BHG Guest Blogger

5 Tips for Styling a Basic Bookshelf



So nice to meet you! I’m Darlene Weir, the principal interior designer for Fieldstone Hill Design, an eDesign and interiors firm. I am also an interiors and style blogger, and I am delighted to be sharing design tips again here at the BHG Style Spotters Blog. Some of my top tips for styling bookcases are being featured in the November 2013 Better Homes and Gardens issue, and I am thrilled to share some additional thoughts with you on how to create a stunning bookcase display, starting with the basics.





1.  It’s About the Books

I truly believe that bookshelves should be filled with books. Other items do help to make for a beautiful bookshelf, but they should be the ‘icing on the Book Cake.’ So, start with your books!

{design by Fieldstone Hill Design}


Books can be organized and displayed in a variety of beautiful ways. Try grouping your books by color, depth and/or height. Play with symmetrical displays or graduating heights. Or try an ombre color display. Either way, pack in the books!


Don’t have a lot of books? Another idea is to use your magazine collection. Or, scour for books via flea markets, yard sales, library sales, or help clear out your friends’ basements! I think it is worth the effort to have book-filled shelves… and a book-filled life for that matter.


2. Think Horizontally and Vertically

Once you have your books in, and looking pretty, allow for some breathing room, or gaps, between your books.  Fill in the minor/smaller gaps by using horizontal, stacked books topped with beautiful décor items. Then, fill in any major gaps with larger, vertical décor items. I recommend selecting several large items that all have a common color scheme, since the books themselves will offer a lot of visual busyness.

{design by Fieldstone Hill Design}

3. Add Lovely Fillers

Bookshelves provide the perfect backdrop for displaying favorite décor items among your book collection. Large and small vases, trays, platters, framed family photos, and framed art all make beautiful additions as you “fill in the gaps” between your books. Also, décor items that are simply there for beauty’s sake, are perfect additions as well.

This is an opportunity to display some of the lovelier things in your home, as well as display beautiful pictures of your family. So dig through your cabinets! Hunt around the house for items that have been buried behind closed doors, but are worthy of display, and add them to your bookshelf display.


4. Add Useful Fillers

Let’s face it. Sometimes storage space is at a premium. That is why I love the idea of using the extra bookshelf space between books for additional sneaky storage. My favorite tricks?

a) Stacked nesting boxes filled with family photos.



 b) Beautiful, matching baskets filled with…. Just about anything! This is one of my favorite ways to sneak extra storage out of a room.

 c) Adding a mini-bar or water bar on a tray. This is an artful and practical addition to a bookshelf. The water bar idea is my new favorite! It is so nice to have a display of sparkling Italian waters to offer to any of your guests.


5. Think outside of the box

This is a simple trick that truly elevates your bookshelf beauty to another level: Hang some gorgeous art onto the outside of your bookshelves! Layering in this way adds depth and texture {not to mention pretty art!} to your bookshelf design.


Ultimately, have fun with your bookshelves. Remember that decorating rules are meant to be broken. And always, decorate with what you LOVE! Who has time for “like?” Basic bookshelves never need to be boring!


For more bookshelf inspiration and design tips, I would love to have you join me over at Fieldstone Hill Design!

Michael Wurm, Jr.

Pin it. Get it! Bar Cart Styling

TREND: Bar Carts

Whether it’s a vintage find or a fabulous new piece, bar carts are popping up everywhere. Their versatility and  style make them a perfect addition to any dining room or kitchen space.

A few years ago I found an old metal school cart at a local thrift shop for $10. It has since become one of my favorite things to style in my home. It has classic ingredients like glasses, a cocktail shaker, and a basket or two. Then for special parties or occasions, I get to have fun incorporating different cocktail napkins, straws and colorful glassware. Not only does my bar cart serve as a functional piece in my room, it becomes a beautiful and eclectic statement piece of my own personal style.


Today, I put together a fun collection of some of my personal favorite accessories to create a really special bar cart. From a pig corkscrew to birch paper straws, this bar cart is serving up function and style.

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Cheers and Happy Decorating!

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm

Michael Wurm, Jr.

Pin it. Get it!: Etageres


You’ve seen them. Etageres, those amazingly organized and decorated shelving units, are showing up everywhere. Whether it’s in the pages of your favorite magazine, on a DIY/decor blog, or even on Pinterest, the etagere is quickly becoming a must-have piece of furniture.


While the word, etagere may sound fancy, it’s basically a series of open shelves to store and hold your beautiful belongings and treasures. Maybe you need a place to store your beloved books in your office or your special serveware in your dining room, an etagere can be perfect for any space. Not only does an etagere offer additional storage, when decorated, it can make a lovely, unique, and interesting statement in your home.


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9  // 10


Wanting to add an etagere to my nest, I searched Shop BHG and found some that I thought you’d also want to see. Whether you like traditional or modern, one of these pieces will certainly work to create a delightful display in one of your spaces.


Happy decorating,

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm

Style Spotter Editor

what should I put on my piano?

When you work at a fabulous magazine like Better Homes and Gardens, people assume your home is beautifully decorated and filled with clever projects and great ideas. Confession: That’s not true. At least not for me! I have problem spots, not enough closets, really boring white walls (and I’m the color editor!), and bad layouts. But when I’m ready to tackle a project, I know exactly where to turn for inspiration.


On my fall must-do list is figuring out what to put on top of my small console piano. This photo shows it at its best with leftover flowers and veggies from this fun shoot.


But they wilted and now I need something more permanent. Here’s a little roundup of inspiration photos. I’m trying to find a style that feels “me.”


My sweet spot is a cross between the graphic modern stuff in number 1 and the sweet charm of number 3. (And I love the idea of putting a table lamp on the piano. For an amateur player like me that’s about right!)


If you have a piano, what do you have on it?


–Joanna Linberg, Associate Home Editor, Better Homes and Gardens

Sources: 1. Bright Modern Condo 2. Living Room Designs 3. Handmade Cottage Charm 4. Garden-Inspired Living Room