Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Styling a book case... and tricks!

Our book case in our living room has been used as nothing but a dumping ground for all the stuff we didn't know quite where to put!
Sound familiar??
Of course it did contain books, which is the purpose of a book case, but as we are not avid readers (as much as I would like to be), there really was no structure or functionality in the shelves!
So, after staring at the mess it contained for a while, I decided to take action!
I was going to "style" that book case , so if nothing else, it looked nice!!
Now, styling is not something I have touched upon before here at Nostalgiecat...mostly because I don't consider myself an expert stylist, but also because I somehow find the concept a bit contrived!
So, after spending a few evenings on Pinterest, reading up on bookshelf styling, I decided to go for it...
So here's a few tricks of the trade that I learnt, alongside some pictures of my first attempt at bookshelf styling!

I started by clearing the shelf off and giving it a good clean!

Starting with the big things, I used a basket to store my magazines and I added some books...this is after all a book shelf, even if the chances are slim they will ever get read!! I say "some" books, because I didn't  put our entire sporadic collection back...I kept it minimal!
If you are an avid book reader and your collection of books are your pride and joy, then this post is probably not for you...I just wanted to make our book shelf look nice!
Try to keep the look and feel balanced by spreading the "piles" of books across the shelf!

Notice how I've turned the books around, so the spine faces back into the shelf....yup! NOT very practical if you like to see the titles of your books, but it makes the display a lot more uniform, so that's what I did!
....or you can wrap your book spines up, like Kristin Cadwallader from Bliss at Home did here
I stored the books both vertically and horizontally for a more interesting expression, leaving some "negative" space around the piles of books!
Negative space, is the space around things, and I've learnt that when it comes to styling something like a book shelf, leaving a bit of emptiness is important!!

I also added an unexpected light source on the bottom shelf, in form of this origami paper table lamp from Habitat...this will help add some nice low-level lighting to the room, ergo enhancing the feel of the space!

Next, I started adding some decorative objects....I took my own advice from THIS POST, and shopped my home for things I already had! I collected items with similarities and kept the color palette neutral , in white's and grey's.

I placed items on top of the book piles, as well as in the spaces in between...

On the top of the shelves, is the ideal place to display your favorite items: Your favorite coffee table books, a decorative bowl, a vase,some figurines (I love keeping mine in cloches) and some candlesticks...whatever you have. Make it a collection, by grouping similar things together for maximum impact!

Try mixing up textures and finishes, but keep to a limited color palette!

Try to layer your objects: 

Work from large to small: Placing larger or taller items first, then layering your items by adding smaller items into the mix last... Play around with shapes and layers, step back and have a look every now and then....tweak as required!

As my color palette was so neutral, I decided to add some greenery....and the green bamboo leaves, cut from my garden, really pops against the neutral back drop of white porcelain and my handmade concrete items..

...and a little Succulant on the book shelf finished off the look...

I am quite pleased with my first attempt to style our book shelf...and it most definitely looks better than it did before....and hopefully not too contrived??
That is the only bit I am struggling with to be honest...does it look the right amount of casual? Not too done??
I'm sure it will not stay so pristine for long, with a 5 year old in the house, so I guess it will naturally evolve into a more natural display!
So for now, I am happy to know that my favorite items are proudly displayed, and my book case is no longer a messy dumping ground!
I looks beautiful!

So here's a little pinnable recap of my top tips on styling a book case:

What do you think?


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