Thursday, September 29, 2011


That's pretty much how I've been feeling this week. Hence the tardy posts. But today isn't about my schedule. It's about the the joys of reading and displaying books.

There's something very comforting about shelves packed with books. Like a pantry stocked with food, it's a subconscious security blanket against cold nights one might be holed up at home--either by weather or by choice. Today let's focus on a few simple ways to up the chic factor of you bookshelves.

1. Vary heights and directions. One key to a visually interesting bookshelf is variation. Be sure to vary the direction you lay books, the sizes you place together and even the colors (unless you go for something like these images above. Gorgeous!)

Stand back and be sure you have balance, not just on each shelf, but overall. If one cove is crammed with books, the surrounding spaces should be left more open and airy, with a single vase or with larger art books, lying horizontally. Atop this flat stack, prop small paintings or other framed art with tiny easels or plate stands from any craft store. Framed art also works bookcase magic when propped against the back wall of a shelf.

2. Group like colors or items. Groupings always make single items sing. Group similar objects (like bottles, coral, shrunken heads, whatever you've got) and display books by collections. Penguin recently released these redesigned classics; some of the best reads of all time in amazing cloth covers. I've had these beauties bookmarked for months!

Wouldn't these smashing Penguin designs make fabulous gifts for any age or sex? (Holidays are just around the corner!)

3. Consider the way you'll use each book or object.  Remember my post about The Un-Staged Home, which addressed keeping it comfortable and functional? Well, it's especially important here, in this room where you'll cozy up to read and relax. When organizing your shelves, keep in mind how you use each object and which books you'll access frequently. Don't set yourself up for a high-maintenance situation or, worse, for an untouchable library. I love this look below for an avid reader's shelves. It feels chic, organized and super easy to maintain.

Love these lacquered bookcases with the silver tipped edge! And the sconces with silhouette shades. More on those later.

A well styled bookcase. (Though no one's cozying up in that chair!)

Next time I'll give you some great library lighting tips.

What are you reading this weekend?

Sources: Windsor Smith, Penguin Publishing, Pinterest, Kerri L. Kelly.

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