Saturday, March 24, 2018

Shelf Life: 7 Tips on Styling Bookshelves

Bookshelves can transform the look of any room.  They are a way to display your treasures, collections, photos, and artwork in a functional, yet stylish way. It's important though, that you abide by certain staging rules to enhance your decor and to avoid a cluttered, messy look.  Here are seven tips to consider when styling your bookshelves.

1. Balance Shelves in Terms of Color and Sizing When you have more than one bookshelf in a room, it's important to style the items so that there is some symmetry to each of the shelves. Make sure that there are similar colors on each shelf and the sizes of the items are relatively equal. Notice in the photo above, the designer made sure to put large white and clear jugs on both sides of the shelves to ensure that one side did not look heavier than the other.  She also added a little color by alternating the shelves with artwork and putting pops of color on opposite sides. 

2. Consider Painting the Back of the Bookshelf a Different Color Painting or wallpapering the back of a bookshelf helps to create a custom look. I love that in both the photo above and directly below, the designer matched the back of the shelves with the wall paint and wallpaper.  Not only does the bookshelf itself stand out like a piece of furniture, but the contrasting background helps to highlight all of the items on display.

3. Choose a Color Scheme Like any room in your house, it's important that your bookshelves look cohesive. Though they need to be practical, try to only display items that go well together in terms of color and style.

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4. Choose Big, Bold Items When choosing items for your bookshelf, it's important to pick several statement items that will stand out from across the room. Though you can (and should) mix in items of all sizes, avoid a bunch of small tchotchkes that will make your shelves look cluttered and collect dust.

5. Incorporate Organic Materials Whenever possible, mix organic items into your bookshelf decor. Though small topiaries are always a great way to bring some life and color to your bookshelves, they aren't the only way. I love that the designer of the bookshelves above used white hydrangeas on multiple shelves. (I want to do it in my home this summer!) She added the organic element, yet kept within the neutral color scheme.

6. Stack Horizontal Books Don't assume that your books have to be all vertically lined up in a row. Make sure you mix it up a bit. Stack some books horizontally to break things up.

7.  Make it Personal Here's the most important tip: You need to make sure that your bookshelves are personal to you.  Show off your family photos, some of your favorite treasures, and different pieces of art. You could even hang some paintings from the front of your bookshelf instead of placing them on the shelf. Bookshelves provide a great way for your guests to learn about you so have fun with them and let your personality shine.

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