Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bookcase Styling Progress.

It's official. It's harder than it looks! I've been picking away at the styling of my new bookcase and have discovered a few things. First, just because you have a lot of stuff doesn't mean that you can make it all work. Second, I will no longer beat myself up about buying pretty books... they are my favorite part so it's worth it! Third, it's going to constantly evolve. It's inevitable.

I've tried taking pictures on numerous occasions of the progress that I've made with styling, only to look at the pictures then go back and make changes. Therefore, I've decided to show you the pictures, imperfections and all. Believe me, it's killing me that it still isn't "right" but I'm sharing anyway! :)


Love love love my ampersand. We picked it up this Fall on a trip to Halifax. It sits atop some of my favorite books about two of my favorite people. Audrey and Gaga.. two such different women yet each fascinates me equally.


My old pup figurine and hour glass found a home with our small collection of Dwell magazines and Zombie books. (Did you know that there will come a time that they will take over the earth? We will be prepared, will you?) ;)


Four Penguin Classics. Oh, how I want them all...


What would you put in the tall open boxes at the bottom? Suggestions welcomed.


Certainly coming a long but still a ways to go. There are parts I love, and parts that drive me bonkers. In fact, some of it doesn't even look like this anymore because I've already moved things around! Hopefully, I will get to a point that I am happy with it.


As I read this back, I realize I may sound a tad crazy that my mind is so wrapped up in this. The fact is, I really truly love this stuff and it brings me great satisfaction. Maybe I'm a bit nutty after all.

28 comments:

  1. I have the same problem! My built ins have probably been rearranged 4 times since I painted the back wall teal, and it hasn't cost me anything. I love that it's something I can change up when I get bored, but without doing any damage or spending money. For what it's worth, I think it looks great!

    I would get a taller vase or urn for one of those bottom slots, or move the Tintin books down there.

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  2. Your shelves look great! Part of the beauty of shelves is that you rearrange. A couple of baskets on the shelves might add some interest and be useful for storage. Have you thought about painting the back wall an accent color? Remember to do what makes you happy.

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  3. It looks fantastic - I feel your pain with shelf styling! It's incredible how much stuff you need and how much you need to move it around before you even consider it "ok". well done!

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  4. Looking soo great, Jane! I love the wallpaper, and all the details. Ampersands are my fave. Styling is one of those things that I can never leave be...always changing!

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  5. Looks good, jane. When I'm watching tv I stare at my bookshelf and wonder how I'm going to rearrange it :) Until then, it's a catch all for..stuff.. :S

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  6. Its looking wonderful!!! Love it! Where did you get the white lantern looking jars on the shelf with the ampersand at??

    Kayleigh
    @ The Gotta Have It Girl

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  7. I love how this is shaping up, and most of your little vignettes are so great I wouldn't change a thing!
    Shelf staging is harder than it looks, and gets tweaked often, especially if you add a new element. That's ok, though!
    -Revi

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  8. Looking great! It is great to take your time and enjoy getting it just right.

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  9. You sound just like me, a project is never finished! But these really look fab already!

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  10. I want a bookshelf just to style it all the time. Something about changing up a space feels good. yes I hae no bookshelves in my house. How is that even possible! Great job!

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  11. I think it's looking great! I love those Penguin classic books too. Those lattice vases are gorgeous; where did you find them?

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  12. It looks great! BTW, my husband and I have that zombie book :)

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  13. It's looking so good, Jane! I saw your question about splitting up Steph's collection of Tintin books - I agree with you on that, but have no idea to where or how! Can't wait to see what you decide to do :-)

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  14. Like one giant puzzle - styling is not my favorite - but I am constantly thinking about it too! I love your inspiration pics, too!

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  15. Staging shelves is so challenging- glad I'm not the only one who struggles :-)

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  16. I think it all looks really lovely....it definitely help to take a photo to get a different perspective.... but I think you've done a great job.

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  17. Ok, I would keep only the large white vase on the top left. Take away some of the TinTin books and put on another shelf. I'm loving the little bird and the colourful Penguin classic books.
    The two top middle sections are perfect. Maybe add in some small wicker baskets or wood pieces to add some more texture.
    Another totally different idea is to either paint or wallpaper the back. That will make your items pop and you won't need as many. Good Luck! Can't wait to see the results.

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  18. Styling bookshelves is definitely harder than it looks. Here's a few tips:

    1) Use the 3/4 rule. (My rule, lol.) This means to look pleasing, the tallest item should fill up 3/4 of the height of the open space. You'll notice on your top center shelf, the items aren't tall enough. (If something isn't tall enough, then place the items on a few books. Try setting some books under the vases or vase.)

    2) There needs to be a place for the eye to rest. Right now, it's too busy...put some baskets on the bottom center spots and figure out where you can place some baskets so the eye has a place to rest. Just like decorating a room-you wouldn't put all pattern in a room-you'd put patterns and solids-the solids give the eye a place to rest.
    3) Add more silver metallic accessories. I love the picture frame and accessories in the dresser post-would love to see that on this bookshelf.
    4) Pare down a bit-a little too much stuff.
    5) The last rule is the most important...when decorating a bookshelf, your eye should go left then right then left...so for example, on the left side, the top left shelf has a tall item on the left (west) side. Shelf #2 below it, has the taller item on the "right" (east)side and shelf #3, the tall item goes on the left(west) side so if you were to draw a line top to bottom, it goes back and forth with the taller item switching positions. It gives balance to the shelves.

    Good luck. You'll get it right...you always do!

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  19. I agree with a lot of what Dream Mom suggests..as far as the TinTin books..maybe split them according to spine colours with some standing and some laying down like you have now (hopefully this gives you some of the height you are after).

    Looks great!

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  20. So far, so good!!! I think it already looks pretty fantastic! But as a completely OCD decorator, I understand the "tweeking"! (c: I'm loving the art and books in there...

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  21. You have beautiful things, Jane. And I agree those penguin classics are beautiful.
    I know it is so hard to style bookcases. I would love to have one like yours. The trickiest part is editing- when you love all your stuff, you want to have it all out.
    Something that I noticed when I styled a narrow shelf is that those small cubby spaces look best with either a single objet d'art or books (stacked vertically or horizontally). Trying to make individual vignettes in a single cubby can look a little jam packed.
    Looking at your inspiration photos, I think you have a justification for more of those penguin classics. Clearly, you love the bookcases styled heavily with colourful tomes.

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  22. It's looking good so far, Jane. I think I would probably put large objects or tall books/magazines in the bottom shelves. Or maybe you could find some baskets or bins to slide in there. More small objects might make it look too busy/cluttered. You'll get it just right one of these times!

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  23. looking good Jane! shelves are never really "finished" are they? :)

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  24. I think this is looking great and you are doing a fabulous job! Love it!!

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  25. I think tall books would look good down there.....or like many have suggested, the tin tin books could go down there, although I like how you have them now, all together.

    When I look at the shelves, they look great, I just thought more books would be good.

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  26. i'm thinking a few more touches of gold will make it look perfect. how about spray painting your ceramic jars/ candelabra?

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Love hearing from you! Thanks so much :)