Bookshelves do double duty as storage space for books and display space for accessories. Learn how to arrange shelves so they are both fully functional and pleasing to the eye.
To style a bookcase to perfection, resist the urge to pack in accessories on every shelf. Keep a clean look by choosing a one-color or tone-on-tone scheme for vases and figurines, and make sure to mix up shapes. Every so often, step back to assess the overall balance of your arrangement. Place items off-center or try larger or smaller ones until you like what you see.
Built-in bookshelves surrounding a doorway can be tricky; start by filling the top row with books. Alternate the remaining nooks with creatively stacked books and accessories.
To give office shelves an organized feel, gather a wide variety of collectibles and place them between books, creating loose symmetry. If you have a picture frame or square shape in one shelf, mirror it with a collectible of a similar shape and size. In a wall of shelves such as this, it's important to scatter books here and there to punctuate the look.
Utilize a built-in bookcase as a fashionable and functional headboard. Baskets hold eyeglasses and lotions, leaving plenty of room for a library of nighttime reading materials. Add more appeal with adjustable reading lights mounted inside the bookcase. Hang a favorite piece of artwork on the front of the shelf for visual interest.
Adding wallpaper or printed fabric to the back wall of shelves creates a unique look and is an easy way to personalize a bookcase. Add woven baskets and decorative storage boxes to easily organize magazines and maintain a clean look. Attach fun labels to shelves to establish an organizing system for your books.
Shelves are great tools to keep a craft workroom organized. Slip magazine holders on open shelves to hold loose papers. Storage boxes conceal clutter and can be kept a neutral color to blend in. For a bolder look, cover boxes with printed paper. Use decorative containers and flea market finds to hold paintbrushes or pens and pencils.
Turn bookshelves into a family photo zone by lining them with framed photographs. Place small photographs on stacks of books if there's room for both. If your shelves are deep, try pushing the books to the back and placing photos in front.