Tips and Tricks for Styling your Books and Shelves - Create the Perfect Zoom Background

Stylish shelf and books for virtual and zoom backgrounds.

A look back: at the start of the pandemic and the beginning of remote-work that was new for so many of us. The Juniper Custom step-by-step guide for creating a styled bookshelf backdrop for our home offices still remains relevant in 2023.

With all of us spending more time at home in the coming weeks, now is a great time to tackle some of the tasks on your “to-do” list! Styling your bookshelf might be considered a daunting task, but it can actually be so fun and bring a new feeling to a room. Bookshelves offer a look into your personality, and they help define the aesthetic of a space.

While there is no right or wrong way to style your bookshelf, here are a simple tips and tricks to switch up your bookshelf styling. Just keep in mind that you know yourself the best, so choose the trick that will fit you and the room!


They’re called bookshelves for a reason, so add some books, whether they are novels or a collection of oversized books. Either way, they will show off what you enjoy! Try using both horizontal stacks and vertical rows to create intrigue and differentiate the space. There’s so many ways of organizing your books. If you’re looking for something a little more daring, consider organizing them by color.

Book ends

Bookends are a great way to add to your aesthetic while also providing a practical use. Placing a group of books in the middle of your shelf and framing them with bookends can add an elegance and finality. They are also a great way of adding decoration without the shelf getting cluttered. And remember, that other objects can take on the role of bookends as well.

Ornamental Objects

There are so many different decorations that can be put on a shelf– from vases to bowls, candles to sculpture. Put together three of a kind or mix and match your objects. Different groupings of objects are a great way of providing the eye catching details you might want. To make the look cohesive, make the objects of varying height, and, to go a step further, of different textures. With sculpture, look for objects that add some contrast to their surroundings. Rounded or circular forms offer great contrast to the rectangular forms of the books.

Framed Art and Photographs

Don’t let your shelves get in the way of putting up art. Find works that fit the size of the shelf and that you also enjoy. By layering in the art and the knickknacks you can create a depth to the shelf that makes it look more interesting. The art and photos you put up, just like your books, offer a story, so choose the story you want to present.

If you want to skip the frame, choose a book set from amongst our collection that will look just as beautiful as a framed piece of art. We have a wide variety of unique designs that will fit with any bookshelf style and your interest.


This is a perfect time for organization with style. Steer away from clear-plastic bins and opt for wooden boxes and woven baskets. It’s important that your shelves don’t look cluttered (unless that’s the style you’re going for) so adding decorative organizers are great for breaking up the space.

Plants and Natural Materials

There are many variations of plants that will be perfect for your shelf. If you don’t want to take on a house plant, try dried flowers, driftwood, or coral. Any option will offer a new aspect to the life on your shelf.

Not yet where you want to be?

Never underestimate the power of paint. Consider painting the shelves (or just the backing) for an extra burst of color or change of tone.

If you’re trying to make the room look taller, place most of your books and objects vertically for extra emphasis on the vertical space. And don’t neglect the tops of your shelves!

To go more in depth into designing your home library check out our founder's 2019 release: For the Love of Books.

For the Love of Books: Designing and Curating A Home Library gathers all of Thatcher’s philosophy about books, curation, and designing libraries into one volume with the help of long time friend, Elizabeth Lane.

This stunning coffee table book, published by our friends at Gibbs Smith, features photographs from our 18 year archive of library images, exquisite illustrations by Samantha Hahn, and insights and tips for displaying your love of books and telling your own story on your shelves from Thatcher and Elizabeth Lane.

Share your bookshelves with on us Instagram @juniperbooks!