Photos: Luke Cleland
One of my most favorite aspects of creating any living space: taking on the bookshelves and built ins. Just this past weekend at market, while selecting the big pieces for upcoming projects, I found my eyes also being drawn to the smaller, quality details. It's those vibrant pots holding lively plants, a collection of color-blocked books, and the small dog figurines (duh) that get me. When I find these, I see items that will live a long and prosperous life while sitting pretty and adding personality on that bookshelf. To me, it's important to nail the bookshelf out of the park; today, I’m sharing three steps to arranging your best "shelfie".
CREATE A BASE
First and foremost, start by creating a base on each shelf. Consider introducing an arrangement of books, trays, risers, and my personal fav, baskets. All of these fit well as the base of your bookshelf, grounding it in beauty as you work from bottom to top on each surface. These items will host small collections, fill visual space, and add height. Whatever the shelf, Its impactful to add weight to the bottom with a large box or basket. This is a great spot to store a basket of toys or blankets and keep things functional.
After you’ve mastered the base of each shelf and created the stage for the pieces that show your persona, move on to the next step where you can work to create layers from front to back throughout each shelf. When working with builtins, I might add a wallpaper backdrop to introduce pattern and texture.You can also paint the back of these shelves a extra cool color, this helps bring those items on your shelf to life. But on any shelf, propping or hanging either artwork or a mirror up against the shelf back creates interest. In my mind, the more dimension you have, the better. This is prime real estate for those small pieces of artwork.
This is where we add all the personality and texture. Photos, pottery, collections, plants, and heirooms all live here. Try draping beads over a collection of books or vases for dimension. One tip here: grouping small items together in gatherings makes them more impactful and gives those items more presence. Let me tell you, creating interest is your very best tool in creating a beautiful space that represents the personality of it's inhabitant! Really, the world is your shelfie styling oyster.
Here's to creating the perfect shelfie! Now go on with your bad self and make it happen, party people.
To Start: That Shelf Though. This is one of my favorite, affordable, oh-so-transitional pieces from World Market.