HOW WILL YOUR BOOKCASE BE USED?
My all-time favorite way to use bookcases is to see them as part library shelf, part display shelf. We like to mix accents, like pottery, seasonal greens and artwork, with stacks of books. Have a small piece of artwork you love? Prop it in an easel on a shelf.
When picking interesting items to weave in and out of the books, think about creating a rotating display that highlights pieces from one of your collections. Whether you collect figurines or old cameras or vintage dishes, work in just a few pieces at a time so the display isn’t overwhelming.
We also love to help families and grandparents design fun and functional rooms for kiddos. An essential is a good bookcase that helps corral toys, books and clothing. (Be sure to always anchor a bookcase to the wall for safety.)
HOW CAN YOU PUT YOUR PERSONAL STAMP OF YOUR DISPLAY?
My favorite bookcase displays are like a window into your heart. When selecting what should go on your selves, pick a variety of personal treasures that help tell the story of your life. Work in snapshots of those you hold dear, mementos from a special vacation, family heirlooms, books that reflect your hobbies or interests. When I visit people’s homes, the bookcases I gravitate to are the ones that show the soul of the family that lives there.
To find interesting artifacts for your shelves, go through your cabinets and closets, opening boxes of mementos hidden away in their basements, and pull out things that are meaningful to you. To make it more fun, invite a friend to join you. Our friends sometimes are able to see our things with new eyes and show us just how cool they are.
WHAT BALANCE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
I’d love to pass on 3 tips or 4 steps for styling the perfect bookcase display, but I can’t. I don’t think great bookcase designs work that way. They should be individual and organic, reflecting your bliss, not a designer’s checklist.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com