We’re finally back with another part to our #designalittlemontage series!
This time we’re featuring a big, beautiful, nautical inspired bookshelf. Or, a “shelfie”, if you will.
Bookcases and open shelving can be tough areas to decorate because there are so many details and pieces that need to coordinate together to create visual balance.
The decor for your bookshelves should reflect the unique needs of your home. Some may need to be purely functional for storage and housing books. You know, those things bookcases are actually meant for!
Others, like this one, are mainly a place to add style and display decorative objects.
This bookcase happens to be one of the main features of this client’s entire first floor (aside from her gorgeous ocean view, of course).
It’s built-in to the sidewall of her living room and sits directly across from her sectional sofa. It also houses the television behind those center doors.
Since it’s where your eyes are naturally drawn we treated it as more of a display piece. Luckily, it’s primarily for decorative purposes since she has a ton of closed in storage on the bottom half of the built-ins. Jealous!
START WITH BOOKS
Even with decorative bookcases, like this one, you should always have SOME books displayed.
Using books as my foundation made it easy to get started. I layered in groupings of books in various arrangements until it started to feel balanced.
ADD A POP OF COLOR
This space gets flooded with natural light so I wanted to incorporate a lot greenery and plants.
Once the books were in place, my next step was sprinkling in the pops of green until it felt right.
BALANCE EMPTY SPACE
Next, I worked on balancing “white space” with some heavier items like artwork and baskets.
I filled in any areas that looked empty with some taller vases to add height.
After each step, it’s helpful to step back and really look at what areas need adjusting.
Stacking some items on top of books or layering in small pieces to create groupings of 2-3 items is a great way to fill a shelf that might look sparse.
Once I had my groupings all worked out, I finished by throwing in some single items like a bowl or a vase on the empty shelves.
Keep in mind that bookcases don’t have to be packed to the brim with “stuff”.
Too many small items can make your bookcase feel cluttered and busy. Be careful to vary your items by size, height, texture, and density.
Another way to create consistency is to stick with a color scheme.
I kept it very simple in this design since I didn’t want to detract from her view.
Using the seaside landscape as inspiration I pulled in pops of blue and green for the accent colors. Otherwise, I kept the overall look light by bringing in a lot of natural elements like the sea grass baskets, driftwood objects, coral, jute balls, etc.
For simplicity, I placed all the books facing out and layered in lots of white textures with the starfish, rope balls, and white ceramic bowl.
If you liked this post, check out our last #designalittlemontage here!
WHAT AREA WOULD YOU LIKE US TO STYLE NEXT? Comment below!
We’d love suggestions!