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  • Writer's pictureChristine Kommer

Styling a bookcase

Sadly none of us are going out this weekend. So, if you’re looking for a quick home project that can be done with a glass of wine in your hand, try reworking your bookcases or shelves. While it can be difficult to get that “just right balance,” there’s no need to complicate things…here are my step-by-step suggestions:

Step 1:

Take everything off your shelves.

You need a blank canvas!

Step 2: Sort and organize your items into categories. For example: books, pictures, art, other.

Step 3: Identify a theme. Maybe a theme comes to you when you’re sorting. For my family room built-ins, I decided to focus on my love of the outdoors and nature. In fact, my husband calls it my “Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.” Your theme could be really anything at all: gardening, horses, travel, dogs – something that is about you and your family.

Step 4: Identify a vibe. This is different than your theme, although they kind of go hand in hand. How do you want your bookcases to read? Fancy? Relaxed? Rustic? Refined? Sophisticated? I went for a decidedly causal feeling with my family room bookcases.

Step 5: Start to put your items on the shelves category by category, while keeping a balance. For example, if you have a bunch of books in the top left corner of your shelves, try to put some in the bottom right corner too. For shelves where you are putting objects only, I always l like to work in odds, and prefer threes, whether that’s a grouping of three of one type of item, or three different types of items grouped together. And don’t overdo it. Built ins and shelves are architectural elements in and of themselves, so less is always more.

Step 6: Take 1/3 of the items that you just put on your shelves off. Keep it clean and simple!

Step 7: Edit and rotate for holidays and seasons. Keeping up with your shelves is important. Try hard not to stuff items in there when you don’t know where else to put them, and don’t let the items you do have on your shelves collect dust – read your books, play your games, look at your pictures.

And if you still need help, dial me up and we can do a Zoom chat and talk through it!

Stay well!


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