Mar 26, 2012

A bookcase revamp in detail

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! I meant to be back again last week, but work got busy and it also was super-nice in Maine last week, like record-breaking heat, so I decided to get outside and enjoy it :)

Thanks for all your nice words on my bookcase redo! I thought I'd give you a little more details on what I used to decorate it.

Since this bookcase is in our office, I needed it to me functional...but of course it has to be nice to look at, right? We've got a nice big closet and a desk with four drawers. so I didn't need the bookcase to store much else but books. I picked out books we need on hand, books with some sentimental value, and books I think are pretty :) I also left a little space so we could add books as we need to.

The bottom shelf has our "useful" books -- travel guides, home improvement and landscaping. Holding some of the books up are the hubs' old voltage meter. I really like to add natural elements to a lot of my decorating, so I added some rocks from my collection.

On the next shelf, the hubs' books about brewing beer are nice and handy, propped up by an old insulator and a clearance candlestick from Target that I spray painted turquoise. It was dark brown before. I'm totally loving it in this color!

I've also got some of the hubs' old books about math and engineering. A mask I bought in Venice adds a little sparkle.

Up from that, more books, a bottle of sand from the beach and a nice little wedding photo. I tried to group the books my color as much as I could; I decided to arrange these blue books from light to dark.

A collection of white books is on the next shelf, with two turquoise vases I bought at a local boutique. Actually, one of these vases was the inspiration for the pops of turquoise in this room -- and I had to run out and buy its buddy. A photo of Aruba ties in more blue and just makes me happy to look at. The frame is also a Target clearance special; it used to be gold, but I spray painted it white.

Lastly, the top shelf has a few more books in green and red, and a turquoise fruit basket from Target (do I shop anywhere else??).

The basket is filled with some of my shell collection.

There's lots of great advice out there about decorating bookcases and shelves, but I thought I'd share a few things I like to do:

  • Use natural elements. I love bringing a little nature indoors -- it's timeless, easy and cheap. Natural elements can add texture and color. Plus, they're meaningful for me -- shells (like below) and sand remind me of favorite beach trips, rocks of camping trips. I like to group them in collections for impact.

  • Stick to a color palette. Especially with the graphic background, I used a few colors to keep things cohesive. Turquoise and white feature prominently, along with other blues and greens and a few pops of red. Again, I grouped the books by color to create visual impact, but also repeated the colors on different shelves to tie things together.

  • Add personal elements. Framed photos and other keepsakes make decor personal and unique. Just makes it feel like home, you know?

  • Less is more. Sometimes less can have more impact. I purposefully kept the arrangement airy so it wouldn't compete with the busy background and to keep it from looking cluttered.

Like anything I do in my house, this probably isn't done yet -- I'll be tweaking here and there as the mood strikes. I've already got a couple other things I want to add in there for more color and texture. Stay tuned!

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