Friday, April 23, 2010

Ask the Designer - Decorating Bookcases and Shelves

I have a hard time knowing how to decorate shelves and bookcases.  Any suggestions? Monica
 It can be difficult to  decorate bookshelves, whether they are built in or freestanding. Most people prefer their bookshelves to not only be a storage place for their books but also an area that adds style and personality to the décor. So how do you achieve the right look for you?
 The first idea for bookshelves - use books! Novel idea, I know. To make it interesting, you can hold the books in place with stylish bookends. Arranging some books horizontally and others vertically, creates even more interest. 

Or you can take another approach and arrange the books by color or size. 

Decorate with sculpture, vases, framed artwork or photos, etc. Group items together to make more of an impact, especially if most of your items are smaller. Grouped together, small items will make a bigger statement and be more interesting.

One key tip I use when decorating shelves is to adjust the shelves to varying heights. For instance, create a shelf or two that are big enough so you can fit taller books or artwork. You might have a small space just right for smaller books or figurines on another spot on the bookshelf. Whatever you decide to do, adjusting the shelves is one of the best ways to add some real style to the space.

 The key to making it all work is balance. You want to balance larger and smaller pieces by intermingling them. If you have a large vase on the bottom shelf, put books or smaller items on the next shelf up, then maybe a medium item on the next shelf. If you have multiple shelves next to each other, don’t put the same sized items horizontal to each other, but put one higher and one lower to create interest. 

If the side of your bookcase is visible when you enter a room, make it more interesting and use it as wall space by hanging artwork or accessories.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design

1 comment:

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer said...

This is really good information. I think people sometimes overlook bookshelves, but they can really complement a room.

I also love the suggestion about varying shelf heights. Also something we forget.

Mayor of
Co-owner of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture, Inc.


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