Last week I talked about decorating your bedroom dresser – an easy job once scale and balance are mastered. The same principles apply when it comes to the art of creating attractive shelves. It’s about balance, scale and color.
Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind.
1. Clean them off.
Remove everything from the shelves and wipe the furniture with polish to remove dust and grime. Weed out shabby-looking books and get rid of things really aren’t worthy of display. If you are decorating bookshelves, the basic rule of thumb is one-third books, one-third accessories, and one-third empty space per shelf. If you’re short on storage, fill the bottom shelf with identical boxes or baskets. Organize 60- percent of books vertically and 40- percent horizontally to create both balance and spontaneity.
2. Arrange in triangles.
Objects are pleasing to the eye when they are arranged in triangles which means grouping objects with a variation of heights. This is important for filling your space and adding interest.
3. Group items in odd numbers.
Another rule of thumb in decorating is to group objects in sets of three or five. Odd numbers are the most pleasing to the eye. When you’re arranging things on your shelf, focus on using odd numbers of things to form your triangle. Your objects should be various sizes so you will need to have one tall item, one medium item and one short item. An exception to the triangle rule would be placing three of the same object together to showcase a collection.
4. Think in layers.
Layers add dimension and interest to shelving. The simplest way is to use picture frames and art. Lean frames against the back of your shelf and then style your triangles of objects in front. Other layering objects could include baskets, trays and other fairly flat objects that can lean or hang against the wall. Ground small objects. Use a big tray or a stack of books as the base of your arrangements. This adds one more point of interest to your shelf and can really help pull everything together.
5. Repeat colors.
While it’s great to vary the sizes and heights of your decorative objects, it’s important that you maintain some consistency with the colors. A steady rhythm of color spread throughout your shelving will look cohesive.
Bookshelf Decorating Ideas: www.housebeautiful.com