Sunday, August 4, 2013

Deck the Shelves

One of the trickiest things about decorating is knowing when to stop... especially when accessorizing.  I'm not sure I have it down perfectly, but I'll tell you what I like to do.

When we looked at our house, we were so exited about the built-ins in the den, living room, and two of the bedrooms...



(When I see these pictures, it makes me want to never move again. Ever.)

I start with books or photo albums against one or both sides to frame in the middle part of the shelf, which is where your eye will focus.

Then center an accessory (or two) between the books and the other side of the bookshelf.



I found all of these books are yard sales for $2-3 apiece.

I also like to lean pictures against the back:



One of the easiest things to do is fill up the shelves with tiny items. Try to resist the temptation!  They lose their impact. (That's why I use books and pictures: they're large and fill more visual space so they balance smaller things.)

The easy rule to follow is: don't fill up the shelves.  
The hard part is saying when "full" is.  I'm guessing 80%?  I like to see the back of the shelves...


On these shelves, I have two long, horizontal items: the map on the left and the green toolbox on the right.  I separated them to keep it from looking too... matchy.

I have several small things on the two middle shelves on the left, so I balanced those with two shelves with just a single larger item (the herb sign and the map).

I also like to break up things that have similar colors: the herb sign and map are both green, so I put the green toolbox on the other shelf.


If you do have smaller items you'd like to display, put them on shelves that fit the scale, and group them together to make them collectively have more impact:


The amber bottles or white pottery pieces wouldn't have much impact if I put them on the huge built-ins in the den, but they work well on shelves this size.

I'm also a fan of making useful things look display-able to keep things handy:


I love the look of wire baskets, but vintage ones were so expensive. I found these at The Container Store for around $10.  They hold my scrap fabrics, piping, and any other sewing sundry I feel like I might otherwise lose.  I found the pitcher at an antique store. It's too tall for pens, but perfect for paintbrushes.

 

There I go again, leaning pictures against the back and putting things in wire baskets...
  I'll post more pics once more shelves are sufficiently decked.

Happy accessorizing!

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