I’ve gotten quite a few questions lately on how I style my book shelves. My biggest advice: there is no right or wrong way to do it, the best thing is to make sure your shelves fit your style.
But for all of you who still need a little assistance or some helpful hints…here are the tips I try and follow, while adding my own style along the way.
No matter which shelf you’re styling, always add layers! Layers eliminate that bare look that make accessories look like they’re swimming on a wide open shelf. No swimming here. Check out my step-by-step layering technique.
Each layer added a little something until the shelf was completely filled. Start with the bigger accessories and work until you’ve added your final touch (usually the smaller, more personal items like the photo strips).
If you have lots of shelves to fill (like I do) adding an entire row of books is a great space filler. It’s great because if you add accessories to every single shelf, sometimes the accessories start to look like a big mess of clutter. An entire bookshelf adds color, while eliminating that crazy clutter look that we try to avoid around here.
It’s all about the compromise around here. It’s always good to add a little bit of his and a little bit of hers to make a new home “ours”.
Ladies, I know it’s sometime hard to add a little bit of “his” but if you use your imagination, you can make even some old baseballs look cute! Plus, major brownie points for displaying a little bit of “his” proudly. #winwin
Books can say a lot about a person, so adding a few of your favorites in a prominent spot is a must!
Adding sentimental value is also a must. I added my grandparent’s wedding picture because it reminds me of them. I’d like to add my parent’s wedding picture alongside my own wedding picture up here some day too.
Seriously, don’t. Stacking these shelves with accessories can definitely become pricey, and pricey is not always better. My advice: scour the shelves of your local thrift shops, vintage stores, and garage sales to add charm to these shelves without breaking the bank. You’ll thank me later.
And one last tutorial on styling another shelf:
Regardless of what tips work for you, always remember… there is no right or wrong answer in styling your shelves. As long as you love the look, that’s all that matters.
I love my look and my shelves are still constantly changing. It’s okay to change the look when you find a new treasure or re-do an old one… that’s what decorating is all about. Arranging, re-arranging, and continuously changing to love the space you’re in: that’s what we’re all about here @ the Playbook.
Good luck styling your shelves! If you have a stylin’ shelf that you’d like to share, we’d love to feature you. Email us your pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we’ve got a little bit of a nautical theme going on. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to make you seasick…
While doing our monthly thrifting trip, we came upon this strange little guy at the Salvation Army.
At first, we were not really sure what it was. The boy had grand ideas and though it might be a device used on a boat. My thought was…”why the heck would there be a weather instrument for a boat, at the Salvation Army in downtown St. Louis?!” Hmmmm…
But, it did look kinda nautical. And kinda different. And heck, it was only $2. So I counted my pennies and bought the crazy device.
I wasn’t feeling the brown wood and decided a nice glossy white paint would really make it pop! So, I taped off the edges…
And got to town painting it white.
It took a few thin coats of white, but I think she looks mighty fine.
So, I’ve had this white bookcase for years now. I think I must have purchased it way back in college for about $30. It has since moved all over with me, but has somehow always been a part of my bedroom decor. For the past year, it sat in our bedroom looking like this…
Pretty boring right?
Sure, it holds lots of crapola, and I try to make it look purty…but let’s be honest. It’s white, bland, and lacking the spunk that our bedroom deserves. So after finding some gorgeous inspiration via the blogosphere and pinterest…
I knew it was time to give this boring snoring bookcase a new life, with a little stenciling! I drove out to the burbs to the closest Michael’s (c’mon St. Louis…let’s get some more craft stores in the city!) and came home with all of these goodies.
2 pieces of foam board (20 x 30 x 3/16in.) They were a whopping $2.89 each (cue happy dance!) Martha Stewart stencil (A little pricey at $16, but my coupon brought it down to $8) Martha Stewart stencil brushes (This woman knows what’s up, $7) 1 bottle bright green acrylic paint (already owned) Razor (already owned) Painter’s tape (already owned) TOTAL COST: $21 (but the stencils and brushes will benefit many future projects) The first thing I did was take out all of the shelves and measure the bookcase. The 2 pieces of foam board were a tiny bit big for my bookcase. So I had to cut, pull off, chew off, saw off a little over an inch. (*Disclaimer: Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a wee bit dangerous when it comes to cutting. Being a lefty, I pretty much suck at it. So if you see me with scissors ever..run, run fast my friend!)
Once my two pieces of foam board were the correct size, I got ready to stencil. Being new to the stenciling world I did a little practice beforehand on a piece of paper. Once I was more confident in my stenciling skills, it was time to attack the foam board. Now let me tell ya…this was a loooooooooong project. I thought it might take 30 minutes tops to stencil each foam board. Wrong-o! The first foam board took me about 2 hours to complete. Luckily, the boy was nearby to entertain (a.k.a. refill my vino) and encourage (a.k.a. “Wow, that doesn’t look terrible, Case.”) So the time flew right on by… I did my best to keep the stencil flat with tape and I tried not to use much paint on the brush so it wouldn’t seep under the edges. I did make a few mistakes along the way…
But I just put a book here, a photo frame there, and mistakes be-gone!
In the end I think it turned out beautifully!
I’m officially OBSESSED with stenciling. I keep looking around our loft wondering what may be the next victim of my stenciling ways…muahahahaha.
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