How-to Beautify Your Bookcase

When artfully arranged, it can be a stylish inventory of interests, not just a storage unit. Here's how to go from cluttered to curated.

Artfully designed bookshelf
Photo: David Hillegas

Add some art.

Bookcases are not just for books—and art needn't be just for walls. Here's a fresh idea: Hang small artworks from the shelves themselves. (Paintings can be easily removed for access to your books.) Sea life accessories and other objects d'art will give bookcases an added coastal feel.

Decorative Crystal Ball on Stand, $150, and White Coral Sculpture on Glass Stand, $130; twoscompany.com for retailers

Vellum Books, $28–$38, Tara Shaw, Ltd.; 504/525-1131

More Ways To Get Coastal Living

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100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 

Develop your coastal cottage’s style by following these simple tricks.

Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.