Jamie LOVES in December … bookshelves!
I have an extensive collection of books in both my home and office. I love collecting books from trips that I take from all around the world and from my favorite designers for inspiration. My collection is also comprised of books that I have received as gifts over the years.
Books should never be stagnant; I think of them as having a life of their own. Unless you are in a public library, after books have been taken off the shelf and read, they are rarely placed back in the same location. Bookshelves should lend themselves to this type of environment. They should be loose and open to change.
It is quite common when clients ask what to do with their bookshelves. Many people think that they should have a tight bookshelf, packed with books lined up vertically. This could not be further from the truth. Create movement on a bookshelf by clustering books and leaving some space in between. Stack books horizontally and even lean a book. By doing this, you are not only creating a visual rhythm, but you are not pressured to go out and purchase a ton of books just to fill your shelves.
I often walk into a home and see empty shelves because many people are not sure what to do with bookshelves if they do not collect books. Even if you are not a book collector, you can use the shelving to display your favorite home accessories, such as candle sticks, decanters or family photos. Use the few books you do own, and mix them in.
Another trick that can make a sparse shelf look full is by adding a mirror to the back panel. The mirror will not only reflect the items you have but also reflect the entire room, almost making the shelf itself disappear.
In order to keep your shelves from looking too messy or cluttered, consider trying to stick to one color or tone of colors. Like in this photo, I mostly decorated with gold accessories. If you have an array of books, try grouping them by size or by color to maintain order. If you really want to have some fun, try painting your bookshelves a dark color and filling them with all white books and accessories!
Enjoy your bookshelves; don’t be afraid to mix it up, and try new things!