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Saturday, September 3

4 Tips for Styling Bookshelves

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My client recently asked me to "fluff up her office". This included reorganizing and styling the bookshelves. Luckily she also wanted new accessories. Because, let's face it, I love to shop! {I found most of them at Home Goods & some of them at Pottery Barn & Z Gallerie.} Here are some tips on how to style shelves. {Click on the blue bar below to read more.}

First I'll show you what the shelves looked like before . . .
Tip 1- Put "like" books with "like" books. 
Esthetically this just looks the best. I usually like to group books according to size & style wherever possible. For instance, old books look nice together . . . small books are great grouped along similar-sized books. I like to start at one side of the shelf & place the books in descending order according to size. It also works to lay some large books horizontally on the shelf - especially if the spines are pretty like the ones in the photo below.

Tip 2 - Use attractive accessories to add interest.
Ironically, I think it showcases the books more to have carefully placed non-book objects on your shelves as well. It seems so much more pleasing to the eye than just rows and rows of books. So try adding pizazz with pretty boxes {a great place to hide manuals, unattractive books & clutter}, bookends, plants, globes, photos & vases. And don't be afraid to include a few large accessories - rather than just a bunch of tiny ones. I love the huge plant that my client already had & the new large print & vase that we added.
Tip 3 - Remember to allow for negative space.
I am a huge believer in this in almost all design scenarios - even walls! The eye needs a break. You can probably see the difference in the before & after pictures. I always leave some empty spaces and it helps prevent a cluttered look. 
Tip 4 - Edit when possible.
Most of us have a tendency to hoard. Often when I'm working on bookcases {my own included}, I find more than one copy of the same book. It's a good idea to go through your books once in a while & donate the ones you really don't need or want. In this client's case, I didn't get rid of any books at all. But I did hide some that weren't attractive. I do think it looks like we do have less books though & that's because they are just arranged in a better way.
Hope this helps! Let me know if I left out any of your favorite tips.

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