How to Style a Rustic Bookshelf like a Pro

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If you know me, you know I’m someone who loves to rescue old things and turn them into pretty things. But guys, when I saw this line of rustic storage furniture on, I barely blinked before pulling the trigger. It was one of those times when I didn’t even realize I had been wanting a rustic living room bookshelf – but I saw it and it was love at first metal label holder. And I didn’t have to rescue a thing 😉

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You’ll recall that just before Froggy’s arrival, our planked nook looked like this. (You can see our full home tour with this post starting here!)home-tour-planked-living-room-nook-diypassion-com

My grand plan was to move this white and oak shelf into the dining room to act as a mini-butler’s pantry and china cabinet overflow. But here’s the thing. It is just too rickety. It makes me nervous putting heavy things on it and with a Baby in the house now, I just didn’t want to deal with the anxiety. So Dan moved this to the garden room, where it now holds all my terracotta pots and soil stuff in the off-season. It works perfectly. I am now on the hunt for a new dining room solution. I plan to take my time and find just the right thing.

BUUUUUUUUUT – that left me with a giant blank spot in the living room against our planked nook wall. Enter the fabulous rustic living room bookshelf.cube-shelf-with-modern-farmhouse-decor-how-to-style-a-rustic-bookcase

Can you believe it?! It’s as if this shelf was MADE for this little nook. wood-shelf-with-metal-label-holders-how-to-style-a-rustic-bookcase

Truly, I was lusting for its credenza counterpart, but my nook wall is 56″ long and the credenza is a whopping 58.75″ long and would have looked strange in that spot and I couldn’t find another place in the house for the longer piece. mix-metals-and-wood-how-to-style-a-rustic-bookcaseSo I went instead for the cube shape, label holder adorned, multi-functional, shelf that measures 53″ long by 4-feet high and fits perfectly.baskets-books-and-ceramics-how-to-style-a-rustic-bookcaseI chose to upgrade the finish to the Scribed Oak thinking it went a little better with our bleach wood floors and some of the lighter wood tones I’ve been incorporating throughout the house of late.

In terms of tricks for styling a rustic bookcase like a pro, here’s my advice:

  • Pick a colour scheme and stick to it – here I used natural tones, whites, blues and greys. This way, no matter what you use on the shelf, it’ll feel like it goes. Keeping the tones similar is what allowed me to mix my patterns without it seeming too jarring.
  • Mix up your ‘directions’ – place books horizontally and vertically to give the eye space to
  • Mix your finishes – I like to use a few ceramics, clear glass, natural fibres, and living fibres on all my display shelves.
  • Reflective surfaces make everything feel more grand – mirrors, reflective lamps and candles when used sparingly are an excellent way to boost the style on any display shelf.rustic-shelves-with-neutral-farmhouse-decor-how-to-style-a-rustic-bookcase

As you can see, the current plan is to have it house our ‘adult’ things – books, baskets, pictures and mementos. In fact, Dan’s record collection even fits on this shelf! But my grand plan, down the line, is to transition the bottom shelves into storage for Froggy’s living room toys. how-to-style-a-rustic-bookcase-with-neutral-decorI have no doubt that even if I try and try, I will not be able to stop the toys from creeping into every room – so I might as well embrace it and find space for them now, right?



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Hi! I’m Erin and I wrote this post!

I’m a former broadcast journalist turned DIY blogger; I love all things paint, and power tools. My husband and I work on DIY Passion to share our commitment to inspire others to see beauty in the every day. I love dogs, cats, Han Solo and pie – probably in that order. If you’d like to chat about working together, please get in touch and sign up for our email updates.

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