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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Top 21 Beaches, Coast to Coast

Plan your summer getaway now: From white strands to secret coves, we've found the ultimate spots by the shore, plus fabulous lodging so you can stay as long as you like.

The Cove Beach, Cape May, New Jersey