When it comes to bookshelf displays we are often asked how we pull off our signature “collected look.” A look that is refined, yet cool and casual. While it might exude the vibe that it was simply just thrown together, a successful “collected look” takes some thoughtful planning. Without it you could be left with a design that simply looks messy.
Here are our tips to organize bookshelves to achieve the collected look:
Incorporate color. Take the lead from your room’s color palate and choose items in its accent colors. Or, if your room has a serious case of the neutrals, allow your bookshelf accouterment to introduce a pop of color. As a general rule of thumb we stick to representing only 3-4 complimentary colors throughout the display to give it a cohesive, rather than busy or messy look.
Mix It Up. Despite their name bookshelves can be used for more than just books. Strategically place vases, artwork, or knickknacks alongside your books to give it visual interest. Plus, the true essence of the “collected look” is to create a décor that looks like you have been collecting from years – a mashup of items will help you achieve it.
Display a collection. A collection of something – like vintage cameras, or vases from your travels – is a perfect addition to any shelving display. Place the items on different shelves throughout the display to give your collection a more organic feel, while still creating a sense of continuity throughout.
Create Balance. To create a bookshelf display that looks as good far away as it does up close, you will want to balance your design. Instead of filling one shelf with only books and another with a few candlesticks, stagger the weight of items throughout the shelves. For instance, you might put three books standing vertically on the left side of a shelf and another 4 books stacked horizontally on the shelf below. As a general rule of thumb, we first place the “heavy” or bigger items throughout the shelves, then follow up with the lighter weight items, staggering their placement as well.
Be Your Own Editor. While you want to create balance among the shelves in the bookshelf, you also want to create balance between your bookshelf and the overall room. Homeowners have a tendency to pack bookshelves full of stuff, often times making them a busy, disruptive focal point. Take a step back and analyze your bookshelf. If your shelves are too “busy,” remove items one-by-one (and regularly step back to review your work) until your bookshelf becomes a harmonious part of your room’s overall design.
And if it’s too daunting to be your own editor, we have plenty of them for you. Our Design Mixologists are on hand to answer any questions or give you advice. They will even be happy to set up a free in-home design consultation with you to help you achieve the collected home of your dreams.