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The Ultimate Guide to Narrow Wall Bookshelves

Updated: May 7

narrow wall bookshelf

Stuck with decorating that narrow wall-mounted bookshelf? You arrange… you rearrange… and then you mess it up even more. Been there, done that!

But over my years of interior decorating, I can say with confidence that I’ve cracked the code to styling a bookshelf. And before we get to decorating, I’ve also compiled a list of narrow wall bookshelves to purchase.

So, keep reading for your comprehensive guide to narrow wall bookshelves, including pieces to purchase and styling tips!

Best Narrow Wall Bookshelves

Narrow shelves are a great choice for small spaces. They utilize vertical wall space and provide room for storage. Plus, they give you some extra space for decorating 😉 Below, I list my top picks for narrow wall bookshelves that fit the most compact spaces:

Bestier 3 Tiers Wall Mounted Bookshelves

Dimensions: 9.4" W × 23.6" L × 37.8" H

Shop: Bestier

The compact width of this bookshelf makes it suitable for use in small spaces, such as apartments or bedrooms. Simultaneously, it packs a punch with design: the metallic rods, paired with the wood-like appearance of the particleboard shelves, can add visual interest to any space. Despite its compact size, the shelf provides enough room for storing books, potted plants, and other items you love!

Casa Gear Metal and Wooden Shelf

Dimensions: 8” W x 16” L x 14” H 

Small spaces shouldn’t compromise on style. And if you’re looking to make that design statement—this set of three bookshelves is just the right piece! With golden frames and wooden surfaces, the shelves help add texture to your home. Plus, their hexagon shape adds visual interest, while the smart collection of three helps add asymmetry to the space. The shelves have built-in mounting hardware, so mounting them on the wall will be a breeze.

BlueDot Hitch Bookcase

Dimensions: 28” W x 73” L x 11” H

Shop: Blu Dot

The minimalist homeowner’s pick would be this hitch bookcase by BluDot. It may not be the narrowest option on the list, but its 28-inch width does qualify as a narrow bookcase. This piece is sure to give your space a simple and elegant look. Plus, it comes in multiple finish options, including black and walnut.

Casa Gear Five Tier Wood Corner Shelf

Dimensions: 13.4” W x 12.8” L x 62.6” H 

A wall too narrow to fit any sort of bookshelf? This five-tier corner shelf will do the trick! The space it takes up is distributed between two walls—so you don’t need much vacant space on either one. However,  note that this piece isn’t wall-mounted, and will require some floor space, too.

How to Style Narrow Wall Bookshelves

Now that you have that shelf in place, it’s time to get decorating! Keep reading for my top tips on styling narrow bookshelves.

Display a Collection

Displaying interconnected items is the key to creating a coherent setup on your bookshelf. These don’t have to be very elaborate—something like a set of three vases and urns would do the trick. This binds the decor together and makes sure it flows well. Tip: Be sure to group these items together. Say, on a single shelf. This is because spreading them out may create a cluttered look.

Add Height

If the spacing between your shelves allows, add height to your decor. One of my favorite ways to achieve the purpose is by stacking books and topping them with a piece of artwork. This also gives you an excuse to display some art (it doesn’t always have to hang on walls!).

Choose Different Book Configurations

There are plenty of ways to stack books, but I recommend merging together at least two different styles to add visual interest. This would typically be a few stacked horizontally, with some others aligned vertically. Here, the trick is spreading out different book configurations across different shelves. Note that adding them to a single shelf can make the setup look ‘heavy’.

Add Texture

The secret to a stunning bookshelf setting is plenty of texture. Whether you use mini potted plants (a small vining variety is an all-time favorite for bookshelves) or rattan baskets, a punch of texture can take the entire setup a long way!

Use Lighting

Strategically placed lighting can highlight all the right parts of your decor. Think of it as accent lighting—the inexpensive way. Consider lining the shelves with small LED strips or a few flameless candles. These add a gentle glow to the setting and make it visually appealing.

Play with Color

Not everyone loves playing around with color—but adding a little variation in hues to your bookshelf setting is a really good idea. It helps add depth and variation to the decor (and makes it stand out in the best ways!). For example, if you’re aiming for all-green bookshelf decor, play around with several hues of the color. My idea would be to gather items that range from citrine all the way to emerald green. 

Final Words

And, that’s a wrap! I hope you can now pick the narrow wall mounted bookshelf that fits your needs best—and decorate it to curate a stunning setup. Remember, it’s okay to give it some time. It took me four different arrangements to curate a bookshelf setting that resonated with my taste. So, feel free to decorate the shelf and then walk away for some time. Have a snack, take a nap, and then come back to tweak it. You’ll eventually find the bookshelf setting that works best for you.


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