewer accessories and pictures than usual to keep our bookcase/foyer light and airy.

Tip: “Don’t knock it till you try it!”

Keep experimenting with your knick knacks and pictures until you enjoy the “look” of the bookcase.  I place something than take a few steps back to see if colors and textures are spread evenly throughout.

Tip:  If you like a modern feel, place your books and accessories toward the front and straight (instead of an angle).SONY DSC

In the end, I decided to “color code” my accessories with the books for a playful arrangement.  Our new rug looks fantastic in the foyer.SONY DSC

Tip:  If you have ugly paperbacks you would like to keep in the collection, hide them in a decorative bin(s) or basket(s) on your bookcase.  SONY DSC

I’m still on the quest to decorate without putting holes in the wall (like my curtains).  I styled the top of the bookcase by leaning a few of our art pieces and hung my two little honeycomb mirrors and small gold frames (on the book shelves) with command strips.  I’ll admit it’s difficult for me to not cover all of our walls with galleries like I did in our last home, but I really like the clean look of our foyer.


The rest of the house may be in disarray but first impressions count, right? 😉

For more detailed tips on decorating bookcases, click here and heresignatureposts-feature



  1. looks awesome, kathy! loved your photo on instagram! what a great home you are making yourselves in japan!

  2. In Viola’s room I used really strong Velcro tape to hang up some black-out shades. They worked great but it did pull a little paint off the wall. You can either sew the velcro to the curtain or just stick it on. I can send you some if they don’t have it there.

    1. I used command velcro strips to hang up curtains but I super glued the two velcro sides together to make it stronger. 🙂 The 100 yen store out here has all sorts of wall hanging things.

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