Let's Read About Book Shelves
Updated: Jul 20
Maybe my issue with how people fill their bookcases stems from my OCD.
My friends know if I am sitting and staring at a disorganized hot mess, I will offer to tweak their space.
People have actually hired me to rearrange their bookcase or fireplace mantle.
Don't think that symmetry is your solution.
The empty space or void is as necessary as the actual objects to keep your eye moving.
Visual flow and interest is your goal.
I see so many shelves that contain just framed pictures.This lacks pizzazz and guests will view several photos and then stop looking because it is mentally boring.
Your eye must be caught by an element of interest and be allowed to flow up and down as well as side to side.
The totality of the balance stems from each individual shelf and item being viewed together as one.
Unless the room containing your bookcase is a library, add a few pictures, vases and collections to the mix.
People love to see your personality expressed through items you love and cherish. For example, if you are displaying a baby picture of yourself, place your old silver rattle next to it to add interest.
I live in North Carolina where pottery abounds. I can't resist collecting every size, color and shape.
Many of these pieces can stand alone but think outside the box and use one as a bookend.
All vases don't need flowers, but a bookcase with ivy cascading down moves ones eye to the shelf below.
The picture is a bookcase I purchased at an antique shop and gave to my daughter.
It contains items I found around her home .Nothing was purchased to style it, this is real life. I promise you there are treasures in boxes and closets in your home..Find that old camera, typewriter, wooden bowl, crystal vase or silver candlestick that is waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated.
Don't forget the BOOKS!
If you are don't have a collection of books go to a thrift store or estate sale .Look for the ones that have material covers. They will add texture and color to your scheme. I love grouping book colors together. You can stack them, tie them or lay them on their side. I have painted old books with chalk paint. I have ripped off the covers to expose the old pages bound together with string. The possibilities are endless.
Back to the bookcase I began writing about.
It contains five shelves with different height elevations. The elegance of the metal bamboo could easily stand on its own with just one statement piece on each shelf. However, we decided to fill it with objects of meaning.
Begin by working the entire not bookcase rather than each individual shelf.
Place your larger items and space them vertically to draw your eye up and down.
Fill in with books. Stack or stand them .A current trend is to turn them backwards and expose only the pages.
Next bring in framed pictures. Beautiful frames are available everywhere.You can mix all of them together. Gold and Silver are friends on your shelves, they also welcome their BFF crystal and painted wood.
Now we need an item of interest.
I love Staffordshire dogs. We placed a Fitz and Floyd replica on top of several books. A pair of tiger bookends called out to the glass jaguar box to join them.Several of the items have sentimental value, the brass penguin is a reminder of my mom. The horse drawing was by my daughter, while her German Shepard's photo had to be displayed along side of the new baby's picture.
This took very little time to throw together. It will always be a work in progress changing with the years and seasons.
I just encourage everyone to step back and evaluate their space. Look at it as an opportunity to enjoy the small things that are in your life.You might be surprised by what is hiding inside you attic waiting to trigger a wonderful memory and become a conversation starter with your guests.
If you are still unsure post a picture of your bookcase in the comments. I would be more than happy to offer my advice.
Let the footprint of your bookcase catapult your decorating skills to new heights.