May 20

Decor Tip: Bookshelves

I’m one of what feels like the few people left in this world that loves a good hard copy of a book. Yes, I do own an iPad, and yes, I do read on it – but I try to keep reading on my iPad for vacation/traveling for work, when carrying hard copies of books can be annoying. When I’m at home, I love to touch a book and actually turn the pages with my fingers.

This leads me to one of my favorite decor items: bookshelves.

If I didn’t live in a 400 square foot apartment, I would have even more bookshelves than I do have crammed in here already. Sometimes I daydream about having a house with amazing built ins (like the photo below).

Please be mine someday

Please be mine someday

There’s so much fun you can have with bookshelves as a major part of your decor. BUT, unfortunately, shelves often times become a home for our clutter, and quickly turn from being a great thing to look at to looking like weird Aunt Judy’s shelves.  Below you can see a photo of a small bookcase that I made over in my house by following the tips below (and spray painting my picture frames a uniform gold…the gold spray paint issue continues).


Left: Weird Aunt Judy bookshelf Right: Some quick fixes later!

Here are three of my favorite tips to organize your bookshelves, and transform them into being part of your decor!

1. COLOR CODE BOOKS:  I originally read the tip to color coordinate books here. This is one of my favorite ways to make a bookshelf stand out and look chic and unique.  Grouping together the reds, yellows and oranges, and then the blues, purples and greens really catches the eye. I like to do my colored books in the middle shelves, and then an all white row at the top and an all black row at the bottom. This draws your eye up, elongating the shelf.




2.  CREATE HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL STACKS:  Instead of having all of your books traditionally stored vertically, try mixing in a few stacks of horizontally stacked books. This breaks up the shelves, but more importantly, gives you a space to store some other items on top of your horizontal stacks.  Although it’s a bit traditional, I do like to stick with largest book at the bottom for a horizontal stack.

photo 1

My favorite bookshelf is a desk combo from Room & Board.


3.  MIX IN PERSONAL ITEMS:  The thing that can really make a bookshelf unique is mixing in some personal items with your books.  I have a major obsession with trays (another day, another post to follow for this problem), so I like to put a couple trays in.  Bud vases, picture frames, candles, figurines, etc are more great things to mix in with your books. This is also a great opportunity to share your personality – maybe you collect something (other than empty wine bottles) that you want to display on top of some of your horizontal stacks.

photo 2

You can see my personal items sprinkled in the bookshelf – elephant book ends, clock, picture frames – even a little tree stump!