Decorating your shelves or bookcases for fall doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Today I’m breaking it all down, and sharing how to style bookshelves for fall using 7 simple steps.
The best part? Anyone can do it, and it works for any size of shelf or bookcase.
Before we get started, if you haven’t read the tutorial on how we turned IKEA Billy Bookshelves into this wall of built-ins, you can read that here: IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack – Wall Of Built-ins
How To Style Bookshelves For Fall
step 1. start with an empty shelf
The first thing I always do when restyling my bookshelves, is remove everything from the shelves. Even if I know something will be going back on, I still like to start with a blank slate.
I then group items together so I can see what I’m working with. I group my large vases together, artwork together, family photos, books, etc. Tip: I wrote a blog post about the 8 Items To Use For Easy Shelf Styling you may find helpful.
step 2. books
I always start with placing books throughout my shelves- horizontally as well as vertically. I also like them leaning against the side of the shelf or placed in the middle with bookends. For this particular shelf, I knew I was going to use more artwork than I typically do (LOVING my fall artwork,) so I kept the books to a minimum knowing I could add them in later if it was needed.
Side note: we have a lot of closed storage where we store the majority of our books. If you will be styling all of your books on your shelf, this blog post by Room For Tuesday is super helpful: 10 Tips For Shelf Styling With Lots Of Books.
step 3. artwork & family photos
After I have placed my books, I do the same with my artwork & family photos. I placed a piece of artwork on almost every shelf for fall, because like I mentioned above, I’m loving my fall artwork this year. Leave a few empty to ensure the shelves don’t get too busy.
I like to have a mix of different material frames on my shelves as well. For this look I have used brass, bronze & wood.
I like to lean my artwork, stack smaller family photos on books or layer them in front of the artwork.
Tip: for fall display autumn photos of your family! Don’t have any? When the leaves start falling, head outside and take some!
step 4: place large items
For step 4, I like to stand back and look at the shelves and try to balance out the artwork and books by placing large vases throughout the shelves. You could also use baskets for this, which I often do. I like to have varying heights on each shelf, so I place the vases accordingly.
Tip: for fall I kept my vases in neutral and earthy colors. Decide on what your fall colors are, and stick to vases in that color family.
I will add greenery to some of the vases, but I like to start with them empty at this point.
step 5. the top shelf
At this point I like to finish the top shelf, as I find it easiest to balance the rest of the shelves once the top is complete.
As you can see from above, I don’t place anything tiny on the top shelf. It should be something that doesn’t get lost up top.
step 6: smaller decorative items
After the top is complete, I like to fill in empty spots with smaller decorative pieces like a small vase or candle. I place them in front of artwork, stacked on books or grouped together in a set.
Like the bigger vases, I kept the colors neutral and earthy for my smaller decorative pieces.
Also like the bigger items, some will get filled with flowers or greenery, but I like to start with them empty.
step 7: greenery & flowers
And the very last thing I do is to place a few plants and/or fresh flowers. For the shelf above, I have used mostly faux greenery, with some fresh flowers in fall colors in a small vase. You can see I don’t fill a lot of the vases, as I don’t want it to feel too overdone. I place a few, step back and evaluate, and place a few more if needed.
Tip: Use fall stems from your yard for filling your vases! Sadly, I don’t have any, so I’m settling for faux.
my fall shelves
I hope you have found this post helpful! As always, leave a question or comment below if you would like!
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Find more fall inspiration from The Sommer Home: