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How to Style an Étagère or Bookshelf



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Have an etagere or bookshelf you need to decorate? Follow these guidelines to decorate it!. #bookshelfdecor #bookshelfstyling #bookshelfideas

Let me start off by saying that my etagere is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in my apartment. I knew I could invest in one because 1. It will never go out of style and 2. I would have it for many years to come. In the next week or two, I will blog about all of the items you SHOULD and SHOULDN’T invest in if you live in an apartment. Of course, an etagere/ bookshelf is something you can absolutely invest in. It took many months of saving, but I finally bought the perfect etagere for my apartment:

I needed something narrow and not too tall, and when I saw this etagere for the first time I instantly fell in love. If you want an Etagere/ bookshelf and don’t want to spend big bucks on one, you can head over to your local Ikea, get the VITTSJÖ bookshelf, and spray paint it gold or whatever color you prefer. The only thing I have to mention is to NOT DIY a bookshelf if you live in an apartment: You can only spray paint large pieces of furniture if you live in a house or somewhere where you have outdoor space.

The key to decorating any sort of shelf is simplicity. You want your decor to stand out without feeling too overcrowded.

My list of necessary items on a bookshelf or etagere are:

  1. Books
  2. Small decor
  3. Vase(s)


Kind of like styling a coffee table, styling an etagere has it’s own formula. It’s important to spread your books and small decor throughout your shelving unit. For example, you don’t just want to keep all of your books on one shelf. You also want to make sure whatever decor, books, or items on your shelving unit compliments the color of it. If you have a gold etagere, make sure to keep a few gold pieces of decor on the shelves. Likewise, if you have a silver etagere, make sure to keep a few silver pieces of decor on it.

If you want, you can also incorporate flowers or plants into the design.

I hope this post has been helpful and please feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below! I’ll make sure to link all resources in the Shop section.

xo, Chelsey

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

I’m an interior decorator, author, and “heirloom hunter”, discovering and returning lost family artifacts along my search for home accents. I'm also a dog mom, and very well aware there are some people who just follow me for him.

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