Bookshelf design is all about balance and use of space. They are such wonderful spaces to design because they can be customized to fit any style or personality. Some will fill each shelf with books they love while others will use them to display collections gathered over time. Some will use them to play with color – either by painting the back walls a color and using neutral accessories, or by choosing items that will add vibrant colors to the room. Bookshelves can be practical storage spaces, or beautiful display areas. Anyway you choose to use them, they are a place that will attract & please the eye.
We had custom bookshelves built to surround our fireplace in our living room. Every so often I can’t help myself, and I have to take everything off the shelves and re-design them. I usually start by keeping those items that I still love to look at and adding a few new objects to the pile. I then choose a focal piece and start decorating.
This time, I opted to stay with my blue and green color palate, but I added more chrome accents and a couple pops of orange to tie in my antique asian desk chair (pictured below). I also removed some shelves to allow for some larger objects and to give a little visual interest to the shelves as a whole.
Creating a sense of balance, weather you’re using only books, a mix of books and objects, or a collection of items is the key to making the space look designed. Give your eye a space to rest and be conscious of varying heights of objects. When you look at your shelves, notice where your eye looks first, and then where it is drawn to look next. See if that sequence is visually appealing – if not, do some rearranging.
I’ve posted some pictures of different iterations of my shelves. Which are your favorites? What would you do differently?
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