Decorating Bookcases with More Than Books

I didn’t show all the finished details in my post Designing and Building Home Office Built-ins, and I promised to share more later. In this post, I’m showing how I decorated the bookcases.

Built-in wallpapered bookcases

Wallpapered Bookcases

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I used leftover wallpaper on the backs of the bookcases. The easiest way to do this was to paste the wallpaper onto one big piece of hardboard (one for each bookcase) and nail it to the back of the open bookcases before installing them.

I wasn’t sure if it would be the best choice, but I’m glad I did and love how it looks.

Unpacking ALL The Books

Blue office built-ins with a desk area

Before this makeover, the room had IKEA bookcases full of books and those books needed to find a place again. I didn’t want to stuff my beautiful wallpapered bookcases to the brim with books.

On the flip side, looking at photos of perfectly manicured offices and bookcases these days, it’s hard to find a single book in sight! Or they are turned with the pages facing forward to look uniform. It looks beautiful, but it’s just not my vibe.

Some of our books really aren’t display-worthy, and I opted to place them in the tall upper cabinets with doors. However, I like to see my design and decorating books on display. The same goes for my collections by my favorite authors.

Mixing Books And Decor

A creative workspace

Decorating bookcases with a mix of books and decor is not a new or unique concept. That being said, you can give it a unique and personal touch by decorating it with things reflecting your personality. That is what I tried to achieve with these bookcases.

Creativly decorated bookcases with amix of books and decor

The books in the bookcase on the left are mainly interior design, art, poetry and gardening. The top shelf is the odd one out with my kids’ yearbooks because that was the only place left to put them.

Decorating With Unique Collections

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On the bottom shelf, I have a tray with all my fan decks and color swatches. I use them a lot and love to have them nearby.

A wooden bowl filled with various cabinet pulls and handles

After a few decades of furniture makeovers, I have quite a collection of drawer pulls and handles. They look beautiful displayed in a wooden bowl and might just be my favorite on these shelves.

A 3d puzzle of a victorian villa displayed on a bookshelf

On the top shelf is the most darling 3D puzzle that was a Christmas gift from Stephen (it was on my wishlist). I like to joke that my husband bought me a villa for Christmas; I just had to build it myself!

And On The Right…

Decorating bookcases with books and personal items

On the top shelf is Afrikaans poetry and literature, which I had to read while at university. It’s my sentimental section!

Decorating bookcases with books and a variety of paintbrushes in containers

The two middle shelves are all fiction favorites. On the bottom shelf, you can see a bunch of notebooks; yes, I use them all!

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And then, of course, what would I be without my paintbrushes? Big ones, small ones; I love them all and use them all.

These are all the things that spark my creativity, and it feels perfect to have it all displayed in my office.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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3d puzzle villa
Cabinet pulls
White wooden bowl
Feels like home