Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Styling Bookcases

Styling Bookcases are one of my favorite things to do!  However, I've found it is one of the hardest things for my clients.  It's all in the details, the personal touches, and sticking to the design basics. 

For this client, I really needed to pull out all the stops to stretch the dollar as far as possible.  There was a lot to conquer on a small budget.  So for the bookcases, I kept it really simple and easy.  Using the basics, plants, books, pictures, vases, and baskets.  Typically, I would gather a bunch of accessories from lots of different stores to give the shelves a collected, gathered look.  But here, I kept it simple with basic items from Target and Ikea. 


1.  Start with a basic bookcase!! 
For this client, I decided to start with a basic black Oxford Bookcase from Home Decorators Collection.  I was looking for something sturdy and solid, yet low priced to fit in our budget since we had to purchase two of these.  These were the perfect fit because they were wide, tall, and came with adjustable shelves.  Check the height!  Measure them out in your space and make sure they are the correct scale for the wall.  Bookcases come in lots of different sizes, so make sure they are right for your space.  This bookcase was originally a six-shelf bookcase, but I removed one of the shelves to have more space for the baskets. 

Oxford Bookcase from Home Decorators Collection

2.  Add in Books from Goodwill.
I always start the styling with a stack of books.  Any and every bookshelf needs books.  Don't have any?  Even better.  I like to use decorative books when styling a bookcase.  I start by shopping at my local Goodwill store.  If you can pick up some books at Goodwill the first Saturday of the month, then you can get them half price!  Even better!! When buying the books at Goodwill, look behind the paper sleeve and see the color of the book binding.  This is what you are looking for.  I pick all of the books based on the color of the binding that matches the room decor.  For this space I chose books with a bright turquoise and blue colored binding for a pop of color against the black bookcases.  Buy more than you think.  Unless you plan it out exactly for each shelf, I always seem to use more books than I originally think I will.   

3.  Faux plants are the perfect accessory.
These faux plants from Ikea are my go-to item for decorating bookshelves.  You can pick any container to put the plants in to coordinate with your decor and they come in lots of different shapes and sizes.  They are really inexpensive too, so they make for a great accessory for any bookshelf.

4.  The "Power of Three"
For a really easy rule of thumb when styling a shelf in a bookcase, just remember the "Power of Three" when placing items.  Use only 3 books as a stack, with a small object set on top of the books.  Arrange items in groups of 3.  For a simple, clean look, keep it to 3 items per shelf.  As you can see below, I used the "Power of Three" when decorating each shelf.  The top shelf has a plant, a large picture frame, and 3 books stacked with a small vase on top.  The middle shelf is simple with just 3 larger items.  The bottom shelf is basically a flipped version of the top shelf moving the plant to the center so that none of the plants are directly lined up within the bookcase.

5.  Storage
A bookcase is a great place for added storage.  It doesn't have to be just for pretty objects or displaying accessories.  Bookcases can be functional as well.  With two small kids, this client needed some extra storage in their family room for toys, games, diapers, whatever....So I added 4 black woven baskets from Ikea to each bookcase.  Now they have lots of storage for a quick clean-up!

6.  Coordinate Accessories
Other than books, plants, picture frames, and baskets, the styling of these bookcases are really pretty simple.  So to keep it simple, yet still all coordinating, I bought all of the vases from the same place.  By purchasing all of the same vase, just different sizes and colors, it keeps the styling very simple and stylized. 

Styling bookcases doesn't have to be that difficult if you stick to the simple design rules and just have fun with it!!

Other design projects I've done with bookcase styling.  A Home Office Makeover with custom bookcases styled with vintage pieces in navy and golds.  And a Home Office decorated in a yellow and gray color scheme. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks amazing! You are the best. I could read your tips and tricks all day long.


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