Monday 12 April 2021
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Correctly displaying items on a bookcase or shelves

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As an interior designer I sometimes find it very difficult to not just jump in and start moving furniture and décor around when entering a client’s home. Not necessary because it is done incorrectly, but usually because I see the potential of just tweaking an arrangement. But nothing makes my hands itch more than a bookcase of shelves that are just stuffed with books. For me this makes the whole room look messy.
Most people still own books and some, most or even all of these books hold some sentimental value. So why not display them in such a way that they are also aesthetically pleasing? Especially old hardcover books. But where to start you might ask? Lets explore how to go about displaying your books and collections of items correctly.
First of all go through your book collection and get rid of those that you no longer want or need. Magazine and books can be donated to schools and old age homes. Next step would be to sort out those books that are beautiful enough to display and those that are not. Those that are not worthy of displaying should be stored away safely. Once this is done, go through your home and gather items that could be combined well with the books selected. These would for instance be tall accent pieces, framed pictures, potted plants, sculptures, interesting items (things your for instance bought while traveling abroad or antique pieces inherited) and beautiful baskets. If you find that you do not have (or not enough) items to combine with the books, visit second hand stores, garage sales (which I see is becoming popular), even second hand bookstores and it you can afford it, the décor stores. Do not buy something just to fill up the space. If you are unable to find something that really takes your fancy, rather wait until you spot the right one. It is always better to take your time and make sure you are happy with the end result.
Now you are ready to start assembling a decorative bookcase or shelves. Start by strategically placing two or three of the bigger pieces (depending of course on the size of your bookcase/shelves) and follow this with arranging some books. Remember to make it interesting. Mix up the placement of books, stack some together upright while placing others heaped on top of each other. Put items on some of the horizontally stacked books, bind some of the books in heaps with a piece of string or textured ribbon. Remember to arrange decorative items in odd numbers. But importantly, keep it tidy, rather layered than cluttered. And then of course, add some greenery. If all the books do not fit into the space, use them somewhere else in your home.
An elegantly arranged bookcase or shelves can add to the charm of a room and is a great way of displaying person collections and pieces of interest. Hope you enjoy rearranging your bookcase. Send me pictures; I would love to see what you have achieved.
[Images extracted from the Internet]

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