Today, I am thrilled to have Jessica of Phan a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees who has graciously written a post on arranging a bookshelf for all of my readers. I don't know about you, but I can use all the help I can get when arranging my books and adding just the right accessories snuggled in between. I found this post to be very helpful to me and I hope you agree. Enjoy!
How to Arrange a Bookshelf ~ Decorating a bookshelf is a common dilemma to many homeowners. The need to combine functionality and style so that bookshelves look organized yet chic is indeed a challenging task. For book lovers, it’s even more difficult as a large number of books need to be arranged in an uncluttered way. While there are no hard and fast rules to this design predicament, here are some tips to help you maximize the aesthetic element of bookshelves:
Start fresh ~
Often, simply moving books around and replacing accessories only magnifies a disorganized look. The best way to renovate an untidy shelf is to remove everything and start anew. Put all essentials (books and other items you really want to display on the shelf) in a separate pile. Make sure you have enough space for these before deciding on other accessories to add.
Consider functionality and practicality ~
Sort books according to preference, whether by genre or favorite authors. Place those you want easy access to on the lower shelves. Another factor to consider is to sort items based on size. For safety, place larger and heavier books at the bottom and lighter ones on top shelves.
Create balance not uniformity ~
When it comes to designing bookshelves, simplicity and random symmetry are keys to achieving balance. Avoid a cluttered look by using only a few but larger-sized accessories instead of numerous small one. Small accessories tend to get lost in bookshelves and placing too many only creates a disorderly array.
Create movement and fluidity in your design by striving for an asymmetrical look. Even symmetry or matching items on both sides of the shelf lead to a bland and static look. Place items in an evenly distributed manner throughout the shelf, taking care not to match every item with a similar one on the opposite side. On each shelf, leave a breathing room or at least 10 percent of the shelf free. With casual balance, you achieve effortless style.
Another trick is using similarly colored and sized items to balance each other. As much as possible, stick to one color scheme or at least use colors that blend well together. While some go as far as covering their books with craft paper to follow a theme, using accessories of the same hue is good enough.
A great way to unify all your pieces is to cover the back of your shelf with wallpaper or paint that is a different hue from the bookshelf. Doing so creates a backdrop that stands out in the room.
Add shape and texture ~
For a striking visual appeal, add interesting pieces of different shapes and textures. Accessories break up a pile or a row of books, keeping a sense of movement throughout the shelf. Vases, wooden boxes, ceramic pieces, and antique finds add personality to your shelf. Picture frames give a personal touch. Use a variety of pieces for balance. A globe, for instance, can be balanced with rectangular picture frames and candle holders.
Another tip is to place accessories off-center. If you have a lot of books, place some small accessories in front of them. If you have enough space, let large items like a framed painting or big figurine occupy a single cubicle for more impact. Arranging some books in stacks and others standing up is also adds texture especially if you have only a few books.
Play around ~
When you're working with different pieces, it's easy to lose track of your design and keep re-thinking your original plan. Step back from the shelf and survey your work from a distance to check if you're going in the right direction or need to make some changes. After adding a piece, try moving it around or replacing it with a different piece. Arrange and rearrange, add and subtract until you feel that the results are pleasing to your eye and reflect your personality.
The beauty about designing a bookshelf is that there are rigid rules to follow. Though this means you need to spend more time on this project, it’s a highly stimulating activity that lets your creativity flow and allows you to explore your inner sense of style.
Jessica Phan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area which is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.
I hope you enjoyed the post! :)