Shelf Styling


I have now accepted the fact that we probably won't be moving anywhere for a while. Darn you, California housing market! As a result I've been going through this weird nesting stage. Or maybe it's re-nesting...I don't know. And no, I'm not pregnant. It's odd actually, I don't recall ever experiencing a nesting sensation when I was pregnant with either of my kids. Maybe it's because I was too busy stuffing my face with french fries and grapefruit to care much about anything else.

At any rate, I sort of re-organized my bookshelves one night at like 11pm. This is what one sometimes does when one can't sleep and realizes that there is no foreseeable time in the future when I can actually do this during the day. So I turned on The Daily Show, poured myself a cup of herbal tea Sauvignon Blanc and set to work.

I'm not sure if I've professed this before, but I sort of adore Emily Henderson. Like I would love to drink wine, watch the Daily Show and organize bookshelves at 11pm with her. She probably does not do this. Actually she might. That's probably why I like her so much.

Anyway, her home was recently featured in Domino and I especially loved her bookshelves. (I really wish mine were white, but Matt has stated that he hates the color white. Hates it so much in fact that he says he feels physically ill every time he sees a white wall, which is unfortunate because our walls are white). I think perhaps he's being a bit over-dramatic, but I've got the hint. Our bookshelves are black, they are from IKEA, and I do still like them even though they aren't white.

One of things Emily says about styling shelves is that you want them to look curated, not cluttered. And this is a tricky line to walk. So in this regard I think you have to get creative with the space you have and the items that you want to display.

I stacked a lot of books vertically (as one does on bookshelves), but then I stacked several horizontally and made little "stands" for various bowls or objects. I also incorporated more green. I never had plants on my bookshelf before, but I love how they sort of make it come to life. By the way none of them are real plants..I am admittedly terrible at the indoor plant thing.* I also put them in white pots. Sorry Matt.

Lastly, I rounded up some of our artwork that was lying around, sadly looking for a place to live and used the shelves as a sort of art gallery. I think one of the best pieces of advice I can give about bookshelf styling is to look around your house, in your cupboards or in your attic and find those little quirky bowls, plates, bookends or trinkets that are simultaneously weird and cool enough to find a home amongst your books.

This was a much longer post than I intended, but I'd love to hear your tips and tricks to bookshelf styling!

*Airplants are a good substitute if you can't bring yourself to buy fake plants, as they are fairly easy to keep alive.


Courtney Erin said...

It looks really lovely - I love nicely put together book shelves!

Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

I think you did a great job. And I'm with you, I never nested much during my pregnancies either.

Jen said...

Your shelves look great!

I've been wanting to do this for a while now too---I just keep putting off sorting through books to get rid of old ones from the college days that we'll never open again so that we have space for other stuff in there!

LAS said...

Looks great Lex. And I did the same thing when we decided to just stay put for a while. And don't ever bring Matt to visit us...I LOVE LOVE LOVE white.

Kat said...

I love how you do shelves! My shelving unit is still the way you styled it for me a few years ago...... and yeah, I will have just you come over- keep Matt home- when I finally get around to covering that wall with WHITE shelves that I will need help decorating!