This Is the One Bookshelf Styling Hack You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet — and It Works for the IKEA BILLY Bookcase

published Nov 5, 2022
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

If you’re a book lover, you probably want to display your collection prominently in your home. Whether you’re always going back to certain titles. or you just love filling your space with colorful spines and tried-and-true classics, there’s always room for one more book. But what happens when you’ve actually run out of shelf space? Storage solutions for books can be a Goldilocks situation, in which one bookcase is too large, another shelf is too small, and it’s hard to find one that’s just right while still allowing room for your collection to grow. So what do you do when your books are in flux, and you haven’t totally filled out your bookcases?

Sure, the vases, frames, and trinkets you’ve amassed over the years can do the trick — and I definitely encourage dabbling in a bit of shelf styling. If you want an all-books bookcase though, I’ve stumbled upon the perfect solution, courtesy of Lauren Park’s Toronto apartment.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Park works in publishing, so it’s no wonder that books are a focal point in her home. “I am happiest in the thrall of an offbeat, inviting story — our home, to me, is an extension of that feeling,” she says. “Fairy tales, period dramas, and fantasy novels have all lent imagination to this space.”

In the dining room, she put three BILLY bookcases together: Specifically, she has two of the standard 31-inch wide bookcases flanking one half-size BILLY in the middle. If you look closely though, you’ll see that some of the books are turned cover out, instead of spine-out. Visually, it looks like she has a bunch of little clusters on the shelves, which are interspersed with the way you’re probably used to seeing books. This method of display takes up a lot more space and is something that you’ve maybe seen at a bookstore or library. The bookshelves appear completely filled out, but in reality, there’s still lots of room to grow.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

As a bonus, this is the perfect way to put special emphasis on your favorite books by turning those particular covers out to face guests. Since there’s nothing behind the out-turned books, this is also a clever way to create some hidden storage on an existing bookcase for small items like extra candles, lightbulbs, pieces of seasonal decor — you name it. While Park organized her books by color, you can certainly arrange yours alphabetically by author, by genre, or however else you prefer.

Would you try this method for filling out your bookcases? Tell us below!