From light fittings to climbing plants — tips on turning your humble bookcase into statement shelves

THE humble bookcase is having a moment, now that more of us are on video calls – and our shelves of books and ornaments are there for all the world to inspect or admire.

Turn on the TV and there is bound to be a celebrity, policitian or reporter showing off what a reader they are or what amazing artistic taste they possess.

From the actress Cate Blanchett and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to the Duchess of Cornwall and Barack Obama, everyone is at it.

Here, interior designer Faye Robinson-Hey gives her tips on how to create your own statement shelves.


Add a simple sliding door or a pair of drawers for a design edge and to house a television or hide clutter.

Barn door-style fixings mean you can simply fix to the front of an existing bookcase frame and the door slides along. Add a pop of colour or beautiful handles.

  • Sliding door fixture, £79.95 from


Give your tired old bookcase a lick of paint to transform it.

Go for a dark, dramatic, inky colour to really make the books stand out, a pretty pop of colour to make a statement or a neutral grey for a smart, contemporary look.

  • Paint, £21.95 from


Add self-adhesive stick-on wallpaper to the back of the shelves.

Go to town on the design, with large-scale mono-chrome or a floral pattern. Or add gold leaf to the back of the bookcase.

Simply apply adhesive to the bookcase back panel, add mock gold leaf which can be bought from eBay for around £5 for 100 sheets, then dust off any excess and apply varnish to finish.

  • Self-adhesive wallpaper, £24 from Dunelm


Adding wall-mounted light fittings to the frame can give an expensive look for less.

Go for contemporary black or stylish brass.

Alternatively, you can add LED tapelight to the underside of the shelves, or small LED spotlights, to illuminate your shelves.

But always use a qualified electrician.

  • Omlopp LED spotlight, £10 from Ikea


The shelves don’t have to be just for your books. Mount artwork or mirrors to the front of the book-case to make a quirky design statement.

Head to for a wide range of affordable prints.


For an inexpensive and stylish storage solution, use stacked boxes, or woven or fabric baskets on shelves.

  • Byholma basket, £6 from Ikea


Dress any gaps with climbing plants which will cascade down.

Add faux foliage with pretty florals to the top of your bookcase and drape it down the sides for a relaxed country vibe.

  • Artificial trailing plant, £8 from Argos


A library ladder will add grandeur to tall bookcases.

You can buy ladders that hook on to a pole on the book-case frame, or add a sliding ladder with caster wheels for a traditional library feel.

  • Ladder £108.50, Maison from

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article