When apartment renters decorate their home, they usually hang frames and arrange their furniture in a pleasing manner, but often there isn’t much thought about what gets put on the shelves. Bookcases and shelves have much more potential than just being a place to store your books and magazines. Here are some decorating tips for your shelves:

Add Color

It can be a challenge to bring color into an apartment. Most of the time a landlord won’t allow you the paint the walls and other times it is simply a hassle to do so. However, if you have a bookcase, you can paint it to serve as another point of color in the room.

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You can use your hue of choice all over the piece of furniture or simply paint the case’s inset back board, which adds a pop of color in between your books and trinkets.

Display Your Interests

When considering bookshelf ideas for decorating, you may go for the obvious item, books. While it’s great to show off your reading material, don’t forget to put your interests on display as well. For example, if you like to go bowling and recently placed in a tournament, put your certificate or trophy on the case along with your gloves and a picture of you playing. This will serve as a reminder of how successful you can be with a bit of hard work and determination.

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Consider Functionality

Apartment dwellers know that square footage comes at a premium, which is why people often have their space serve double duty. You can do the same with your bookcase or a floating shelf. Place a small tray with glasses and decanters full of your spirits for a mini bar area. Or you can toss your home workout gear into a container and slide that onto a bottom shelf.

Opt Out of Symmetry

If you read magazines that offer decorating tips, they might tell you to go with symmetry, which can be pleasing to the eye. However, there is a new trend with furniture placement, and goes against the normal school of thought. Play around with different heights of the books, frames and trinkets as you place them on your shelves. Each shelf can be asymmetrical, however, the overall look of a grouping of shelves or a bookcase should have some sort of harmony.

Place Picture Frames

People often hang picture frames and artwork on their walls, but there is a new trend in the placement of this classic decor item. Avoid driving nails into your wall – and possibly eating away at your security deposit – by leaning your frames on your shelf. It’s a stylish way to display your photography and art that allows you to switch your pieces easily whenever you wish.

Arrange By Color

If you are an avid reader and you only have space for your books, consider reworking their arrangement. It’s appealing to the eye to place them on the shelf by color, so it takes on a gradient look.