September always makes me think of going back to school and books. Because of my love of books I am constantly dreaming and ogling those huge libraries in estate homes. I’ve toured many a gorgeous library and long for a comfy chair and ottoman surrounded by my antique and favorite book selections.
From a practical viewpoint, since my shelves are not yet full of leather-bound volumes lovingly placed side-by-side while totally filling each shelf, I’d like to discuss how to style your bookshelves.
Shown above is a typical home den/family room. I love the built-in shelves with elaborate crown molding. It’s small and cozy.
The rule I follow for setting up books and personal items is that there are no rules.
A few general guidelines I recommend are:
ADD family photos in unique frames –
GROUP similar size books together –
INCLUDE items picked up from your travels –
PLACE a few larger objects on higher shelves –
DON’T forget natural items such as baskets!
Books that are too tall to fit standing up are laid down with a few more books on top horizontally or a frame with a family photo.
If you have some old children’s books or novels you can create a special grouping by tying a few books with twine as seen below.
Sometimes you may want to cover your books in one color paper, like white, if your room’s decor is shabby chic or if your books are not in great shape. There is a site called booksbythefoot.com where you can get ALL kinds of books for any particular bookcase. You can get books in certain colors, vintage books, books by subject, faux books, books already wrapped… I could go on. It’s very unique.
Unique bookends (like the bunnies below from Restoration Hardware) add interest to your shelf.
I went crazy finding cool bookends! Here are some working gears from eBay.
I love these stand-alone bookcases on Pinterest. (It was shown as being from roomsrenew. topekakansas.com, however there doesn’t seem to be a link to verify.)
I love the addition of baskets. I add baskets to every room.
Once you place some of your items on a few of your shelves, stand back and look at them from a distance so you can adjust as needed.
Here are some pretty macassar ebony inlay with lacquer boxes (macassar ebony is a dense hardwood from Indonesia).
Another natural-looking element for a shelf is a small topiary such as the one below from Restoration Hardware. You can always do a DIY: buy a container from Michael’s (such as a copper one), put some greenery in it and secure with styrofoam.
Those are my shelf stylings for today!
(above from Pinterest)