Everywhere you look these days, folks are reading their iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other electronic reading devices. Still, these will never really replace the feel of holding a book and browsing through its pages.
Books are also great decorating tools — creating a cozy atmosphere and instantly giving a hint to who lives there and what their interests are.
Too often I see bookcases groaning under the weight of too many books with no forethought to style and placement. Here are some hints to create beautiful bookcases.
- Begin by emptying the bookcases and editing out the books you no longer want. I usually only include hardcover books in the more public rooms of a home. Save the paperbacks for an office or bedroom.
- If you have a wide variety of topics, you may want to categorize the books by subject.
- Many hardcover books have gold or silver lettering on the spine. By removing the paper covers, you will create an “old world” library feel with rich colors.
- Gather the largest books to put on the lowest shelves. This will help balance the bookcases so they won’t look top heavy.
- Place the books to one side of the shelf and fill the shelf about halfway or two thirds full. You may need to lay some books on their sides if they don’t fit upright.
- Pull all the books forward to line up with the front of the shelf. This serves two purposes — it looks much neater and uniform and makes the books act like an accessory in the room. An added bonus — the dust collects behind them and isn’t as visible!
- Move on to the next shelf — placing the books on the opposite side and again filling the shelf half to two-thirds full.
- As you move up shelf by shelf, you alternate sides and create a zigzag pattern of books and empty spaces.
- When all the books are used, fill in the empty pockets with framed photographs and accessories.
- Placing small objects on top of a horizontal pile of books will elevate the object and give it more importance.
- Most importantly, give your eye a place to rest when filling a bookcase – leave some empty spaces.
- Some books have beautiful covers and can substitute for artwork when placed on small easels.
A bookcase can become a beautiful focal point in a room when arranged with care. Books can be used throughout a room as pedestals to elevate an object on a side table or coffee table vignette or placed on a tabletop easel for added interest. Best of all, a good book is a great way to spend an afternoon curled up on the sofa!