WHEN STYLED THE RIGHT WAY, BOOKCASES AND DISPLAY UNITS CAN BE A HIGH-IMPACT WAY TO SHOW OFF YOUR FAVOURITE KNICK-KNACKS, COLLECTIBLES, AND FRAMED MEMORIES—IN ADDITION TO THE HOUSEHOLD BOOK COLLECTION!
But arranging all those items on the shelves can be a little overhwelming to say the least.
To help you conquer the task ahead, here are five of my best tips for styling the shelves in every room of your home.
MIX THINGS UP
First, add some items that aren’t books to break things up. Choose anything you like, keeping in mind that whatever you do choose will be on display. Decorative boxes, quirky bookends, photo frames and ceramic jars all work in most spaces around the home. However, you might consider some room-specific accessories for your shelves, too. Cast-iron teapots, pretty fruit bowls and glass decanters, for example, are great for breaking up piles of cookbooks in kitchen and dining areas.
PLAY WITH SHELF HEIGHT & SHAPE
A super easy way to create stylish and interesting visuals is to play around with shelf height and shape when choosing bookcases and display units. Use the largest shelves to show of your biggest feature pieces, and save smaller items for smaller spaces. You might also experiment with the width of your shelves, opting for a row of square-shaped spaces (or perhaps drawers) to create even more interesting visuals.
HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
Stack books horizontally as well as vertically to make the most of your space and avoid monotonous, repeating patterns. You may find that the thinnest books in your collection, along with any magazines, are easier to deal with when neatly stacked in piles. This will help you avoid instances of vertically oriented arrangements spontaneously toppling over the minute someone closes a door or breathes too hard.
THINK INSIDE THE BOX
For my fellow perfectionists out there: the easiest way to ensure items look balanced as you distribute them between shelves is to group them as squarish blocks. Think inside the box for this one. Visually breaking items up into squares is not only visually appealing, but a rule that anyone with or without a degree in design can follow!
A FEW EMPTY SPACES
Ahh. It’s surprising how much visual relief can be created by leaving space in your bookcases and display units. You might even choose to leave some shelves totally empty; just experiment to see what works best for you. By embracing these negative spaces, you’ll find the whole room feels instantly cleaner, tidier, and more relaxing to be in.
Now go re-arrange your bookshelf!