Bookshelves: For More than Just Books

Feeling overwhelmed by your overstuffed book shelves? The difference between a jam-packed, cluttered bookcase and one that is thoughtfully designed and decorated is significant. If you have reached your limit with packed-to-the brim bookshelves that detract from your overall interior design, we have tips and tricks for culling unnecessary items, and decorating your bookshelves so they are inviting and attractive.


7 Tips and Tricks for Decorating Your Bookshelves Like a Pro:

  1. Take One Shelf at a Time. There’s no need to tackle your whole bookcase at once. Just take once shelf at a time, which can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. It makes a great unwinding process at the end of the day, or before bed. Just put on some soothing music and jump in.
  2. Cull the Stacks. Most of us end up with way more books than we will ever read again. Culling the stacks is the first step in keeping your shelves from becoming cluttered. Start by dividing your books into three piles:
    • Absolute keepers. The books that have shaped you, changed your perspective, and you are sure you will want to read again and again. These books are like literary family.
    • Forgot you had ’em. These books were quick vacation reads or passed to you by well-meaning friends and family. Some might have lofty authors that you just never got into (we can’t all be bibliophiles). If you don’t plan on reading it again, or didn’t finish it, it should be donated.
    • On the fence. If you can’t decide, keep an “on the fence” pile. The more culling you do, the more ruthless you will become and going through this stack again will be quick.

    Don’t forget about your local libraries. You can always order a book for pick-up through your library, meaning it’s free and doesn’t require permanent residence on your shelves.

  3. Pull the Books to the Front. When you replace your books, resist the urge to move them to the back of the shelf. Instead, align them towards the front of the shelves. It looks more uniform and saves you a bit of dusting.
  4. Alternate Your Stacking Direction. Switch up the way you stack your books. Some can be aligned vertically, and others horizontally. This creates different shapes within the bookshelf grid, and often allows for more “white space” as well, so they don’t look so full.
  5. Create Space. Speaking of white space, it’s important that your book shelves leave space around books and decorative objects. No space = the jam-packed, cluttered look you were eliminating in the first place. You can create space by intermingling books, pictures, vases, or objets d’art, or by leaving some shelves for books and others for your decorations.
  6. Match Your Objects. As you continue through your sorting process, consider how your objects are related. Try to create symmetry by placing similarly shaped objects together on a shelf, or keep photos in one area and pottery in another.
  7. Color Coordinate. If you really want to decorate your bookshelves like a pro, learn to color coordinate them with your space. Choose accents that pull out the colors that are already an integral part of your room’s palette. Or, you can make book covers for some of your paperback books, to provide a higher-quality, color unified appearance.

These simple tips and tricks can use up the better portion of a day, or can be worked on little by little throughout the week (or month!). Either way, the end result will be a more harmonious book display that works to enhance your interior decor.


How to Make Your Home Exude Autumn

If you asked most interior decorators what their favorite season is, I’d bet the majority would instantly respond, “Autumn!” This is because we decorators are in love with color and there is no season more rich in color than Autumn; the lustrous golds, chocolate browns, deep reds and burnt oranges are perfect for creating a warm and inviting living space.

If you are ready to welcome in the new season, we have tips for making your home exude the very essence of Autumn’s glory. Whether you love to entertain, or enjoy sitting by the fireside, tucked away from the evening’s chill, we hope these photos and ideas will inspire you.

Harness Nature’s Bounty. Visit your local Farmer’s Market and bring nature’s bounty into your home. Potted Chrysanthemums, Mums, and Zinnias can be placed around your patio, dining room, and end tables. If you have children, take them to a pumpkin patch where they can select their own pumpkins for decorating (more on that later). Many farmers often have summer squash they have let turn into gourds, which you can hand select fordining room centerpieces.

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere. So often we envision pumpkins in their natural form, or carved for Halloween. However, you can use pumpkins in wreathspiled up in vases, or serving as a visual reminder of the Pumpkin Pie that is yet to come.

Autumnal Accents. If you are a serial decorator, painting an accent wall isn’t too much to ask. In that case, we recommend painting a wall in your living room or dining room a nice, autumnal orange or gold. If those are too bright for your taste, you might prefer a chocolate brown. A fall colored accent wall will be a perfect backdrop for the rest of your autumn-themed decor.

If painting a wall is too extreme, consider slipcovers and accent rugs that can be brought out for the season and then put away again when you are ready for something different.

Harvest Corn. Next to pumpkins and squashes, corn has long been a staple of the autumn harvest. There are a variety of ways you can use dried ears of corn to decorate your home. Using raffia, florist wire, and a few dozen dried ears of corn, you can create a beautiful garland for your front porch or to frame your dining room entry. Tie groupings of colorful corntogether to hang from cabinetry or your door knocker. You can fill clear jars with colorful corn kernels and set them on shelves or as part of a centerpiece.

Floral Arrangements. There is a floral arrangement for every season, and autumn is no exception. Take long walks with your family and collect colorful leaves from maples and other trees that are starting to change colors and drop their leaves. Or, you can order colorful leaves from your florist. A small metal tub can house leaves, dried grasses, and other seasonal foliage and flora.

Decorate Your Pumpkins. Everyone knows how to carve a pumpkin, but there are numerous other methods for seasonal pumpkin decoration. For example, there are plenty of no-carve pumpkin ideas, and they only require some paint and a little imagination. Some of them are downright Boo-tiful(sorry, we couldn’t resist!). Even wrapping your pumpkins in a sheer fabric or lace is a elegant way to dress them up.

What are your favorite tips and suggestions for welcoming autumn? Please let us know. We would love to hear them.