No longer home to just books, today’s bookcases can hold just about anything you please, including bins, picture frames, ornaments and more. The way you dress your shelves helps personalize a room. Here are five simple ways to make the most of your bookcase.

# 1 Group Your Books

Small bookcase against a wall holding many books, a plant and 2 sculptures.

There’s no need to fill your shelves with books from end to end. In fact, it’s more visually interesting if you don’t. Instead, cluster small groups of books by color, topic or other criteria of your choosing. Grouping books looks great and also helps with organization. 

# 2 Add the Unexpected

The bottom shelf of a bookcase holding a box with a red throw blanket in side.

Why not throw in a few accessories to give your shelves a personal touch? It’s a great way to add interesting colors, shapes and textures to your bookcase mix. Picture frames, throw blanket, vases and candle holders, are just a few options. 

# 3 Add a Magazine Holder or Two

 light brown wood open faced bookcase with four shelves and storage drawer holding magazines and books and other keepsakes.

Tired of seeing your favorite magazines scattered around the house or in random stacks and piles? Corral them in attractive magazine storage bins. These handy bins let you label, store and find magazines when you need them.

# 4 Add Great Bookends

Last two shelves of a bookcase with bookends displayed as well as a box and books.

Bookends are fun to shop for, and there’s never been a larger variety available. If you’re the crafty type, you can even create your own bookends; simply adorn and the back side of ornaments, large rocks, decorative boxes and more. 

# 5 Stash Desk Accessories and Office Supplies

Urban designed office setting with a desk and a bookcase on one will topped with industrial sculptures such as globes, lamps and sculptures.

Is your desk or office space too small? Bookcases are great for storing pencil cups, desk trays and other easily-accessible office supplies. You can even store printer paper in an attractive bin on a shelf.

Bookcases can be so much more than a place to store books. Experiment with a few of the ideas above to find the bookcase-dressing style that works best for you.