Saturday, September 23, 2017

How to Decorate Bookshelves

How to Decorate Bookshelves and Display Items

Hello L&S fans and readers. It's been forever since I have done a tutorial on my blog. I have been chronically ill for over a year which puts me on very light duty. The good news is that I am on the mend and on bedrest for a while so I have time to blog. Here is my latest tutorial, how to decorate bookshelves.

 This is a problem for most people, how to "merchandise" meaning - display items to look pleasing to the eye. Many have tried to do this but get stuck. Pinterest is a good place to find pictures of book displays and designed book cases. But still some of us get lost on what to really do. I was once there and it took a few years until I finally knew what I was doing. I have a few bookshelves arranged in my home but for this tutorial I am only going to focus on how I stacked my new gold bookcase for my new Hollywood Regency home office.

I had many cute things to display as well as practical books I needed to display but... how?? 
Here is a step by step of what I did. 

Acme Furniture Milavera Goldtone Metal and Glass Bookshelf 

2. Select a few pieces of pretties that you love and want to display. 

These can include: flowers, books, pictures, photos, chochkis, frames, glass pieces, vases, baskets, candles, whimsical items, memorabilia. Put them randomly on your shelf. Note: these do not have to stay in this position. It is only to choose pieces you want to "highlight". What I have chosen (for the time being is a few wedding photos in gold frames, a feminine wooden clock, my sparkly initial, my "Etiquette" book, my Lucille Ball Book,  My Jimmy Choo shoes box that is sentimental to me and my Venus et fleur Roses that I received on my birthday, they are real and last a year!

3. Once those are in place, take a look at your books and start arranging. 

Book placement is not hard, it just takes time. I really wanted to fill the book case so I packed it pretty tight. There are many ways to stack books on a shelf they don't just have to be in a line. Think: This book was placed here intentionally. 

I found this tutorial online which is wonderful for beginners to explore all of the ways that books can be stacked to be showcased and pleasing to the eye. It's titled How to stack 7 Books 7 different ways. I used a bunch of the methods mentioned. Some books are half up half down, some are classically stacked, some are showcased diagonally. I also paid attention to color and content of the books, I grouped some books by color and some books by interest. This takes quite a while....

 4. When in doubt remember the rules of design, and merchandising this makes objects "pleasing to the eye". Make the bookshelf so people will want to take a look. A messy bookshelf just looks like clutter. An intentionally stacked shelf is... comfortable. 
Here are some rules and guidelines you can loosely or strictly follow to make your shelf look designed:

A) Even amateur designers know to group things in 3's - that is true but really for me it's making good visual triangles, hence a triangle is 3 angles= things in threes. 

B) Balance- where does your eye land? All sides of the case should be in balance. If you have a dark background white or light colored things is where your eye will land. If you have a light background your eyes will land on the darker pieces. What do you want to stand out? Display them upright.What books can you use as just "filler" that will fade into the background?

C) Height of items. Nothing close together or on the same shelf should be the same exact height. If you have to add a book under it to make it taller, or if you have to take a book away in order to create different heights, then make it work.

D) Stick with one or two "finishes only" in my bookcase the majority of my "finish color" for frames and items are only either white or gold. If I added black, or oil rubbed bronze or brass or silver nickel or chrome to the shelf it may be too busy. 

E)  Use varying textures to make it interesting and add dimension..., glass, paper or books, metal, wood, live flowers or fruit, weaved baskets, wax, clay, porcelain, feathers, furry or fuzzy texture.

Let' get a brief education on these rules and see them in play out in real life. I will use examples from some shelves in my home. Let's learn how and why these vignettes look designed with purpose. 

First: Look at the set up of this console table I made a few years ago. Pretty picture right? Let's see why. 

Here we have a triangle of glassware.

Here we have a triangle of red highlights.

Here we have only used 2 finishes. 
Set of 3 books, set of 3 contained objects. 
Next, let's look at the shelving in my living room and why it is pleasing to the eye as well, using our above guidelines:
Wood texture in 3 places. 
Triangle of white items.

Every shelf has varying heights of items.
Lots of textures.

Now back to the original bookshelf in my office it is COMPLETE! 
This bookshelf display is a work in progress and I tend to change or add something a few times a week but for the most part it is finished. Still hanging other pictures and mirrors in my new office. Can't wait for the outcome.

And...some close-ups:

 ....And Nacho Man and Buh- Beans enjoying the office. 

Thanks for checking out my tutorial. Like me on FB and follow me on Instagram, 
xoxo Kristen


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