Easy Bookshelf Styling Tips with The City Sage

Bookshelf styling tips 1
Styled by: Anne Sage of The City Sage Photos by: Colin Price

I’m so excited to share this project with you, Layla Grayce readers! You see, I have a 1960’s shelving unit that is my favorite piece of furniture. I stalked it at a vintage store in my neighborhood, waiting nearly two years for it to go on sale until I finally bit the bullet and bought it. But then, once I got it to my living room, I didn’t treat it very well. I haphazardly put books and knickknacks on it without much care. It didn’t feel like a reflection of me—not like a favorite item of furniture should! And after a while, I noticed that the shelves were sagging under the weight of everything I’d thoughtlessly been tossing onto them. Either my much-loved vintage piece would be ruined, or it was time to clean up my act.

Bookshelf styling tips 2
Styled by: Anne Sage of The City Sage Photos by: Colin Price

So I thought about what I wanted my bookshelf to say about me. I wanted it to reflect my taste, my style, my interests. I like color sometimes, but mostly neutrals. I like a bit of glamour and a bit of the exotic, but I’m simple too. Most of all, I like to mix and match, swap and switch. My style is a constant exploration of contrast and juxtaposition, old and new, playful and serious. Was there a way I could have it all? 

Bookshelf styling tips 3
Styled by: Anne Sage of The City Sage Photos by: Colin Price

Well. It’s not life or death. It’s a bookshelf. And I decided that yes, I could have have it all! I took fashion’s color-blocking trend and applied it to my interior design. Using what I already owned (and and a few new decor accents from Layla Grayce) I created four neutral and two colored zones on the shelving unit. Each one contains books I adore, curios I’ve collected over the years, vases and other vessels that look just as appealing empty as they do overflowing with flowers. The best part about this approach? I can easily add and subtract elements using the color scheme as my guide. It took me some trial and error to reach this point, but the journey has been part of the fun. I’ve shared more tips and photos on my blog, and thanks to Layla Grayce for being a part of this project! 


1. Gold Leaf Convex Wall Mirrors 2. Bungalow 5 Melrose Table Lamp 3. Herringbone Photo Frame 4. Illume Boho Candle (similar to shown) 5. Rosanna Bon Bon White Footed Square Bowl 6. Rosanna Les Petite Sweets Compote 7. Rosanna Etched Vase

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One Response to “Easy Bookshelf Styling Tips with The City Sage”

  1. Melissa de la Fuente Says:

    THAT is spectacular. Seriously….genius to use color blocking and I simply love it. That Anne is a good egg. :)

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