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How to Bookshelf

Our space plays such a huge role in how we FEEL and interpret our lives. Your home should be a sanctuary to come home to and reignite your fuel so you can powerfully live the rest of your life. 

Today, we're going to have some fun exploring bookshelves.

I LOVE TO READ. And even more than that I LOVE TO COLLECT BOOKS. One day, I will have a library with floor to ceiling shelves and sliding ladders like in Beauty and the Beast, but for now I have bookshelves and for all the books that don't fit on the shelves (believe me, there are many) I have stacks and stacks on the floor, underneath my dresser, next to my desk, in my closet... sigh... I love them.

Some people say, Have you ever heard of a library? To which I respond, yes, but my books become some of my dearest friends who I go to for advice and reassurance so I must buy them and keep them forever. (also, if I'm going to fill up my Beauty and the Beast Library one day I must keep them all!)

There are so many ways to "style" a bookshelf so that it not only serves its function but also is aesthetically pleasing and can be a beautiful focal point for any space. I am about to share with you the 4 steps to creating a beautiful bookshelf as well as 10 tips to make it a masterpiece.

A bookshelf truly can be a piece of art in and of itself. 

How to Bookshelf

Step #1.  Empty the Bookshelf - Yes. You must start with a blank canvas in order to create a masterpiece. So clear some space and get ready for a workout (this can double as your cardio for the day haha). Take everything off. Every single thing.

Step #2. Put the Big Stuff on First - I like to have everything that I would like to place on the bookshelf laying on the floor in front of me so I have a clear picture of what I have to choose from as I place things. Start with the big stuff first.

Step #3. Fill in the Blanks - After you have put on all the large hardback books, major book collections, and all the art pieces you want to showcase, fill in the blanks with smaller book collections and accessories. 

Step #4. Evaluate the Masterpiece - After you have put everything on the floor back onto the bookshelf step back and evaluate your masterpiece. Rearrange if necessary. Is there something that is sticking out like a sore thumb? Move it. Does it look off balance? Rearrange. The goal is organized messy. You will know. 

These 10 tricks will help you create a beautiful bookshelf that does more than just hold books.

  1. Mix it up. Arrange some books vertically and some books horizontally. (a good rule is 60% vertical and 40% horizontal).
  2. Arrange books by color. This may or may not give the look you are going for, but can be a great way to add structure and order to a bookshelf. (Just don't tell your librarian.)
  3. Add decorative objects.  Eclectic is good as long as the colors coordinate. If eclectic isn't your style, add any type of decorative objects to create your unique personality. Sculptures, bowls, stacks of boxes, vases, etc.
  4. Add natural things. This is a great way to add variety as well. Place plants in interesting vases, bowls of seashells or rocks, air plants. 
  5. Place artwork on shelves to mix things up. Prop small pieces on shelves and hang larger pieces above.
  6. Paint the inside of the bookshelf a darker shade than the wall. I would only recommend this for built-ins unless you never plan on rearranging your room or have an undying love for repainting walls. (not me on either account, haha)
  7. Use magazine organizers to create order. Remember messy order is the goal. 
  8. Use decor as bookends. You don't have to fill in entire shelves with books. Make it interesting by adding accessories to the ends of books.
  9. Play with layers. Deep bookshelves allow you to put taller items, like vases or artwork, behind shorter books to add interest and depth.
  10. Keep it simple. Don't add accessories to every shelf. Less is more. A basic rule is 1/3 books, 1/3 accessories, and 1/3 empty space per shelf. 

Make it as eclectic or as simple as you want, add your unique personality, and have fun!

For some unbelievable DIY Bookshelf Ideas go here. You will be amazed!

If you're following me, you've probably figured out that Wednesdays are the days I devote to interior space tips while the others days I share my positive psychology and coaching experiences. I hope that you are seeing the link between the two. Click below to learn more about how to uplevel your mind and space. 

(images are from @apartmenttherapy, except for bottom image which is of my personal space)