Master the Art of Decorating your Bookshelves!

Have you ever wondered why bookshelves in magazines look so great?  Many people, like you, struggle with the art of decorating their bookshelves in their own homes.  Finding the balance between too little and too much, is sometimes a hard thing to do.  Well, get ready for a few tips that will help your bookshelves look magazine-worthy!

In the these photos, I chose a bookcase out of my Portage Rd. location.  I also used accessories from around the store to fill it, so please ignore the price tags.  Your bookcase may look very similar or very different, but the same basic rules apply.

Begin by examining your collection of items you like to display.  You may have everything you need, or you may need to run to to find just the right piece :).  Here is what you are looking for:

*items that all have the same color combinations that are in your room
*tall pieces
*small pieces
*BOOKS, of course!
*small art/photos, trays or platters that you can prop up in the back
*family photos
*things you love!

Empty your bookshelf out completely.  Don't try to just rearrange it or add to it.  You need a fresh look at the shelves and the items you have to place on them.

Start with the middle shelf (I'm not sure why, but this always helps me!).  Add a piece of art or something that can be propped up against the back.  Make sure the scale looks right!  You will know if it feels too large or too small.

Go for the books next.  It is nice to have some large coffee table books, as well as hardcover novels.  Let's stop right there!  The color and title of your books are very important details!  If your color scheme is brown, red and black, don't throw in a book with a bright pink title.  If the book has nice, aged pages, place it backwards on the shelf to show that off.  Also choose the titles carefully so you don't offend your guests!

In this photo, I stacked a few books to get the right height I needed.  Remember that you need tall things, short things and also dead space.   Dead space allows your eye to rest and gives an overall, pleasing look.

Once you have completed the middle shelf and love it, move on to the top shelf.  By the way, finding the perfect balance of items for each shelf takes time!  You place an item, stand back and look.  Replace the item, then stand back and look.  And so on and so on!

The next shelf should relate to the first one you completed.  In other words, if the tall item is on the left on the middle shelf, switch it up for the top shelf.  Go through all the same steps to complete the top shelf.  Remember to step back and take in the whole picture after every move you make!

Now that you love two shelves, go for the bottom one!  I like to put something "heavy" on the bottom to ground the entire display.  I mean heavy in scale, not heavy in weight.  Here I used some old suitcases to do the trick.  Again, play around until it all makes sense.  Once your entire bookcase is complete and pleasing to the eye, take a picture of it!  That way when you dust (you do dust, don't you?), you will know how to put it all back!

Let's step aside for a minute and talk about family photos.  In my example, there were no frames or family photos.  I didn't leave them out because they don't belong, I left them out because I was using items in the store, not from my own home.  Definitely include family photos!  After all, besides books, isn't that what those shelves are for anyway?!  But use them carefully!  Change bright, color photos to sepia tone or black and white.  It still reveals your beautiful family, but in a calm, pleasing way.  Choose photos that will not offend your guests.  Save those for your bedroom or upstairs hall.  Always keep "public" spaces in your home free from photos that include kissing, childbirth or anything risqué!

My last, and most important tip, is that your home is not a museum!  Change your bookcases out regularly to keep them fresh for you, your family and your guests.

This is from you!


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