Styling a bookcase is an art unto itself and today I’m going to share with you my top 5 tips for styling bookcases.
I hope today’s post will inspire you to have some fun in re-arranging your bookcases and cocktail tables *picture perfect* for your family and future guests!
The Top 5 Tips for Styling a Bookcase:
- Collect the Art you Own
- Create a Visual Sketch of how the Room will be Seen
- Choose a Background that Blends
- Create Breathing Space with Layering
- Choose a Design Motif
Simplicity is beautiful…
Sherwin-Williams has chosen deep, celestial-sky blue called Naval for the 2020 Colors Of The Year. For instance, Naval inspires Rest and Tranquility. Similarly, here at Hadley Court, we think rest, tranquility and the space to breathe will continue to be two key design themes for styling bookcases and cocktail tables.
In the below photo, Charlotte, NC based event designer, Sarah Sofia Knepp, styled her cocktail table with books and an elegant gold antler on top.
Ready for our tips and more images? Let’s go!
BOOKCASE STYLING & DESIGN TIPS 1 & 2
Notice how, on Sarah’s cocktail table above, the color of the edge of the middle book’s cover is picked up in art in the room behind it.
Therefore, think carefully about how the colors in the art you own and the color of a book’s cover will relate to each other in your room. In other words, this will help you with placement.
Where to start?
Collect the Art you Own
Styling a bookcase involves collecting all the art you own that you want to feature in each room on a large flat surface like your dining table. Collect all of the objects, mementos, pictures, and frames.
A perfect example of how one piece of favorite art was used to style a bookcase and cocktail table is this one in the image below by well known New York-based lifestyle blogger Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo of ABCDesign.
Notice how Amy placed a few books that pick up the cobalt blue and brilliant red-orange in her painting.
For example, do you notice how the colors in the pillow textile and the vertical orientation of the stripe echo the colors in the book’s spines and the vertical orientation of most of her books? In addition, notice how the mirror on top of her cocktail table mirrors the painting, the books, and their colors. As a result, the effect creates a symphony where the cocktail table and bookcase work together.
2. Create a Visual Sketch of how the Room will be Seen
Create a sketch of how the entire room will be seen as a whole before you begin your placement and styling a bookcase. This will help you to visualize your entire room as a whole. You can sketch up the entire room yourself or with the help of a designer to have a hand-colored rendering or CAD rendering drawn up.
When creating the visualization yourself, you could draw by hand or use a Software App. Check out our post for our top 5 Software 3D Interior Design Apps.
Above all, visualizing the entire room as a whole will help you save so much money and time and enable you to make the right choices.
3. Choose a Background that Blends in Styling your Bookcase
Choose a background fabric, paint color or wallpaper for styling your bookcase that blends your books, objects, and artworks together to achieve a more cohesive design.
For instance, achieve this by reviewing carefully each object and piece of art and memento that you want to place into your bookcase.
Lifestyle blogger Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of The English Room did this to perfection in the two bookcases, shown below.
Aren’t these wonderful?
In addition, the dark gloss enamel paint she used helps to highlight the colorful objects and artwork she has collected.
4. Create Breathing Space with Layering
Think about the shape of your objects before making your placement choices in styling a bookcase. For instance, are the object shapes:
Similarly, think about the volume of the objects. Is the volume of the objects:
Don’t be afraid of layering, but give special objects and artwork room to breathe, too. In other words, so you and your friends and family can really appreciate and enjoy them.
For instance, Tobe of the blog, Because It’s Awesome, styled this bookcase below for her own home, which illustrates Tip #4 well.
5. Choose a Design Motif in Styling a Bookcase
Choose a design motif for your objects that creates visual coherency in a large space by establishing a sense of visual rhythm in the room. For instance, this is exactly what Canadian interior designer and lifestyle blogger Sarah Walker of the Curate House did in her living room bookcases and cocktail table below.
Therefore, in this case, the stacked firewood to the left of the bookcase became the inspiration for Sarah’s choices in styling a bookcase.
Do you have a fireplace screen?
Our good friend Vitania created the fireplace screen which you can see at Anvil Fireside. Vitania makes reasonably priced custom fireplace screens for interior designers, both for shipment to the US and within Canada.
Do you notice how your eye hops all-around when you look at the image below? However, when you sit back and look at it in its entirety, it looks perfect?
That’s visual rhythm at work, as executed by a professional interior designer.
Similarly, notice how the black vase, the gold candlesticks and the clear crystal paperweight on Sarah’s cocktail table all echo the stacked firewood to the right of her fireplace, too.
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Above all, I hope it’s inspired you to take a fresh look at how your objects are arranged. Tell your family’s story, beautifully.