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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.
Use pieces of sturdy pottery as bookends to keep shelves neat. Bookends especially come in handy for paperbacks and slimmer books, which are less likely to stay upright.
Books can be used to create visual interest. Pyramidal stacks on the center shelves contrast the top shelf of entirely vertical books. Layer pieces of art behind shorter books or small accessories such as figurines.
For a display-worthy bookcase, organize paperbacks in pretty baskets. Group like books together (by author, genre, etc.) and put labels on the baskets so books are easy to find.
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.
Deep shelves give you the luxury to play with layers. Lean plates and artwork along the back of the shelves, and anchor them with books or heavier objects. Place a few small pieces of art near the front of the shelves to give them depth.
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.
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