‘Bookshelf Wealth’ is the design trend making waves


Image / @tanyajonsson
Image / @tanyajonsson
Curating a well-stocked bookshelf - of books you've actually read - is being referred to as a new decor trend. But is this approach as old as books themselves?

A month into 2024, and we’re already seeing a decor trend dominate conversation, not to mention social media algorithms.

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll be on board for this one: ‘Bookshelf Wealth’ is the design trend to know right now.

It’s basically curating a well-stocked bookshelf – ideally floor to ceiling – as part of the aesthetic of your living space. One crucial aspect? The books should all be well-read by you, not just added to the room because they look good. It means although the idea is buzzy right now, it’s actually a trend that has been around a long time, and for fans of the look, it means a long-game decor approach.

Other elements that fit the Bookshelf Wealth trend? Think warm, casual and welcoming, rather than strict or stuffy.

San Diego-based interior designer Kailee Blalock helped underline the term “bookshelf wealth” in a video she posted a video to TikTok in December 2023.

“Bookshelf wealth is a whole home vibe,” Blalock, 26, explained. “What separates this from other design styles is that these homes look cosy and lived in.”

“These aren’t display books,” she insists. “These are books that have actually been curated and read.”
Images / Pinterest

Art hung in the vicinity in a haphazard, non-traditional manner, such as in a mismatched gallery style, as well as preserving historic elements of a home and embracing dark wood tones, are other aspects of the trend Blalock highlights.

What else does the book-lover need, than comfortable seating where they can settle in and devour their latest literary find? You bet cosy seating areas are also essential to meeting this trend.

Of course it wouldn’t have caught on so much without a smidge of controversy. Critics have pointed out achieving such a collection requires disposable income not everyone has the luxury of, as nodded to in the name. “This is a lifestyle more than a design style,” one person commented. Encouraging overconsumption in the name of decorating is another concern.

So what do you think? Is a well-stocked bookshelf a decorating approach, or simply the result of a healthy pastime?


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