Bookshelf Basics

Artfully Arranging Your Books

Bookshelves – we’ve all got them, but have you ever put some thought into how your books/DVDs/albums/collectables are displayed? Some people just cram everything on the shelf, some organize by genre, author, date published etc. and the more visually inclined among us organize by colour or height.

Organize Anything has 10 tips for creating a visually interesting and organized bookshelves. Tackle your shelves as your next rainy day project.

1) Clutter free. When re-arranging your bookshelves, leave some “empty” spaces

between groupings here and there, to give one’s eyes a rest between the groupings. Don’t over-do it with lots of clutter. As always, less is better.

2) Zigzag it. To create a balanced look, use a ‘zigzag’ pattern when placing the items.  Place larger items such as book groupings, sculptures, or plants in the corners of the zigzag.  Use the reverse pattern on the opposite (flanking) shelves.  Fill in the gaps with alternations of accessories and books.

3) Show your depth. Painting the backs of shelving in bright, deep or contrasting colours will draw the eye into the shelving and help make objects stand out.

4) Creatively fill the space. If you don’t have a lot of books, arrange some on their sides, others standing up. On some of your stacked books, you can top them with a vase or collectible item. Also keep in mind that vases or pots do not always have to hold flower arrangements. Sometimes, just the color or shape of the vase will add just the right touch of interest to your display.

5) Meaningful knickknacks. Gather items from around your house that have meaning and are pleasing to look at.  Antiques, framed art and photographs, plants, plates and tasteful travel souvenirs or musical instruments complement books well and provide great conversation starters.

6) Too many books. If you are overloaded with books, stacking some here and there on the shelves will take up less space. Also, try stacking several of your favorite books on a coffee, side or entry table, with a pair of reading glasses, decorative magnifying glass or other object sitting on top.

7) Be a little off centre. The arrangement on your bookshelves should never be symmetrically balanced. Organize things, whether books or art objects, asymmetrically. This will create a sense of movement, interest and creativity to your room.

8) Size it out. Most books range in size from eight to ten inches. So avoid shelving that is taller.  This will alleviate a large gap between the top of the books and the shelf above. Don’t be afraid to add more shelving! Unique heights are visually interesting.

9) Alternative stacking. Use books in your decorating scheme to add a functional piece to your room. Place a stack near a chair and use as a side table with a small tray on top. If you have read the books and are just using certain ones to decorate with, you can hot glue them together to make the stack more stable. This is a great use for those out-dated encyclopedia sets that you are not sure what to do with.

10) Light it up. Do you have a reading nook next to your bookshelf? Add a small lamp or some hidden lights will provide light for cuddling up with a great book. It’s also an interesting alternative to lamps in the room.

If a book shelf that’s filled with pictures and vases isn’t your style, experiment to find what works for you. Do you want your books sorted by the Dewy Decimal system? Find a way that works for you! Stack and organize in a pleasing way that is functional for what you need.


About Organize Anything

Colette is a Gold Leaf member of the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). Through the Canadian Redesign Association (CRDA) she has received the designation of Certified Interior Redesigner. She is also a member of the U.S. professional organizing associations National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) where she has the Golden Circle distinction and is a member of Intsitute of Challenging Disorganization (ICD) where she is the first in Canada to receive her Certified Professional Organizer –CD (Chronic Disorganization) ®, ADD and CD specialist Certificates. Among her many distinctions she has also earned Level I certificates of study in Chronic disorganization (CD), Basic Mental Health Conditions, Learning Styles and Modalities, Basic ADD Issues, Physical Conditions, Client Administration and Understanding the Needs of Elderly.

Posted on July 15, 2014, in Home and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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