With anticipation of my new furniture arriving, as well as the changing of the seasons, I did some research on “How to Style Bookshelves”.

Seems bookshelves are not really aesthetically pleasing when covered by books.

Who knew?

I reviewed several design blogs and found some tips that helped me to figure out what this ‘styling’ business is about:

  1.  Mix up the placement of your books.  You can do this on the same shelf and between shelves – make one horizontal, one vertical or a bit of both
  2. Add a decorative object here and there.  Something substantial, but that means something to you – a bowl, a box, a souvenir from travels or a treasured keepsake.
  3. Bring in something natural.  Think a bowl of acorns (for Fall), a boxwood sphere or even a succulent display.
  4. Incorporate artwork – these can be scattered on the shelves, or attached to the front of shelves in a structured way.
  5. Arrange your books by colour.  Another popular trend right now is turning your book spines towards the back of the shelf so that only the pages are visible.
  6. Use the top shelf to corral your collections – globes, milk glass, pitchers, airplanes.
  7. Make sure you have variation in height, shape and size.
  8. Try emphasizing one or two colours – don’t overdo the number of objects in any one hue, just a touch of colour will add elegance and interest.
  9. Layer objects – put figures on top of books, or layer one piece of art in front of another.
  10. You always need to remember visual balance.  Scale, colour, texture need to be peppered through your display, but weighted evenly to draw the eye.

I’m going to add something here that the other sites didn’t mention, but is a fundamental rule in (graphic) design… whitespace.  Jam-packed shelves can be over-stimulating, don’t underestimate the value of a bit of empty space.

So, with these rules in mind, I attempted to style my shelves for Fall;

Rules/ Tips for styling your bookshelves

I love photographs, so these are my little pieces of “art”.

Family Room books

Family Room layer

Family Room natural

Family Room - 14

Family Room objects

Family Room shape

… and, as you can see I left a lot of “whitespace”.

Family Room - 8

I carried the rules through the room – natural elements, similar hues with small pops of colour.

Family Room - 6

How to style your bookshelves

I think I followed most of the rules… colour-coordinating the books wasn’t necessary (there are only a few up there) and turning them so the spines are backwards just isn’t my taste.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the results.  It feels clean, uncluttered and interesting – and I guess that’s really the point of all the rules to begin with.

Have a great one!

Too funny


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