Reese Witherspoon's super simple trick for organizing books has design experts in awe

The shelves in the Legally Blonde actress's home are perfectly arranged – here's how to recreate this really easy look

reese witherspoon at the 2020 vanity fair oscar party
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Reese Witherspoon is an inspiration in so many ways: Golden Globe award winner, one of the world's highest-earning actresses, and one of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. Aside from her acting accolades, a recent Instagram post reveals that her home-organizing ideas are also deserving of celebration.

The post shows Reese perched on her white sofa. Behind her, open shelves are covered in artfully arranged books and decorative objects.

This bookshelf constitutes a huge part of how Reese has created this highly organized living room. Reese has chosen books in three coastal colorways: blue, tan, and white. She then dedicated one shelf to a single color of book to keep the look neat. Books are placed horizontally, vertically, and even diagonally in the natural wood shelves. Reese's books are broken up by gold, tan, and blue decorative objects like a crystal and a small basket.

Interior designers love Reese's method of organizing a bookshelf. First, Elizabeth Grace, interior designer at Dream Homemaking, applauds Reese for using open-concept shelves rather than shutting her books away in a cabinet. Elizabeth says, 'The avant-garde allure of open-concept shelves lies in their ability to create an illusion of expansiveness. By eliminating the visual clutter of closed cabinets, these shelves open up the room, allowing natural light to cascade freely, fostering an airy ambiance.'

Elizabeth Grace on a grey background
Elizabeth Grace

Elizabeth Grace is an interior designer and furniture expert. She received her degree in Interior Design from the University of Notre Dame. Elizabeth landed her first job as an intern with a leading firm in New York City, learning from some of the city’s top designers. She currently works as an interior designer for both residential and commercial clients.

She continues, 'These shelves stand as a gallery of your cherished possessions, where each item narrates a unique story. From exquisite ceramic vases to vintage sculptures, the shelves invite you to curate a harmonious blend of art and function.' In other words, Reese has used the open quality of her bookshelf to turn her shelving into a stylish design element in her home, rather than simply a storage space.

Furthermore, the experts are a fan of the specific way Reese has streamlined her book collection. Alexa d'Argence, an interior designer based in the San Francisco Bay area at BAR Architects and Interiors states:  'I like grouping books on a shelf by some common characteristic: color, height, or even topic. Reese has grouped her books by color, mixing in accessories, which “stretches” the number of books needed to make the shelves feel full. She’s also done something I like which is to arrange them both vertically and stacked, for variety.' This method makes Reese Witherspoon's living room shelving interesting and visually appealing.

alexa dargence
Alexa d'Argencé

Alexa d'Argencé is a San Francisco Bay Area, CA-based residential and hospitality interior designer. Her goal as a designer is to create spaces that transport each person who enters them. She has a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University.

If you're as obsessed with Reese's shelves as the designers are, shop versions of her decorative objects below.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

Sophie is a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens, where she works on the Celebrity Style team. She is fascinated by the intersection of design and popular culture and is particularly excited when researching trends or interior history. Sophie is an avid pop culture fan. As an H&G editor, she has interviewed the likes of Martha Stewart, Hilary Duff, and the casts of Queer Eye and Selling Sunset. Before joining Future Publishing, Sophie worked as the Head of Content and Communications at Fig Linens and Home, a boutique luxury linens and furniture brand. She has also written features on exciting developments in the design world for Westport Magazine. Sophie has an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and a BA in Creative Writing and Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College.