How to Decorate our Octavia Bookcase

How to decorate Ballard Designs' Octavia bookcase

In our new Winter Collection, we’re excited to introduce our Octavia Bookcase. The octagonal cubbies and two-tone paint colors make this bookcase a shining star in our latest collection, and one that can transition seamlessly into your home. We’re sharing a few looks and inspiration for turning this classically inspired furniture piece into a focal point in your home.

We started with this gorgeous fresh, yellow look. An old collection of National Geographic magazines gives the soft gloss white a pop of color and really makes a striking statement. You could create this same effect by using craft paper on old hardback books. Just buy some solid color craft or wrapping paper and create a monotone look that coordinates with your throw pillows, art, or dinnerware collection.

How to decorate Ballard Designs' Octavia bookcase
The octagonal cubbies have plate grooves that work beautifully for a piece of your wedding china or a vintage treasure, but we also love using a small urn, like our Turin Urn or a vase of flowers.

How to decorate Ballard Designs' Octavia bookcase

Another thing we love about the Octavia Bookcase is the two-tone interior. On both of the colors, Dark Teal and Soft Gloss White, the interior is a slightly different color creating depth and dimension. For the teal color, the interior is just a touch lighter. We did this because in a bookcase that is a dark color, the back can start to feel cavernous. The lighter, brighter paint colors means your treasures won’t get lost visually.

How to decorate Ballard Designs' Octavia bookcase

Two flanking a sofa, sideboard, or great piece of art creates a strong focal point, something that every room needs. Without a focal point, a room feels empty and neglected, like the decorating process isn’t complete. We particularly like creating the focal point on the wall you see first upon entering a room.

In this living room, we’re entering from the hallway, and this view is just what you want — it draws you into the room and makes you say ‘wow.’

How to decorate Ballard Designs' Octavia bookcase

We’re so proud of the way this beautiful piece turned out, and we know you’ll appreciate the hand-applied finishes perfected by Italian artisans.

See more pieces from our Winter 2016 Collection here, or browse decorating ideas on our Pinterest page.

Did you like this post and find it helpful? Rate it below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    Deb Lachowetz

    July 14, 2016

    In the first picture for How to Decorate our Octavia Bookcase, can you please tell me what you wrapped around the top turin urn? It looks like some decorative necklace/rope. I am buying the bookcase and urns and just love it all.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 18, 2016

      So glad you like it. It’s just a necklace with white beads on it. You could find something similar at a thrift market or antique store or even use some beads you already own!

  2. Reply

    Yolanda Clark

    February 24, 2016

    Is there a way you can mail ne a sample of your dark teaI wood?
    I would like to color match. I love love uou Octavia bookcase design.
    Can you provide me with the manufacturer Ian’s pricing information?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      August 21, 2018

      I’m so sorry but we don’t offer samples for this bookshelf!