Style a Moody, Black & White Bookcase

Today we're excited to host Crush Interiors with a guest post on how to style a moody, black and white bookcase. Crush Interiors, is a professional online interior design studio creating beautiful spaces across Canada. It's been fun to watch their business grow.  So we were excited when they agreed to share this fun idea.   See below how they do it in three easy steps. ~Jan + Earl

Bookcase styling is tricky, even for designers. It’s the balance between making it look good and actually being a repository for books. We see a lot of bookcases that don’t actually have many books on it but in my house there is a proliferation of them and it’s mandatory that they get some shelf space. My nerdy bookish side doesn’t win hands down though because I also need this to be good looking since it resides in the living room. I decided to go low key and simple and with the assistance of shelf styler extraordinaire Michelle, we set to style a moody, black & white bookcase.

Style a Moody, Black & White Bookcase

Styling a bookcase is less overwhelming if you think of it as just 3 steps. Books, objects and metal. In this case we were going for a moody look. Don’t worry if you’re a colour lover, we’ve got a whimsical and colourful version coming in the future.


– Stack books both vertically and horizontally. This gives interesting places to perch objects and gives overall height. Here we used a combination of favourite contemporary books mixed in with some antiques. You want your bookcase to be styled like the rest of your room so take the cue from your surroundings.
– We were looking for a moody theme so old books with tattered spines were perfect. Some of these books are family heirlooms dating back to the 1700’s so it also adds a really personal element to the bookshelf. If you don’t have any of your own, shop thrift stores for tons of old books.
– If there are books that you need to keep on the bookshelf but they’re not quite working with your overall look, turn them around so the pages are showing instead of the spine. It’s a great way to use the books you have but keep your colour theme.


– This is usually the easiest part because we often have enough objects to fill the spaces. Just be sure to vary the size and shape of the pieces.
– Keep your favourite pieces closer to eye level. I love my collection of alabaster urns and I wanted to be sure that they were easily seen so this was my starting point.
– Keep the colour of the objects simple. We used black and white for the most part. Since a couple of the old books weren’t black or white we added a little colour that relates to the book spines just to keep it interesting. The peachy glazed vase sits right beside an old brown book and they look great together.


Adding metal gives a little shine to a black & white colour scheme. We used both silver and gold and even threw in a little pink mercury glass for the same effect.
– Don’t overlook frames when you’re hunting for metal to add to your bookcase. This gold frame was a thrift store find and it’s size was perfect in here.

Pretty simple right? The basic premise is so easy once you understand about breaking it down into sections. It’s all the same principles we describe regarding styling a room. Want to know about our favourite items for styling a bookcase? Make sure you’re receiving our Crush List. This week we show you exactly what we use as our secret styling weapons.

About Crush Interiors
Michelle Mollinga and Carol Smyth are Crush Interiors, a professional online interior design studio creating beautiful spaces across Canada. Interior design made simple. Follow them online:

Website: Crush Interiors
Michelle’s IG - @michelleatcrushinteriors 
Carol’s IG  - @carolatcrushinteriors

Jan Halvarson

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