Interior Designer Gale Van Ackeren’s Tips for Decorating Your Shelves

Filling a bookshelf can be a daunting task for homeowners. But it doesn’t have to be.

Interior Designer Gale Van Ackeren says the most important part of a bookshelf is the books.

“Usually what most people are missing on bookshelves are the books,” she says.

Gale recommends visiting Half Price Books and purchasing “books by the yard.” Homeowners can customize the books to fit their color and décor.

She says it also is important to be mindful of the way books are placed on the shelves.

“Don’t line them up like soldiers. Have some up, some down and some angled,” she says.

In addition to books, Gale suggests adding a few meaningful art pieces. But save the family photos for designated “gallery” spaces on walls.

“We all like pictures of our children and dogs everywhere, but by sprinkling them throughout the house—it dilutes their artistic value,” she says.

Lighting also is key. “It’s important to have appropriate lighting on the shelf,” she says.

“Another thing that is a nice touch with bookshelves is to line the back of the shelf with wall covering.” However, she says, make sure and use a subtle wall covering—nothing too bright or busy.