10 Tips on How to Style a Bookrack / Soul & Tables Blog

10 Tips on How to Style a Bookrack

You just bought a bookrack and now you need to arrange it nicely with all the books you have accumulated over the years - sounds familiar, right? But you do not know where to start. Do not panic, styling a bookrack is actually quite easy. Let Helene, head style honcho at guide you!

Bookracks are very useful at home. They allow you to store books in an organised way and showcase decorative accents, family photos and souvenirs from your latest vacation. The bookrack itself, such as Ethnicraft’s new oak Z rack, is also a lovely piece of furniture that adds warmth and personality to any room.

If you have enough space, you can place two to three Z racks side by side. With shelves shaped like the facets of a diamond, the effect is just amazing.

Ethnicraft oak Z rack

Whatever the location - your living room, bedroom, office, under the stairs or even in the kitchen (yes, in the kitchen) – here are a few easy tips for you to style your bookrack!

Tip 1: Start with the larger items

Start with an empty bookrack, then place books and objects on it, beginning with the largest items and finishing with the smallest.

Tip 2: Group books together, based on their size and colour 

Group books together

Tip 3: Make sure all the shelves are filled without overloading them

Combine books with decorative accents, frames, vases, boxes, etc.

Fill the shelves

Tip 4: Pay attention to the height of the racks

If the space between two racks is quite high, make sure your items fill up 80% of the space. If you have books, you can lay 3 to 4 of them across the shelf and display a decorative object on top to give an impression of height.

Fill 80% of height of shelves

Tip 5: Try to create symmetries

Consider your bookrack as a whole, take a step back and try to create symmetries. A box on the top right-hand corner can counterbalance a box on the bottom left-hand corner. Shapes must respond to each other without seeking perfect symmetries. See what I mean?

Achieve symmetry

Tip 6: Do the same for colours and materials

Same goes for colours and materials: there should be touches here and there without perfect symmetry: a touch of red on the right-hand side, a touch of red on the left-hand side, a vase on the top, a glass dome at the bottom. Never place the same object twice on two shelves that are too close from each other as it’s visually repetitive.

Tip 7: Try not to have more than 3 to 4 different colours

If you have white and black books, you might want to add a third colour, as well as a material such as wood or glass.


Tip 8: Books can be much more

Remove book covers to give your collection of hard-cover books a well-read touch. Alternatively, display coffee table books so that you show the cover; it can be an easy way to fill a bookrack.

Style your books

Tip 9: Play with ‘three’

'Three' is one of interior designers’ favourite numbers when it comes to home styling. Display three candles holders or three decorative objects of various shapes and heights, for example.

Rule of Three

Tip 10: Avoid empty shelves and tiny objects on a large shelf

Now, you are set to arrange your new bookrack!


Helene is the founder of, the first online marketplace for effortless chic home decor and furniture in Singapore. Vases and decorative accents shown in the pictures can be purchased online or directly at Stylodeco’s showroom (by appointment only, contact them here)