At some point in time, we have all walked into a home with beautiful custom built-in shelves flanking the fireplace or jaw dropping wall to wall bookshelves in the home office. Just about everyone loves to look at those bookcases in other people’s homes; and then they often decide to build them in their own new home.
But then, those bookshelves actually have to be filled and that is where the trouble starts. Many of us can not help but cringe a little inside at the thought of actually having to decorate them. Styling bookshelves can be a daunting task, so I have put together a few helpful tips we recently used when decorating our client’s home office that will hopefully inspire you to tackle those empty shelves.
1. DECIDE ON A COLOR SCHEME
Whether you choose to go neutral or want something more eye-catching, stick to a consistent color palette to avoid things looking messy.
In this case, our stylishly fashionable homeowner really liked the idea of ‘color blocking’. We incorporated this concept with her existing book collection and added some new accessories to punch up this approach to a color scheme.
2. USE AN ASSORTMENT
Long gone are the days when shelves were only for books. Do not be afraid to add to your books a variety of décor items in all sizes. Good examples are vases, frames, floral objects, and sculptures.
3. PLAY AROUND WITH ARRANGEMENT
By displaying your items in different ways, it will add visual interest to the space. Try techniques with your accessories such as stacking, layering, leaning, and grouping.
4. DON’T OVERDO IT
The number one mistake made when decorating shelves is thinking that every shelf needs to be stacked to the brim with ‘stuff’. There is something very positive about having negative space here and there. It will help make the accessories you do have stand out and will avoid your bookshelves from looking cluttered or too busy.
5. TELL A STORY
Choose pieces that are unique to you and your family so that visitors can learn something about you. Incorporate photos from a special memory, a collection of items from your personal travels, or books on some of your favorite hobbies (golf, travel, food/wine).
Remember these five tips and I guarantee you will have beautiful bookshelves of your own. Updating your bookshelves is a great way to update your room. If you want to get started but are still searching for the perfect accessories, stop in our retail shop to see our new décor items for sale, or check out our online shop here: Start Shopping!
Heather, this is a great article, one of my things is a bookshelf…..I keep rearranging, so I avoid them! I have tried the 5-3-1 theory by dividing the shelves into sections of 5/3/1 and this helps me vary the number of articles on a shelf and keep them interesting. Love your articles……
Hi Lou Ann! Thank you. Decorating bookshelves can be tricky, so we hope our tips are helpful. Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter if you are interested in reading more of our designer tips!