A well styled bookshelf is like a well styled person – striking & intriguing. It should draw you in closer.
Few fashionable homes are without a well styled bookshelf. Whether you have a freestanding shelf, or built in cabinetry, you can make your display shine with a few simple tricks.
Clear your shelving first, so that it is completely empty. With so much open space, there’s potential for disaster, so start by collecting your items on the floor, or a table, in front of the shelving. Then one by one you can start adding things back in. By following a formula, it’s easier to get it right the first time, rather than playing around with it endlessly.
After you’ve added each piece, stand back, assess, and rearrange if necessary. Strike the right balance between books & objects – books are important, of course, but a bookshelf full of books that haven’t been carefully curated is often just messy. Choose your favourite books – ones that tell visitors to your home who you are. Hardback books, and ones with interesting covers or spines are best. Old books from vintage re-sellers can also look gorgeous & add a bit of character.
If you don’t have a good collection of books you can always cover them in an interesting paper or fabric. Even simple brown paper can look stylish when books are stacked on top of eachother – usually in threes.
Of vital importance in creating a harmonious display is a variation of heights & shapes. Tall accent pieces alongside 2 shorter ones will add visual interest. This uses the good old rule of displaying things in ‘threes’.
If you’re stuck for other things to show, you can use interesting found objects such as pine cones, driftwood, or mossy branches. Plus any item that tells a story – collected from travels or fun experiences.
Add in some ‘warmth’ with personal photos. A way to make these look chic, especially if in mis-matched frames, is to have them printed in black and white. Again, varying heights will be most appealing to the eye.
Boxes are useful for storage, but don’t fill the entire bookshelf up with storage containers, it’s too predictable. Choose box that has an attractive cover or is made from a natural, woven fibre.
For a real style punch, you could wallpaper or paint the back of open shelving. Many companies are now making removable wallpaper that is very easy to apply (and importantly, easy to remove when necessary!)