Shelf Styling

Hallie loved your comments about her new song. Thank you so much for taking the time! A little affirmation goes a long way toward encouraging a young girl's heart.

Now for a complete change of tune: shelf styling! Total fluff, but you know I can only stay away from design-related things for so long! {Sometimes I laugh at my blogging self...all over the place!} 

Shelf styling overwhelms me {it's hard!}, but how you style them makes such a difference in the feel of a room. I prefer clean and calm, but our little library was feeling a little on the busy, cluttered side. Time to tackle those floor-to-ceiling bookshelves! {I was totally dreading it.}

Thanks to a great post by Laura Casey and my shelf styling pinboard, I knew what I wanted: a clean mix of books, photos, art and decorative items. Making that happen, however, is a different story! So I asked an interior designer friend for advice, and this is what she said:

Take everything off your shelves...

...and only put back what you love.

Why didn't I think of that?
Because empty shelves are intimidating.
{Back to those inspiration photos!}

But it was so worth it.

My re-styled shelves,
using what I had and only what I love:

I absolutely love children's books.
They'll always have a place on my shelves!

And crowns!

I love photos of my family
{and desperately need to update them}
placed on top of tidy, color coordinated stacks.

I love ampersands, letters...

...and a little something sparkly.

I adore old books with pretty bindings
{and prefer to collect ones I might actually read someday}.

I love architectural fragments...
and the patina they bring to the mix.

I love glass jars filled with unexpected treasures.

And I absolutely LOVE baskets...
for keeping things organized {and hiding paperbacks}.

And while shelves full of muted, monochromatic books
would be gorgeous, that's not real life for me.

So to create a cleaner look with what I have,
I took the covers off {and stacked by color].

If shelf styling sounds silly to you, you're not alone. For some folks, bookshelves are for books, and styling means arranging by size... not mixing in a bunch of silly decorative stuff! That was me for years, and it's A-OK! If I had to choose between books and decorative things, books would win every time. 

But for those of you who like a mix and want to change things up a bit, there's nothing like a few real-life photos to inspire the process. I hope these photos have given you a place to start.

I've got a few more shelves to share with you next time, but for today, I'll say this: taking everything off and putting back only what I loved was great advice. After all that editing, re-styling and giving away the extra stuff, our library feels nice and cozy! We all want to be in that little room now!

Happy Monday, sweet friends!

P.S. If you'd like to read what professional designers Brooke Giannetti and Joni Webb think about home library styling, here is an article for you. {And have you seen the Giannetti's new book, Patina Style? Lots of lovely inspiration. I love her style!}


  1. your shelves look so pleasing to the eye and personal too.
    i have several of the same ones as you !
    aren't children's books wonderful to collect.
    i have tried to way minimize down and only have a few books on display, but i removed the covers too

    your daughter is just such a beautiful beautiful young lady & ever so talented

  2. They look fantastic. We love children's literature too and have many of the same books you have! I have a major shelf project I need to tackle in my family room. Thanks for giving me the inspiration and courage to finally get it done!

  3. I can tell your girls are back in school!! hahaha!! :) Looks beautiful!! xo, Tessa

  4. You've got it, Tessa! The girls are in school and card season hasn't started yet! Xo!

  5. I'm no designer, but I love organizing shelves. It's a form of therapy. :-)

    This was a great post. I liked the way you broke down the areas of your shelves in individual photos. I think you may have a bit of technical writer in you. ;-)

    That pinboard site is cool, but I fear I'm a dinosaur, still clipping magazine tidbits and pasting them into notebooks. I need to be able to touch things, I guess.

  6. Margaret, too funny about the technical writing. I used to write for Enron, but not technical stuff. I love details, so those photographs were fun for me. I love holding paper, flipping pages, tearing out favorite images. Pinterest will never be as satisfying...just easy and accessible.

    Paige, personal was my goal, so thank you!

    Kat, inspiration and courage was exactly what I was hoping to give. Go for it, girl!


  7. It's what I do in my day job so I guess I recognize the skills in someone else. :-)

  8. taking everything off is overwhelming but look at you!! Look what a little hard work got you?:)
    I have boxes of books that I couldn't bear to part with and gave away all the others. Moving so much it was to much to keep moving.
    I would choose books too;)
    you are going to be a great grandma..don't know why I said that?

  9. Love your style! Wouk you mind sharing the color you used to paint your shelves? Thank you! Lori


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...