Gently Used, Vintage, and Antique Bookends


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Having too many vintage books is not a problem. Having said books topple off the ends of your shelves, well, that’s an (easily solvable) problem. Enter bookends, a decorative way to keep your precious library right where it belongs. A pretty pair of vintage brass pineapple bookends will add a touch of the tropical, while a pair of used bookends shaped like Scotty dogs are perfect for a manly study. You get the idea: steady books, chic shelves.


Since bookshelves are quite a large focal point in any area, arranging and styling them in such a way that they are both functional and elegant will make all the difference in a room’s look. Adding vintage bookends to your book and memorabilia collection will help with organization, but it will also complement the space with a stylish touch. Read on to find a few useful tips about what vintage bookends will work best with your shelves.


The hunt for antique bookends stops here! With so many different styles and colors to choose from, it will be impossible to only settle on one pair. Have fun with them by mixing and matching different styles, colors, and novelties in order to truly personalize any home.

Natural Bookends

Geode, onyx, marble and granite bookends are a few great ways to include earthy elements into a space. While onyx, marble and granite are usually neutral in color, geode bookends can be found in an assortment of shades. The outside of the bookend (or the rock) is generally a drab shade, but what is found inside is a bright, bold hue. These types of used bookends can add a touch of sophistication to any space.

Metal Bookends

Vintage brass bookends can be a true staple in a vintage-style room. Coming in all shapes, including novelties, these antique bookends can be a fun icebreaker or a showcase of personality. From ships to horses to busts of Lincoln, finding a pair of brass bookends that meld well with the style of the space can be a fun task.

Ceramic & Glass Bookends

These tend to be more challenging to find. So, if you get your hands on some sweet ceramic and glass bookends, be sure to scoop them up! These delicate pieces can add pops of color to a muted bookshelf and serve well as accent pieces in a room. Pottery is in the same family of design and is generally easier to come across, so consider using a piece of vintage pottery as a bookend. And remember, they don’t have to match!

Wood Bookends

Although these are made of a naturally occurring element, wooden bookends deserve their own category. These beauties can add a rustic vibe to any space because of their raw texture and warm tones. For a more traditional look, add wooden bookends to contrasting wooden bookshelves. To appeal to a more modern design, add wooden bookends to a brightly colored, shellacked bookshelf.


When styling the perfect bookshelf, it is important to resist the urge to pack in the accessories. To ensure a clean appearance, choose one color to play with, for vases, figurines and bookends. Add diversity by mixing up the shapes and sizes of these objects, as well as adding obvious interest with the books. Be sure to balance the overall arrangement of the shelves by placing items slightly off-center.

Add Interest

Try stacking books both horizontally and vertically to add interest to the shelves. When stacking books vertically, try the pyramid effect by laying the longer books on the bottom of the stack and ending it with the smallest book. Also for the books that are stacked vertically, up the game by adding a bookend on the top of the stack. This can be a great way to modernize a bookshelf while still incorporating a vintage bookend.

Sometimes, Less is More

Modern shelves can also call for a sparse look, so group together sets of books and objects that are all relatively uniform in size. Leave lots of open space to showcase the shelves, themselves, instead of cluttering them with decor. If the books on display are busy or don’t match the color scheme of the room, try storing them in baskets or bins for a less cluttered and more simple design. If there are many books to display, organize them by author or genre, and label the bins or baskets accordingly, so specific books are easy to find.


Especially when it comes to more traditional spaces, symmetrical is the perfect way to style a bookshelf. Weave collectibles and antiques throughout the books in an even fashion. Mirrors and square-shaped picture frames are also great additions to this sense of style.

Eye-popping Prints

Who would have ever thought to add wallpaper to the back wall of a bookshelf? This can be a unique and fun way to personalize any space. Choose wallpaper that coordinates with the overall design of the room (or one that is a bold contrast). If your wallpaper doesn’t create the desired look, try gluing newspaper on the back wall of the bookshelf, or simply paint it an eye-catching color. Remember, if the print or color is bold, contrast it with more muted accessories and books, so as to not overwhelm the piece of furniture.

Bookends are some of the main focal points, when it comes to a bookshelf. When choosing the perfect ones, be sure to consider the room’s overall style and design, as well as what will be featured on each shelf.