18 October 2012

The living room shelves, part 3

Finally, finally, today I will stop talking about the shelves in our living room!

For now. They’re still not really done. But they are at a stopping point, so... good enough!

Despite my worrying about placement and paint colors, ultimately the purpose of these shelves was function over form. There were stacks of books in the guest room that needed a home, stat. But that doesn’t mean that function can’t also be pretty, if possible. So once it was time to put everything on the shelves, I turned to the experts of bookcase styling. Like Kate at Centsational Girl who is capable of this gorgeousness (click the link for more eye candy):

Oh, how I envy her skills!

I also found this website useful for breaking it down (check out the link for more tips):

Their tips of putting books in groups and layering in the rest made sense – though, it helps to have pretty books and interesting tchotkes. I wasn’t sure I had either. But I gave it a try, and here’s my first pass:



So... do you see it? The thing I always rolled my eyes at and said I wouldn’t do? The design equivalent of ordering a glass of white zinfandel at a fancy wine-tasting party, even though you know the experts will judge you for being so cliché, but dangit, you like white zin so let them judge?

Rainbow bookshelves, the white zinfandel of the design world! Go on, click the link. Let those eyes bleed.

But hear me out. The idea of putting books all willy-nilly on my new, clean, immaculate, solid white and gray shelves made me twitch. They may not stay like that forever, but for now, the rainbow appeases the twitch.

And for what it’s worth, it prompted a bit of entertainment:

I mean, we DO need more green books. We have, what, four? And a whole shelf of red and orange! That must be the source of any imbalance we feel in our lives.

Well, whatever. Mr. P and I actually can’t see the lower shelves from the couch, which is why I decided to try making the upper shelves more of a “display” space. For most of the time spent in the living room, this is all we see.

I put Mr. P’s favorite print in the middle (still with the protective corners in the photograph, because I’m a dunce). The black and ivory flower prints are just placeholders, though. Eventually I’d like to put this print the upper right corner with the antique cameras, and this print in the upper left to replace the travel books and monogram letter I threw up there.

So there’s my first weak attempt at bookcase styling, and clearly I have a lot to learn. I do have a few other things stored away from the move that I can pull out and try to work. But what do you think? Any tips to help me out?

I’ll keep switching out the arrangements on the shelves until it clicks for me, but really, ultimately the thing that would help the most is trimming it out... eventually. Because we’re all sort of sick of these shelves by now, right?