How I Styled My Bookshelves

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Figuring out how to style my bookshelves hasn't been easy friends, but after much internet perusal I think I've done it and I'm ready to share my tips with you! The problem really is that I adore books (you and me both, right?), so I have a lot of them, and I crazily think that I should store them in my bookshelves.  

But then I look at pictures of bookshelves on blogs and in magazines and they look like this:
It's lovely, yes, but it has almost no books! 

So I've been working to find a happy medium in between storing my books and making the bookshelves look prettier. 

My first step was accepting that there was no way I was going to make a lot of my beloved paper backs look good. I think you can if you have a large room with lots of shelves, like this:

But if you're working in a small space with just one or two bookcases you need to leave some space on the shelves for your eyes to rest on.

So I decided to shove all my superfluous yet strangely essential paper backs under this side table; they're hard to get at, but better than in a box in my garage. I kind of like the way it looks too.
Next I focused on collecting a few pretty items from around the house to go on the shelves. Keeping to a limited color scheme helps things look cohesive. I went with blue, white, and cream.

Books look great too, it just helps if you group them by size and color, and also use the tried and true method of lining some up horizontally and stacking others vertically.

As you're placing items on the shelves keep stepping back to check for balance. I squint up my eyes so everything goes a little blurry and try to notice if there is a balanced pattern of full and empty space. I'm sure I don't look weird doing that. I use the same technique when I'm decorating our Christmas tree, really, it works.

Here the shelves from some other angles.
 Natural items like shells, nests, or fossils add another layer of interest and texture.

I like the look of something shiny, well, everywhere, so I added the frames and mercury glass container and placed them diagonally from each other. 

Consider using a pretty dish or two also.
So there you have it. It is sure better than where I started!

4 Responses to “How I Styled My Bookshelves ”

  1. Beautiful job! I recognize some of those books...the one that inspired me especially...Female Nomad. Have you read it yet? Love you.

    1. I Lurve all the books you gave me! I haven't got to "Female Nomad" yet; I'm reading "Birds of a Feather" right now and really enjoying it.

  2. I really like your styling and all the reasoning behind it. So what's in the space on the other side of the doorway that one of the sheves used to occupy?

    Robyn at Robyn's Nest

    1. You noticed! I'm working on a gallery wall, or I guess corner over there. I'll post some pics when I'm done tweaking :)


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