The Key to Nailing the “Bookshelf Wealth” Design Trend

Bookshelf wealth

We’re only a few weeks into 2024, and already a major design trend has emerged: bookshelf wealth. The hashtag #bookshelfwealth has racked up over 1.7 million views on TikTok, since it was kicked off by a clip shared by House of Hive Design Co, a luxury design studio in San Diego, California.

In the clip, the creator says she believes bookshelf wealth is a “whole home vibe” and that what separates it from other design styles is that its homes look “cosy and lived in”. While the homes are filled with books, the works weren’t just bought to be displayed — they’re books that have been curated and read.

Bookshelf wealth
Image: Unsplash

“Art [in homes with the bookshelf wealth aesthetic] is of the utmost importance, but it’s not displayed traditionally,” she says. “It’s hung in front of bookcases, displayed on the floor, literally overlapping each other [on the walls], definitely not hung in a straight line and is fully disregarding the bounds of the wall moulding.”

Other key features of bookshelf wealth homes are that historic elements like stained glass windows, traditional wood moulding and its overall character, are preserved, and a major emphasis is placed on cosy seating areas, especially niches below windows. Library ladders, task lighting and collected items displayed can also help achieve the aesthetic.

“The mixing of colours and patterns is not only accepted, but it’s a must,” she says. “There should be pattern in the form of wallpaper, pattern in colour incorporated into stair runners and, of course, in furniture.”

@houseofhive Bookshelf Wealth, what it is and how to achieve it #greenscreen #bookshelfwealth #interiordesign #designtok #2024designtrends ♬ original sound – House of Hive Design Co

If you aren’t an avid reader, Kate Lewis, Creative Lead at furniture and homewares brand Mocka suggests filling your shelves with items that you’ve collected through your travels or that speak to your interests like artwork, vases, scents or vinyls from your favourite musicians. Whatever objects you choose, though, she says to make sure you balance texture and pattern.

“Incorporate diversity and variation for the eye, and be sure to pay attention to the overall colour palette to prevent things from feeling too chaotic or too monotonous,” she says.

“It’s important to create a variety of different heights and stacks to accomplish a perfectly layered space. There are no rules — some of your favourite books may have stunning artwork featured on their covers. These can be stood up for a pop of art.”

It’s also worth noting that despite bookshelf wealth homes seeming cosy, they’re not cluttered. Lewis says clutter is the easiest way to ruin the aesthetic, and to adopt a less-is-more mindset with it.

“Allow for breathing room between your books and other décor pieces,” she says. “This creates a calming oasis for your space. Avoid combining too many pieces onto one shelf, and be sure to pay attention to detail for an overall well-styled bookshelf.”

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