Rainbow Bright Bookshelves

There are many ways to style a bookshelf.  One recent trend is to arrange the books by color.  It’s an easy way to bring color into a space.


However, this may drive you crazy if you are like most and like to arrange by subject matter, title or author.

Though I love to organize by subject matter, I do love the visual impact of the color coded arrangement!  Let’s look at a few examples.

I love how the room is layered with a sofa in front of the shelves.


And, if you really want uniformity, you can actually create colored book covers, label them and line your shelves with the exact right number of each color.  That way, they can still be arranged by author, title or subject matter.

How about vertically?



I love how the books are paired with all the white, making them the star.


In this photo, too.




Admit it, it’s pretty.

Is this something you would do?  Or, would it drive you crazy?



  1. I’d do it in a hearbeat, but I’m sure I’d tire of it and change it out after a few months. It adds a fun, whimsical twist.

  2. We have a lot of books, but I made sure our bookshelves had some books, artwork, and sculpture inbetween. I grouped our books by spine colour AND theme. I suppose it’s easier to do both with fewer books on the shelves.

  3. this is something I already do! I only use hard covers with their dust jackets removed because they stand and look nicer than soft cover but it is SO hard to find good colours. There are lots and lots of black and blue but white purple geeen, red yellow orange etc all hard to find. I buy them from Value Village in Canada (kinda like a good will) and I read them all too. Makes for interesting reading. Some are TOTAL crap. but some books arent so bad and I have found new authors this way.

  4. Mine are arranged by color! I love it! And I can almost always find the book I’m looking for on the first try. I just have this strange memory for what color my books are. Probably from packing and unpacking them so many times over the years. :)

  5. I loved reading your readers comments on this post. I just redid my bookshelves a few weeks ago. Most all my books have dark and worn covers….some on their sides…..some straight up and all mixed with photos, paintings, my pieces of red transferware and architectural pieces. I did need some whites or creams in some areas so I covered some of the books with my cream colored packing paper and wrote the titles with black magic marker. I loved the look. Will be doing a blog post about it soon. Love all the photos you showed us. :)

  6. I love the way the color coordinating book shelves and they definitely look better in some rooms than others. A friend of mine has them in her living room and it looks awesome! :)

  7. Personally, I don’t like it. I guess it would be cute in a kid’s room, but it’s kind of childish IMHO, and it makes it look like you bought books as accessories, instead of to read them, which isn’t something I’m into.

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