Organization Tips

How To Use Bookends the Proper Way

April 30, 2024

Reviewed by
Suze Dowling

How To Use Bookends the Proper Way

Bookends, often overlooked yet essential, play a role in organizing your beloved collection of books and elevating the aesthetic appeal of your living space. So, let’s explore the art of using bookends the proper way, striking a balance between functionality and style. So, let's see how these understated yet versatile accessories can transform your shelves and tabletops.

What Is the Functional and Aesthetic Value of Bookends?

Bookends are the unsung heroes of a well-curated shelf or desk. While serving a practical purpose by preventing books from toppling over, bookends also hold the power to enhance the overall look and feel of a room. When your novels are neatly framed by intricately designed bookends, they add a touch of sophistication to your reading nook or home office.

When it comes to choosing bookends, the options are as diverse as your taste in literature. From sleek metallic finishes to differing shapes and figures, bookends come in plenty of styles to suit various interior design themes. 

Whether you prefer minimalist designs for a modern aesthetic or ornate bookends for a touch of vintage charm, there is a pair of bookends waiting to be the perfect accent piece in your space.

How To Choose the Right Bookends

As you set out to find the perfect bookends, remember that choosing the right ones can make a world of difference in your home decor. When selecting bookends, think of them as design elements that blend perfectly with your space. So, opt for bookends that complement the style and color scheme of your room, whether you lean toward modern chic or vintage charm.

Materials play a significant role in the aesthetics of bookends. From quirky resin or colorful finishes to sleek marble or minimalist clear bookends, the material choice can either blend seamlessly with your decor or make a bold statement. Size matters, too — ensure that your bookends are proportionate to the size of your books and the shelving unit to maintain visual balance.

What Are Some Placement Techniques?

Bookends can help create a sense of balance and symmetry in your space. Whether you're styling a bookshelf, a side table, or a desk, placing them strategically can transform a cluttered display into a visually captivating one.

Experiment with different arrangements, from classic symmetric placement to more eclectic setups that showcase your unique style. Consider varying the height of your books to create visual interest or using bookends to divide sections of your shelves for a structured look.

For a minimalist aesthetic, opt for symmetrical bookend placement, bookending a small stack of books, creating a clean and streamlined appearance. If you prefer a more dynamic look, mix and match different-sized bookends and place them at varying angles to infuse a sense of movement and creativity.

The goal is to turn your shelves into a curated showcase of your personality and style. Let your bookends play their part in creating a space that reflects your unique taste and design sensibility.

What Are Some DIY Bookend Ideas?

Being creative and resourceful is key to personalizing your decor with DIY bookend projects. Not only do DIY bookends add a unique touch to your space, but they also allow you to express your creativity in a fun and budget-friendly way. 

Here are a few DIY bookend ideas to get you started:

Vintage Book Stack Bookends

Create rustic charm by stacking old hardcover books and securing them with twine or decorative ribbon. These book stack bookends add a touch of nostalgia to your shelves.

Geometric Concrete Bookends

Embrace the industrial chic trend by crafting geometric concrete bookends. Pour concrete into molds of your desired shape, let them set, and then paint or seal for a modern look.

Upcycled Toy Bookends

Give old toys a new life by turning them into playful bookends. Simply glue or screw the toys onto wooden or metal bases, and you have bookends that spark a bit of joy.

Get creative with materials, colors, and shapes to make DIY bookends that reflect your personality and style. The satisfaction of crafting something with your own hands and adding a personal touch to your decor is unparalleled.

How To Showcase Bookends in Different Spaces

Enjoy the versatility of bookends by showcasing them in various spaces throughout your home. From the cozy corners of your living room to the (possibly) organized chaos of your home office, bookends can serve as design accents that elevate the aesthetic appeal of every room. 

Here are some inspiring ideas on how to creatively incorporate them into different spaces:

Living Room

Display your favorite novels alongside elegant bookends on a coffee table to create a sophisticated focal point. Choose bookends that complement your decor theme, adding a touch of refinement to your living room.

Home Office

Keep your work essentials organized by using stylish bookends to hold up reference books or files on your desk. Opt for sleek and functional bookends that blend seamlessly with your office decor, enhancing both organization and visual appeal.


Create a cozy reading nook by placing bookends on bedside tables to keep your nighttime reads in place. Choose bookends that reflect your personal style, whether it's minimalist and modern or whimsical and eclectic, adding a personal touch to your bedroom decor.

By experimenting with different placements and styles, you can transform ordinary shelves and tabletops into attractive displays that showcase your love for literature and design sensibilities. Let your creativity lead the way as you discover the endless possibilities of using bookends to enhance the ambiance and functionality of your living spaces.

How Can You Maintain and Care for Bookends?

Just like any other decor accessory, bookends require proper care to stay in top shape and continue enhancing your living space. Here are some tips to help you maintain and care for your beloved bookends:

  • Regular Dusting: Keep your bookends looking their best by dusting them regularly with a soft, dry cloth to remove any build-up of dust or debris.
  • Polishing: Depending on the material of your bookends, use appropriate cleaners or polishes to maintain their shine and luster.
  • Avoid Moisture: Protect your bookends from moisture, as it can damage certain materials over time. Keep them in a dry area away from sources of direct moisture.
  • Inspect Periodically: Check your bookends periodically for any signs of wear or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent further deterioration.

By giving your bookends the attention they deserve, you can ensure that they continue to be both functional and decorative elements in your home decor. Proper maintenance prolongs the life of your bookends and lets you enjoy them for years to come, adding charm and character to your living space.

The Takeaway

When it comes to home decor, bookends stand as timeless accessories. From their practical role in organizing books to their decorative charm in elevating interior aesthetics, bookends have a unique ability to leave a lasting impression on your living space.

Embrace creativity, experiment with placement and styles, and infuse your personal touch into every design decision. Whether you opt for classic designs or embark on DIY projects to craft your own unique bookends, let these versatile accessories be a reflection of your personality and taste.

At Open Spaces, we’re committed to helping you enhance your living spaces with functional and aesthetically pleasing home organization solutions. It is our goal to help you embrace creativity, experiment with placements, and infuse personal touches into your design decisions. Check out our collection of homeware solutions to inspire joy as you turn your house into a home.


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Minimalist Interior Design: Everything You Need to Know About This Intentional and 

Pared-Down Style | Architectural Digest

Contemporary Chic: How to Achieve a Modern Look | InStyle Deco Paris

Symmetry vs. Asymmetry - Recalling basic design principles | Interaction Design

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