Reveal: Styling The Shelves

Last week, I revealed what the boxes became.
Read About It Here.

Today, let’s style them!

After going through maybe 20 boxes, this is what I kept of our books.

Rules regarding books to keep:

1. Will I read this again?

2. Is it an absolute favorite of mine?

3. Is it a resource I will use?

4. Does it hold significance to me?

If the answer was “No” to all, it was donated. I think it took me two rounds to get my collection down to a manageable size. As a writer, books pile up. I don’t read as much as I’d like, but I am always reading something. I use Kindle to read too, especially when traveling.

Big Question: How to put them on the shelves?

First, I sized them from small to large, then put them on shelves. I didn’t like it. I tried categories of books, nonfiction, fiction, resource books, etc. Nope, that wasn’t it!

People turn book spines to the back to see the pages, not the spin It looks simpler/neutral but makes it hard to find a book.

Like This!

I went to bed with books on the shelves, but knew I wasn’t happy! Lots of times in decor, sleeping on it helps me. I can’t really explain it but the next day I can figure it out.

Next morning, it occurred to me I saw someone taking the jackets off of the books, leaving the solid colored book exposed. The jackets appeared too busy. Off they came and I arranged them by color. Immediately, my shelves had order. See an example below.

Note, I had lots of burgundy color, so I backed those up on both sides of the same shelf.

I had black and brown together; the shelf crowded. I moved the black books to the top shelf.

Then I tried to vary the arrangements on each shelf, so the book placement had variety. Second shelf from the bottom on the right is a collection of books by the same author, so I kept those together on one shelf to add more variety.

I played and played with decor. One primary goal; avoid crowding. I wanted some white space.

I wanted some live greenery, so I moved a plant onto the top shelf. I also wanted family pics, so I played with those. I didn’t want only pictures even though I love them. I tried to display them in different ways.

Another goal was to balance this back wall of the house. Opposite the shelves is a large platter rack. I was counting on these shelves balancing it visually. Not to match it, just balance it. I think I accomplished that goal.

In small spaces, vertical space is premium! I wanted storage, but useful storage, not just decor. This is when usable goods like platters and books become decor. Believe me, I grab them off the wall and use them all the time!

For me, leaving white/negtive space is important. If I wasn’t living here every day, it might not matter as much. I’ve seen lots of cottages with covered walls of photos, plates, collectibles, etc. I like some of them, but daily, I need to see a balance of uncovered walls mixed with decor. It feels more spacious and less busy. For me to feel peaceful, I need some blank wall space.

I am thrilled with my shelves, books, decor. Boxes emptied and gone. This corner has become what I envisioned!

Below is the latest iteration and will likely stay basically this way. That won’t keep me from moving things around, or changing it up whenever. I’m sure it will change during the holidays. Placing some fresh flowers when I have them will also happen.

Share a pic of your book storage.

What’s your favorite styling tip for books?

With book shelves, what pleases your eyes?

Goal Achieved, (It only took a year and a half!)

2 thoughts on “Reveal: Styling The Shelves

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