Coastal Styled Bookshelves (how to style shelves)

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Happy Thursday y’all!
I love a short week, don’t you? The weekend is making it’s way here quick.
Yippee! I love and treasure time with my family on the weekends.

But first, I’ve got to share our latest decorating challenge with you all.

Styling bookshelves.
(bookcases, wall shelving, etc)

My friends and I create a challenge and then decorate and post each month around that challenge.
It’s fun and gets those creative juices flowing.
We’ve also created a Facebook group that I hope you’ve joined by now! :)
It’s a low key and very nice place to ask questions and/or share your decor/furniture makeovers.

More on that at the end of the post!
So….on to decorating bookshelves.

Mine are Coastal Styled Bookshelves, of course.
(I restyled my most recent furniture makeover. You can see the details of that here –> “Bookcase Makeover – Pale Blue with White Glaze“)

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - easy way to style shelves - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

I’m not a professional, by any means, but I do love to style and play around with decor.
My way of decorating may not be “proper” but it is what seems to work for me plus what seems pleasing to my eye.

And I do struggle sometimes, I have to be honest.
But that’s okay, I just keep playing with, and moving around, until it comes together and falls into place.
Or falls into a place that I’m happy with, anyway. ;)

So if you struggle too, follow along.

Here is how I created the bookshelves on the first go round…..

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

A little different from the first photo (the bottom shelf area).

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - #interiordesign #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

If you’ll notice, I basically did “groupings” on these shelves.
Each little section, on each shelf, is a grouping.

I think that is key in creating nice looking, nicely decorated shelves.
Adding things in varied height is also important.

Like these books and bottles.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - Groupings Books and Bottles - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

It gives interest to have some upright with some laying flat.
The vintage blue bottles sitting on top of the flat ones are a nice finishing touch.

I just love these blue bottles.
I have to bring them home with me whenever I come across them.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - old blue vintage bottles - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

Here it is with the baskets on the bottom now….

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - add baskets for texture - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

I liked it better with the baskets on the bottom.

If you look in the photo, you will see I staggered the books.
They are on one side, on one shelf, and on the other on the shelf below.
I think this gives a bit of balance.

You may also notice (in the photos without the baskets) that I also staggered the photo framed groupings.
To the right on one shelf, in the middle and to the left at the bottom.

Using decor like this below as a “bookend” is another nice touch.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - Groupings 1 - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

I added a little whimsy with the starfish in the middle of one shelf and the letter “C” at the top.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - styled shelves - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

Another grouping…

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - photos and seashells - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

A photo of my son and his cousin fishing, some seashells and a decorative ceramic bird.
My son, whom by the way, I sent off to school as a SENIOR Tuesday morning.
The baby of the family….almost done with school. Wow.

And I added a few of my Ball Mason jars, of course, right?
They just make everything prettier.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - Ball Mason Jars - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

Photos of my daughter (she’s not that little anymore either) and my son and husband fishing……
…..and a few more coastal touches.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - Small Groupings - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

Another small grouping….

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - create small groupings - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

A photo taken close by where I live, some old (very old, the one on top is from the 1700’s!) books, and more shells.
Because it is a coastal styled bookcase, after all. ;)

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - baskets for texture and utility -#coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

I shopped my house to do the decorating. You may recognize some things I had in other places.
I hate to have to put it all back because I’ve really enjoyed it sitting here decorated all pretty!
But it’s time to sell this piece and move my “bar cabinet” back over here to this spot.

Coastal Styled Bookshelves (Decor Challenge) - how to style shelves - #coastaldecor #styling artsychicksrule

To see even more decorating tips and inspiration, visit my friends below!

Fox Hollow Cottage

Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer

Refresh Restyle

Our Southern Home

Restoration Redoux

Duke Manor Farm


Okay, now it’s your turn.
I’d love to see your shelves all styled up! :)


I can’t wait to see all of your pretty styled shelves!!

Happy weekend friends!

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  1. We are Ball jar twiners :) I see you’ve got some old one too! Aren’t they great? They wrote in the glass with hot wire on those, that is why the BALL is imperfect and varies. I adore mine :) Your shelf looks beautiful!!

    1. Thank you!! And oh yes we are Shannon! I love them so!
      I did not know that about the hot wire!! Very cool, thanks for sharing. :)

  2. It looks nice but where are all the books? You have a bunch of knick knacks which are cute but what about bookcases that are full of books? How do you display them?

    1. Hi Melanie,
      Thank you. I didn’t add a bunch of books on this one as I was trying to incorporate more than just books. As far as displaying books, I think having some upright, some laying down, some stacked in the center, would work nicely. Add in a bowl or some other decorative item on top of a few of them here or there, etc. I think arranging them in varying heights and ways would look nice.
      Hope that helps! :)

    1. I find them all over! Randomly. Some came from small antique shops, some from thrift stores.
      I collected them over several years time. (I have more pictured in other posts)
      I do love them so! :)

    1. Thank you Marie! :)
      Oh I know, that book is a TREASURE! I just love thinking about where it’s been and who it’s been with!

  3. Súper chick, , simple and elegant, as I would say in Spanish “super estiloso” I love all details, speciall yyour family pics ( your daughter is a beauty) and old books, I adore old books…Love your style Nancy¡¡

  4. YOu remind me of my boys. They are in their 50s now, but back in the late 60s and early 70s we lived in Bath, Maine. They were always hauling home blue/green bottles they found along the Kennebec River bank! In the old attic we found two green mucilage bottles shaped like old ink bottles. I still have them and they bring back memories of life on the coast of maine. Thanks for sharing this styling.

    1. Aw that’s so neat!! I would love to be able to walk along the beach/water and find these bottles. How wonderful!
      And how wonderful you have those memories attached to the old bottles you have. :) Even more special.

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