Okay people, I just haven’t said enough about my beloved bookshelf. This project took me like 74 years but turned out amazing. Building was a long process so by the time I began putting books on the shelves I just just ready for it to be over! It kinda looked like Einstein’s bookshelves, jam-packed and disorganized. Which isn’t that bad considering it meant I actual had something in common with him. After staring at the blessed shelves for far too long my friend Amy (who was in this video) came to my rescue and saved me from utter design destruction and pointing out a lot of mistakes I was making. I know there is a lot of advice out there on how to decorate a bookshelf, I’m chiming in some thoughts:
1. Choose either functional & practical, decorative, or a blend of the two.
A functional bookshelf is an honor to it’s name, basically wall to wall books. Like this one from the woodshop (with some planers too!):
Honestly I wanted a functional bookshelf because we have a ridiculous amount of books! My husband has a masters degree in literature, so I should have known I was marrying into a gagillion books. We still have three full bookshelves in the house, even after the built-ins.
A decorative bookshelf looks more like this from The Grace House:
We really should just call these things shelves, because there are so few books. It’s gorgeous, but I needed a lot more bookage. My bookshelf is definitely in between functional and decorative. A mix of books and a few pieces of decor. It works for me, but only because most of the books are hidden behind the cabinets! Whatever style you choose stick to it. Don’t have a few shelves crammed with books and other shelves with one decoration, it’ll be off balance and, well, weird looking.
2. Choose a color scheme.
One to three colors. There isn’t a lot you can do about the color of your favorite books, but be strategic on where you place them. Choose decoration pieces within the color scheme. Neutrals and one or two strong accent colors work best. I’m a blue and gold girl, so that choice was easy.
3. Display things you love!
With both books and art, if it goes up, make sure you love it. I was so excited to display collections from some of our travels. Turns out we haven’t really gone enough places for these shelves! Ha! But there are some cool items from Africa, Israel, Europe, and my favorite, South America. Mix in your own vintage treasures. These are the cutest elephants from Ghana:
4. Think texture. Think variety.
In addition to books incorporate at least one plant, picture, art, globe, geometric shape for variety and texture. It’s a process for sure:
5. Consider the heights, direction and quantity.
Try to consider the size and height of the objects in the bookshelf. Go for not too big and not too small, but just the right size. Stand books up vertically or lay them down horizontally for variety. Also, items look better in groups of three, or at least odd numbers. Can you see at the top of my shelves there are two glass globes? It’s because one broke… it doesn’t look quite right does it? Odd numbers are the ticket. I love this guide from Jessica Devlin Designs:
6. Don’t let your bookshelf go backless!
You see A LOT of the back, dress it up a little! I originally wanted to use grass cloth wallpaper but was swayed by left over paint to try navy and I love it!
7. Purge, purge, purge.
It’s not a junk drawer… it’s a bookshelf. I hid most of my loved, but unsightly, books behind the cupboards.
8. Lastly, HAVE FUN!
Books are for awesome people and bookshelves are for lucky awesome people. One day I might add a ladder. I will for sure swap things in and out. I’m just saying, it’s no wonder Belle married the Beast. He gave her a library, I would marry him too!
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