Have you ever looked at a photo of a well designed room and noticed how beautifully the bookshelves are styled? Well, we can tell you there is definitely an ART to getting it right. Here’s a few tips you can use to help make the most of your display shelves.
First, start by removing everything from the shelves. Now, do I need to say it?- get the duster out and gather up all those bunnies. Ideally you want to curate a collection of books, artwork and decorative objects- things that you love or things that have meaning in your life, whether its from your travels, interests or hobbies. That’s really the key to creating visually interesting shelves.
Second, edit your existing collection of items and decide which ones you want to keep, discard, or donate. Group your items by colour and by type, so you can see what you have to work with and whether you might need to take a quick trip to House Warmings to pick out a few new ones! (shameless plug, I know!)
Third, start with placing your books. Try stacking them both horizontally and vertically, spines facing out, and mix the colours of the spines so the light and dark colours are evenly distributed. Balance the placement of the books throughout all of the shelves. Next, add in some framed artwork or even photo frames. These can be layered over each other leaning at the back of the shelf, or propped up using easel backs. You can place photo frames on top of a horizontal stack of books if the proportion looks right. Hanging artwork right on the front frame of the bookshelf is another unique way to display your artwork.
Finally, bring in your decorative objects. These can be anything from sculptures, to vases, bowls, boxes, small plants, etc. Organic materials like rocks, seashells, or plants always add a natural, textural element to the mix of items. When placing these objects, keep in mind the colours, textures, and sizes of each so you are able to create a good balance throughout the shelves. Odd number groupings are visually more appealing or single objects. I prefer one or two colours throughout for a serene look but that’s the neutral girl in me who’s afraid of too much colour. Feel free to mix in different metal finishes but keep it to two finishes. Also, leave some breathing room on the shelves. You don’t want to overcrowd them- a little empty space can be a good thing.
Take a picture of the shelves (yes, a shelfie!) once you’ve completed them. You can often see things that aren’t quite right in a photo versus staring directly at your masterpiece. It’s fun to change your shelves around seasonally, to freshen up the space and add in objects that are appropriate for each season. Be creative and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect- it’s a reflection of your style!