Not Just For Novels: What to put on bookshelves besides books

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Hey, home decor enthusiasts! If you’re anything like me, a bookshelf or bookcase isn’t just a functional piece of furniture, it’s a stage for self-expression and a mirror into your personality. Sure, they were designed to hold books, but who says we can’t reinvent them for a little more flair?

Whether your bookshelf is a blank canvas waiting for a creative touch or it’s half-filled with books and ready for some sprucing up, we’ve got some inspired and engaging ideas for you.

What to put on bookshelves besides books

1. Photos and Art

When we talk about personalizing your bookcase, what better way to do it than with photos of your favorite people, places, or moments? Place these photos in stylish frames and scatter them throughout your shelves to tell your story visually. But don’t stop at photos! Small pieces of art can also find a perfect home on your bookshelf, adding a vibrant splash of creativity.

2. Plants

Introducing nature into your home has a host of benefits, from improving air quality to enhancing your mood. Small indoor plants, trendy succulents, or even artificial ones (we won’t tell) can bring a pop of color and vitality to your bookshelves. Pair them with cool pots or decorative vases to up the style quotient.

3. Collectibles and Keepsakes

Whether it’s coins from various countries, antique porcelain figures, or action figures, your bookcase is an excellent place to exhibit these pieces. Not only do they give your guests something interesting to look at, but they also serve as conversation starters!

4. Candles and Lanterns

If you’re a fan of creating cozy, warm spaces, candles and lanterns are your best friends. They come in all shapes, sizes, and scents, so you can pick the ones that match your style and preference. Do remember to put safety first and keep any flammable items away from them.

5. Decorative Boxes and Baskets

Decorative boxes and baskets are not just visually appealing but also super practical. You can use them to store small items that would otherwise clutter your space. Plus, they add texture and depth to your bookshelf.

6. DIY Art

Are you a closeted artist or crafter? Display your own works! Be it a mini canvas painting, a piece of pottery, or a cute macramé wall hanging, your bookshelf is an ideal spot to show off your creative chops.

7. Books (Not Just for Reading)

Yes, we’re talking about books on bookshelves, but not in the way you think. Books can also serve as decorative elements when they’re color-coordinated, stacked in interesting patterns, or paired with eye-catching bookends.

8. Lighting

Adding a small desk lamp or LED lights can dramatically change the look of your bookcase, especially in the evening. It also gives you an opportunity to highlight your favorite items.


As you get started, remember this – there’s no right or wrong way to decorate your bookcases or bookshelves. Be creative, be bold, and above all, let your shelves reflect you and your unique style. Enjoy the process and don’t be afraid to switch things up now and then. Happy decorating!

And before you go, remember this: whether it’s bookshelves, bookcases, or any other space in your home, the goal is to create an environment that makes you feel content and comfortable. Stay tuned for more decor tips and tricks!

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