Department 56: Bookshelf Styling

Christmas Lane – Original Snow Village

In areas of your home such as the living room it can be almost impossible to avoid open shelving. Not only can bookcases double as showcase-worthy storage for all your favorite treasures, but you can also style your reading material to look design-savvy. Before beginning transforming your bookshelf into a fun photo-op, you’ll have to get rid of any items that you don’t want on display. Try to narrow the focus of your shelf to roughly 6 or 7 items.

Chowtown- Panda Palace


  1. Books. Well, it is a BOOK case after all. Keep your favorites on display or purchase something for the sake of the cover design.
  2. Tall accent pieces. Each shelf should have layered heights. If your shelves are tall make sure to include tall items or it will look like something is missing. If you don’t think you have anything tall enough, improvise by stacking books and placing an object atop.
  3. Picture frames. Keeping a few simply designed frames to tell your story is incredibly important. This is your home!
  4. Greenery. Adding a few faux or real items can bring some life to your shelves.
  5. Objects of interest. Break up the monotony of straight and repetitive lines that books can create with unique items such as geometric spheres, vases, or geode crystals.
  6. Boxes. Pretty and functional! Depending on what you choose this is an opportunity to bring in additional textures, designs, and the perfect way to hide any smaller treasures.
Snowbabies- Beary Good Friend


  1. Not having a plan. Although jumping in is exciting, make sure you have an idea of where you want your items to go! The easiest place to start is deciding on how you want to organize your books- by color, author, size? The possibilities are endless!
  2. Unnecessary objects. Unless you are a librarian, you probably don’t need every book you own on display. By spacing out the books and breaking up the spaces with an item such as a vase or art makes it more visually appealing.
  3. Size does matter. Larger items help create visual landmarks for the eye to follow so that you are not too overwhelmed. When you start styling your shelves consider starting with the larger items and fill in the blanks with accessories.
  4. Ignoring white space. Incorporating interesting items can be fun, but make sure to remember to leave white space. Just like when you look at a photo your eye will want space to rest between visual elements.



Share This Post!  Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail


  • Lori Sendlak

    February 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm Reply

    I’ve been collecting Department 56, Original Snow Village for years and started in part because of what OSV stood for and the story behind it. I love small town America and everything that comes with it. Where happiness comes from a trip to Dinah’s Drive-in or a visit to Marvel’s Beauty Salon after which a stop in the Mainstreet gift shop is a must after looking for a car in the Village Used Car Lot. What’s missing from this beautiful story of Americana at it’s best? A hardware store!!! I know there was Mainstreet Hardware (before my collection) and even a 5 and dime store. My Dad owned a truly authentic hardware store in a village by the name of Colvin Electric and Hardware. It was old fashioned by today’s standards complete with large front windows that displayed the latest hardware gadgets and “skate’s sharpened here” and “Key’s made here” signs hanging overhead. The snowblowers and lawnmowers for sale were displayed on the sidewalk in the front of the store. This is exactly what’s missing from my Snow Village. Please consider adding an an old fashioned, authentic hardware store to the Original Snow Village family….it’s long over due!!!! I will be your first customer. Thank you for your time.

    • Ms. Lit Town

      July 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm Reply

      Thanks, you’re right. We need to keep telling the story.

Post a Comment