3 easy steps to styling your bookcase

When my boyfriend Sam and I first moved into our one-bedroom apartment in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, there were a few things I knew I wanted to incorporate into our living room, namely a gallery wall, a bar cart and a styled-out bookcase.

After poring through endless bookcase images on Pinterest and reading numerous articles offering tips and tricks, I’ve boiled it all down to a super easy three-step process to achieve that styled-out bookcase we all know and love.


Step one: Gather an assortment of your favorite objects, tchotchkes, and books–everything from sculptures to souvenirs to small potted plants. Feel free to pull more items than you’ll actually use so that you have plenty of options.


Step two: Sort your books by color and place the color-coded stacks on different parts of your bookcase. Place some stacks upright and others on their sides to give a bit of a haphazard look. Be sure to leave some spaces book-free so that you have room for your larger objects.


Step three: Now that you’ve created little book nooks, select objects that will fit nicely in the open spots on top of and next to your book stacks. It will likely take a few tries to nail that perfect combination, so don’t be afraid to arrange and rearrange and rearrange again.

If you need some further guidance, there are a few easy tricks to creating eye-pleasing vignettes within your bookcase:


1. Sometimes less is more. A beautiful object placed on a single, substantial book can make a strong statement.


2. Rule of threes. Objects arranged in odd numbers look most pleasing to the eye. Placing three objects of varying heights together is a surefire way to create a nice vignette.


3. Color is key. Since you’ve grouped your books by color, choose objects that either match the books for a modern monochromatic look (like the black camera and books on the right) or contrast the books for a nice visual effect (like the peacock pot and yellow books on the left).


Voila! How easy was that?! Try out this super simple bookcase styling method, then post a photo on Instagram and tag me @theneonteaparty so I can see your newfound skills in action!

peace, love and neon,



  1. Carmen on November 2, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    So cute! Love the color of that bookcase! :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • the neon tea party on January 4, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you!!! If you can’t tell it’s Ikea, though unfortunately they don’t sell that color anymore. I believe they currently have kelly green, though! xx

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