When it came time to style my shelves for the One Room Challenge I was stumped. I usually consider bookshelf styling a form of therapy but these particular shelves have always been hard for me. I think it relates to the fact that they are dark and I am usually so drawn to white and bright.
I started with my regular system for tackling shelves and
then did a little tweaking to lighten things up!
I like to first lay out all of my accessories. I grab stuff from my stash and pretty much any room in my house. And I like to divide things into categories.
Next I completely clear off whatever is already on the shelves. For some reason I cannot just tweak things, I have to start completely fresh.
And then I start with just one side/area. I set up whatever arrangement makes me happy and go from there.
I think it is easier to start with just one shelf and build from there. And I do try to have a pattern…so if I have white on this top left shelf I may add white to the bottom right shelf.
If I have blue on the middle left shelf I may also add blue accents to the top center shelf and the middle right shelf. Make sense? I am creating balance…
Sometimes I create symmetry simply with a common color. For these shelves I really wanted to detract from the dark stain of the shelves and lighten things up so I stuck with mainly blues and white. When it came time for the center shelves I wanted to use the bulk of our books so it didn’t feel like too many accessories. At first I had all of the book spines facing out…
I got stuck at this phase because all of the colors of the book spines were totally throwing me off. It changed the blue/white color story and felt too heavy. No matter how much white I added to the side shelves, the center felt like it was competing. I solved the problem in two ways:
– I purchased about 30 extra white books from a thrift store. Books are usually less than $2 at thrift stores so this can be a fairly inexpensive way to add more of a certain color.
– I turned the spines of the books the opposite way. By facing the pages out it gives the illusion of a much brighter space!
Bookshelves have to be looked at as a mini room to design. You need to have a cohesive story across all of the accessories, whether they are similar in style or color. You want to repeat patterns so the sides feel balanced. And there should always be some breathing room. Don’t cover every inch of the shelf…leave a little space so they don’t overtake the whole room!
Bookshelves are my passion and I love finding new ways to help, clients and readers alike, learn how to style them. Today I am sharing a “Get the Look” post over on itSums’ blog. I chose a set of shelves designed by everyone’s favorite, Emily Henderson, and created a budget-friendly way to recreate the look. Head over and see how you can mimic the look of these beautifully eclectic shelves!