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Bookshelf Wealth: 5 Tips for Incorporating This New, Timeless Design Trend

The design world produces new style movements left and right, and sometimes a certain concept resonates with so many that it becomes timeless. Bookshelf Wealth is one such trend that’s here to stay: focusing on transforming bookshelves (and their surroundings) into curated havens that reflect your personality. Whether you’re a bookworm or simply enjoy a cozy, lived-in space, you can experience the benefits of this design trend, from its visual warmth and creativity to its feeling of hominess. Delve into the world of Bookshelf Wealth with these five design tips and furniture recommendations, so you can turn those classic storage pieces into stunning displays of character.

1. Find the Perfect Bookshelf

Though bookshelves come in a variety of shapes and sizes, certain types fit the bookshelf wealth aesthetic more than others. To truly capture that cozy, lived-in feel, we suggest looking for taller, sturdier shelving that features dark or warm wood, like the Bella Nuova and Lunada. Both have a traditional rectangular structure that echoes the floor-to-ceiling shelving seen in libraries; perfect for establishing a scholarly vibe. This doesn’t mean you can’t go more contemporary with your bookshelves – just make sure that any artistic features highlight the beauty of the books themselves, allowing enough space for both to stand out. Both the Nautilus and Spinnaker have unique, contemporary structures that allow books and other items to be displayed and stacked in multiple ways, creating a playful aesthetic that is anything but minimalist.

2. Curate your Collection

Your bookshelf setup should feel intentional and authentic to you; curating a collection of books and other items that bring you joy, inspiration, or simple enjoyment will keep things from feeling cluttered or overwhelming. This step is entirely customizable to your preferences. Start by organizing your books on the floor or on a table in a way that makes the most sense to you. Whether you sort by genre, color, size, author, or something else, you want your books to feel easily accessible. After this, you can play with different stacking methods on your shelves to add visual depth and intrigue. Odd numbers are your friend – both in the number of books in a stack and the number of stacks themselves – because they help avoid a too “perfect” look that hinders bookshelf wealth’s authenticity. You can alternate vertical and horizontal stacks, use risers, pots, or block art pieces to display them at different heights, and face out books with your favorite covers, effectively using them as the art they are. The beauty of bookshelf wealth is how customizable it is – what may speak to you now may not later, so easily switch up your display when needed.

3. Personalize with Items of Importance

We have good news. That vintage vase you picked up on a whim now has the perfect use – adding décor to your bookshelf. Adding items other than books to your shelves helps truly personalize your space, highlighting items that are important to you. From unique pieces that have sentimental value, like an inherited jewelry dish or photograph from a family vacation, to knick-knacks of your favorite movies or music, the possibilities are endless. Don’t worry too much about creating a cohesive design theme; these personal items help create a rich story that’s authentic to you, the very epitome of bookshelf wealth.

4. Layer Art & Lighting

To ramp up the coziness of your reading space, we suggest incorporating a variety of lamps and art works. The ideal art and accessories for bookshelf wealth have enduring styles that always feel fresh but fitting. Think peaceful watercolor pieces like Sparks Between Us I and II or pull chain lamps with an upgraded vintage look like Carissa or Palmer. Landscape depictions and photographs are also a great choice; by bringing different environments and worlds into your space, they can increase your imagination while reading, echoing the descriptive words on the page. By layering designs with different sizes, patterns, and colors, you create the feeling of a showcase, like one you might find in a museum, which is key to capturing that lived-in, timeless feel. Place a table or desk lamp on a shelf and a classic, Edison-bulb floor lamp in the corner; add an earthy-toned flowerpot to store keys or display bookmarks; pair a traditional canvas wall art with a three-dimensional wall sculpture like Fulminate. This mix and match of items adds diversity amongst your books, giving the eye fun colors and textures to enjoy.

5. Add Cozy Seating Areas

Once you’ve crafted your perfect bookshelf setup, you’ll want to enjoy it as much as possible. Being surrounded by everything your shelves, books, and decor have to offer, whether you’re reading, working, or crafting, is what bookshelf wealth is all about. Creating a cozy seating area (or two) will give you the perfect spot for relaxation and inspiration – and contribute to the overall feel of your bookshelves. If you have a bigger space, consider adding a chaise lounge or sprawling armchair for the ultimate homey feel; the Silas chaise comes in two muted color tones perfect for a serene atmosphere, while the Cullin chair has a plush, inviting fabric and silhouette. For a smaller area, or if your bookshelf setup is part of another room, a chair with a minimalist frame like the Edge or a slim bench like Allure can add enough seating space to relax without cluttering up your room. Add depth and warmth with rugs, throws, and pillows. Besides adding physical comfort, pillows like Wavin and Feather add subtle color and texture, while rugs with distinct patterns, such as the geometric-inspired Caldera rug or gradient-ombre of Taos, can complement or contrast any art you’ve hung up.

By incorporating these tips, you can achieve true bookshelf wealth – creating an enduring space that celebrates you and the things you love and transforming your bookshelves into a vibrant display of your evolving personality (and book collection). We hope you curl up with a good book and enjoy being surrounded by your personal haven.