Sunday, January 15, 2012

How to Organize Bookshelves

Houzz Bookshelves
Beautifully Arranged Bookcases Flank the Entrance to This Room - Houzz

January is the month to organize, right?  Out with the old and in with the new!  Let’s take a look at some of your bookshelves. Sorry to say this but I think you should just remove everything from the shelves – start fresh.  Get the old dust cloth out and clean those shelves, books, and accessories.  Decide if there is anything that’s beyond saving - you know the Salvation Army is dying to get it!  You should see some of the things I sent them.  I’m sure they were tossed.  Now that you have cleaned everything, you’re ready to arrange your bookshelves.  Here are some ideas to create attractive bookshelf arrangements.

Bookshelves -maison21 for Houzz
Bookshelves Are a Great Place to Repeat Color  - Maison21 for Houzz

1. Consider painting  the back of the bookcase a color that will accent the room.  You can also paint foam core board, cut it to fit the different sections of your bookcase, and insert the boards into the back of each section. If you’re smart, you will paint one side of the foam core a color for  the winter and the other side for the summer.  Just reverse the boards for a new look during the year.  

Bookshelves - Decor Pad
Don't Forget to Accessorize the Top of a Free-Standing Bookcase - Decor Pad

2. Remove all of the paperback books that are overly colorful.  Choose the books that are color-coordinated with the room.  Arrange just a few on each shelf ensuring  that you balance the entire shelf unit.   Arrange a variety of heights together.  I prefer to place the tallest book on the end of the shelf and work inward decreasing the size of the books as you continue.   Avoid placing books of equal height unless you’re arranging a collection of books like a set of encyclopedias.  ( Don’t think we have current sets any more.  I remember my World Book sets. Guess they’re antiques now.)

Organizing Bookshelves - Kerrie kelly
Include Different Shapes in Your Accessories - Kerrie Kelly for Houzz

 3. Don’t fill an entire shelf with books standing vertically. To make it interesting, lay some of them in short stacks on their sides. Slant a few books against an accessory or stack of books.  Mix in other items such as pottery, vintage pieces, figurines, globes, lanterns, plates, greenery, awards, photos, etc.

Pinterest Bookshelves
A Collection of Globes Adds Interest to This Bookcase - Pinterest

4. If you need more books, take advantage of the annual used book sale at your library.  You can purchase books for very reasonable prices.  Stick to hardback books that will blend in with the books you have or act as an accent color for your room.

Pinterest Bookshelves 2
Layer Accessories or Display Them on Top of the Books - Pinterest 

5.  If you don’t want any color at all, face the books with their spines facing the back of the shelves so the white pages face forward. 

Bookshelves - Billinkoff Architecture
For a Monochromatic Look, Face the Book Pages Out - Billinkoff Architecture 

6.  Look to fill both the height and width of the shelves.

Bookcase - Censtional Girl
Interesting Display of Books and White Accessories - Centsational Girl

Watkins Pictures 030
Leave Some Shelves for Accessories Only - Encore Home Staging and Redesign

7.  If you have floating shelves, try layering books and including accessories like letters, vases, and even vinyl graphics.

Floating shelves - Houzz
Animal Graphics Draw Your Eye to the Floating Shelves - Houzz  

I hope you have found these ideas helpful in organizing your bookshelves. They are great places to tell a story with your accessories, infuse color into a room, and display your taste in reading.

"I cannot live without my books." ~ Thomas Jefferson


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