Bookshelves are ideal for housing everything from antique books with well-loved bindings to a range of decorative objects. But what really gives them added intrigue isn’t on the shelves themselves: It’s the art that designers sometimes hang right on the frame of the bookshelf. So what’s the best way to actually do this at home? We tapped designer Marissa Bero, who has pulled this move in plenty of home libraries, to share no-fail tips for hanging art on a bookshelf. Keep these in mind, and you’ll have a stunning display in minutes.
Make sure the art piece is proportional to the bookshelves.
“It should be large enough to be a focal point but not so big as to prevent access to the books on the shelves,” Bero says. “That being said, if there is an area on the bookcase where you'd like to strategically hide something—like a router or books and documents that are not necessarily display-worthy, for example—a piece of art is a great way to do that.”
Use Command hooks or velcro strips.
Bero has found that Command hooks or Velcro strips work best in most cases. “Since they don't leave a hole, you can easily remove and rearrange them as you like,” she explains.
Install a hook or nail underneath the shelf.
“Another trick is to install a hook or nail on the top side of a shelf as opposed to the front,” Bero adds. “You can easily hook a wire on it but if you ever decide to remove it, you won't see the hole from the front.”
Consider hanging unique art.
You can’t go wrong with classic portraits, but there are plenty of other art pieces to consider hanging. Bero suggests taxidermy, candelabras, mirrors, and even plants. “I especially love adding seasonal decor to bookshelves, like garlands or wreaths for the holidays,” she says. Hats, purses, and even bookmarks could work, too!
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