Hi friends! Happy Friday and happy March! I think we are all welcoming March this year with open arms, right? I for one am thrilled that winter is on it’s way out.
On Monday I mentioned that because I was forced to stay home for a week straight while the flu ran through our house, I was able to tackle a few projects. One of those was styling our bookshelves that I had been meaning to do for months. When we first moved in, Mom told me to drop the boxes and style the bookshelves. So I took all of 10 minutes and piled things here and there and called it a day. And Mom was right! What a difference it made those first few weeks to have the shelved styled in making the house feel lived in.
But that is pretty much where I stopped. I hadn’t done much with them (except add more junk) and really hadn’t spent any time to properly style them.
So I took every single thing off the pair of bookshelves and decided to start over. And I am so much happier with them now! Here is one side:
And here is the other:
Styling shelves can be so tricky so to get started, I went on Pinterest and pinned all of the styled shelves I liked. Then I read several blog posts on tips for styling bookshelves. I basically went down a book-shelf-styling-rabbit-hole and was armed with a few ideas to get me started.
After I took everything existing off the shelves, I walked around and gathered everything I thought might be good to add and put all of the “inventory” nearby on the kitchen table.
If you have every spent time styling bookshelves, then you know how difficult this seemingly easy task is!
I am by no means claiming to be a pro but I think this is a struggle for so many. My hope in sharing this is that it may spark a new idea or two for your own bookshelves.
So here my top five tips for styling shelves:
- ZIG-ZAG SIMILAR ITEMS: Use the zig-zag method for similar items. In the photo below, you can see how I zig-zagged the books across the three shelves: GREY> GREEN> BLUE. Then I did a reverse zig-zag with my vintage silver ice buckets.
- USE BLACK & WHITE: At first I didn’t have any black and white on any of the shelves and I was really struggling to figure out what was missing. Then it occurred to me to stick a little black and white on each side and it definitely helped pull it together. Since I didn’t have any amazing abstract black and white art just laying around (wink wink) I decided to take matters into my own hands and made this one myself!
- LIMIT COLORS: Of course, this isn’t a “rule” by any means but I found through this process that by blocking similar colors together and sticking to a limited color scheme it all felt much more cohesive. I did have a little fun with some color in this middle shelf but it was still within my color scheme, so it all works! (side note: happy to have a spot for our heart shaped rock collection)
- USE METALLIC: I can’t remember where I read this tip but it was a huge help for me. Here you can see how I added lots of gold and silver- again this helps it all feel cohesive and adds interest. I had been collecting these gold frames for a few months and was happy to have a place for them. Also, I think having the larger gold frames on both sides of the shelves really pull the two sides together.
- EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! Last but not least… LESS IS MORE! Edit, edit, edit until you get the balance you are happy with! I found that using larger scale items worked much better for me than several little ones. For example, this photo of the family in a large 8 x 10 frame was better than 2-3 smaller ones. Of course, this limits how many pictures you can use, but I just picked one of my faves! (of course, it helps we are dressed in my shelves color scheme!)
I wanted to add some family photos and had a little fun with this one. Instead of just framing our printed photo, I used a my Waterlogue app on my phone to turn our picture into a watercolor. I love how it’s a little abstract but still our crew!
I know I will always continue tweaking these (because that is my nature), in fact even looking at these photos has sparked a few changes, but at least now when I walk in the room I smile!