Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspired - How to Style Bookshelves

One of the things I love the very most about being a designer (aside from being exposed to beautiful furniture and fabrics - which is awesome!) is helping clients of all types get excited about the potential that already exists in their homes.  This is a million times easier when the client comes with a collection of Early American antiques that would make those blond twins on Antiques Roadshow cry.

A current client, whose family room we're working on, has a truly great space with ceilings open to the second floor, a wall of windows that lets in beautiful natural light and a treasure trove of antique furniture, artifacts and other decorative items.  We're not adding much, in terms of new purchases - just a sofa and new fabric to recover a pair of existing wing chairs.  What we are adding however, is a clear design direction and a purposeful way to display all of those beloved family heirlooms.

My goal is for the finished room to feel comfortable, relaxed and homey and for her collection (which I cannot WAIT to style the bookshelves with!) to really shine. She loves her pieces, they have deep sentimental value and they're beautiful to boot!  I'd be a moron if I didn't use them.

Sometimes I feel like people are nervous that when they hire a designer, he or she is going to swoop into their home, criticize their perceived lack of style and tell them they're going to have to get rid of everything. Fortunately, reality is much, much different.  If there is something you feel strongly should stay, I want to hear it.  By the same token, if I feel strongly that something should go, I will give my opinion and reasoning but ultimately I recognize this is your home and the final decision belongs to the client.  Although 9 times out of 10, when the client sees a finished room, the items they fought so hard to keep don't seem to hold the same allure when placed next to all the new or refurbished pieces.

Wow, this post was going to be all about styling bookshelves.

So, styling bookshelves.

You can go one of two routes - clean and simple or filled to the gills.  I like both styles but my current client loves a really full look and I'm really excited to work with that.  These photos I've pinned on Pinterest are my inspiration:

via Pure Style Home

I've had these next two photos saved in a folder for a while now, so I don't know the source of either.  If you know who it is, or if it is you, please let me know and I'll be happy to give proper credit.

via Lonny Mag

Layering a variety of items is the key to an interesting and collected look.  I love the idea of mixing in framed pieces with sculptures, books and pottery.  It's such a great way to get all of those things you love out of boxes and cupboards and display them so they can be enjoyed (and dusted ha!) every day.

I think it was a big relief to my client that I didn't tell her to get rid of her stuff.  It's actually a big relief to me that I don't have to try to shop for all the fabulous pieces to fill those giant bookshelves.    She's got that covered!  I get to come in and go all "Emily Henderson" on those babies.

via Style by Emily Henderson

I'll keep you posted on how they turn out!

If you are interested in design services, no matter how big or small, email me.  I'd love to chat!


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