Over Christmas I was able to relax at my parent's house in Birmingham. Sitting in their peaceful library with a dog at my feet and a cup of coffee is one of my favorite things to do. So while I was there my mom bribed me into I got the *delightful opportunity to rearrange her library bookcases!!
A lot of people struggle to find books, pictures, etc. to fill their bookcases with. My parents have quite the opposite problem: They have TOO many books in their bookcases.. and other random clutter. As my mom likes to say "Toooo MUCH'A STUFF!"
When I remembered to take the 'before' picture we had already taken out a bookshelf on the lower right hand corner so just picture more books there. For the record- and to give my mom some credit- the BEFORE picture is not bad!! (In fact, the AFTER picture is not a dramatic difference. Just small changes that lighten up the mood.)
Before: It was just a little too crowded and dark. (The crowding making the darkness worse... as does the fact that it was night time- my bad.)
After: a fresher, brighter look that makes the room feel more alive without sacrificing the home's specific personality (a face lift indeed :)
* Shed some light on your books! If you are having trouble with lighting and don't want to pay to add recessed cans or sconces consider putting a small lamp for additional light. In this case I added one of my mom's favorite little lamps to temporarily fix the darkness.
*A while back I posted some bookcase tips my grandmother taught me. (Click HERE to check out even more tips than the ones below.) In this post I said it's important to mix books, artwork and accessories. In my opinion it would be to mix 70% books, 15% framed artwork or photographs, 15% accessories (I prefer pottery)
* Take that 15% and find some of your favorite pottery and/or sentimental pieces. But narrow it down!
*Stack books in both directions.
*Layer photographs or pictures. Don't just stack them in front of books. Try placing them behind a horizontal stack of books.
*Pull all of your books to the front! This is one of the first things I notice when I go into a room with bookcases. So if you are planning on having me over don't be offended if you catch me sticking my arm behind your books and pulling them forward. :) No judgement here, just a nervous tick.
*Most bookcases are installed where the adjustable shelves form a perfect grid. And most people just leave it like that. But just because 10 shelves were made doesn't mean you have to use all 10. I recommend taking out a shelf in spots, moving them around, or shifting them a bit so that it's not so gridlike. (see pic below)
*On the other side of my parent's library there is a TV and clunky components. If you style it right all those things begin to disappear...
* I don't always recommend hanging pictures on the front of bookcases but in this particular library I thought it be a good addition. What do you think? Keep it or leave it?
*Add organic materials- like wheat or soy beans... just kidding. Are you still reading? But seriously- organic as in plants, flowers, twigs, bowl of fruit, etc.
*Try using accessories as book ends.
*Or if you have a lot of small collectibles group them close together instead of spreading them out across the bookcases. Like in this picture, on the bottom left shelf you will find 3 small picture frames sitting on a stack of books. (click to enlarge) **shoot, I just realized one of the frames must have fallen down. oops**
* Don't ignore your bookcases. In most rooms they have SO much potential to make a space look GREAT!
* Have fun with it. Put what you love in your bookcases... and if I'm ever in your library feed me strong coffee and bribe me with Christmas presents.
p.s. thank you so much for your votes and sweet comments yesterday! Meant the world to me. Y'all are the best cyber friends I've ever had!!! xoxo