Tuesday, November 10, 2015

a bookcase with BOOKS?

Do you have a bookcase that you can't bare to look at?

Well, you've come to the right place.  There are so many great tips out there so you can style a beautiful bookcase.  I'm sure you've heard it's a great place to display special keepsakes like beautiful pottery you collected while on vacation.  Or maybe hang a large piece of artwork across the center divide for more of a gallery look, if that's your thing.

When my husband and I moved in, we were so desperate to unpack boxes so we could see the floor again, we just jammed all of our books into the bookcase.  I didn't categorize them in any way, because I knew I wanted to take care about the placement of each book.  I also figured that some books would tuck away inside a bin, or a box or two in the closet.

(It still pains me to see this photo...)

Before you know,  rainy October turned into boiling July.  I was so embarrassed that my bookcase, a feature on our main wall, was still a mess 9 months later.  Visitors were coming to visit from California so I needed to get on this- stat!

I gave my husband warning that I was going to tuck some of the books away so I can style the bookcase properly with some decorative items.  "What?!?  Why would you do that?  No, a bookcase is supposed to have books."  It was as if the thunders came crashing down on my design plan.  I do love him, so I decided to make it work.  I was really going to mix things up in the world, and design my entire bookcase with books.  That's right- JUST BOOKS.

As I mentioned my bookcase is on the main wall of our living space, so I wanted to create a color statement to enforce our color story.  I wrote a whole post about it, HERE, but to remind you my colors are neon yellow, grass green and navy blue.

Without accessories, my design was going to be about the color of the books.  Color blocking, or grouping like colors together, is a great way to make a big impact with just color.  It concentrates similar color for a bold statement.

Unfortunately I ran out of time before a best girlfriend of mine came to visit in June.  I thought we could do it together, but we were too busy touring Portland.

I'm not sure why, but I feel like I have so many books with a red or gold yellow spine.  This was our perfect color story for our Chicago apartment- but wasn't helping me at all in Portland.  I tried to neutralize this scenario by turning all of those books with the spine inwards.  Below you can see many books with the natural pages showing out.  I also tried to add some interest by stacking some books for contrast.

Alright, this was a start, but definitely not the answer!  You can also see I stacked piles of blue and green books for an attempt at color blocking.  I wish this would have looked better when my eldest niece came to visit.   I guess she'll just have to come back to enjoy it.  (My secret plan.)

I was not impressed with the lack luster of the colored spines turned inward.  There just wasn't enough COLOR.  Above you'll see I modified my concept.  Here the second and fourth rows are stacked.  This has a more united, graphic quality to me.  You can see more blue and green on the second row which is great.  However, you seen a ton of red, black and yellow which is not great.  I also categorized the bottom row with our favorite series, and religious books.

Here it is!!  Above is how it still stands today and it makes me SO HAPPY.  Do you see what remained consistent from the previous design?  The fourth row of books remains stacked by series- they just fit so well.  In the end I reinterpreted the rainbow display of books that is so popular in the design world right now.  I like to think of it as a MISMATCH rainbow.  

Row one is high in contrast with black and white across the top- easy peasy.  I knew I wanted blue to be on the right side, so I decided to start with the pink-red books.  Do you see the ombre effect?  Starting on the left: pink to red, green to blue.  Then snake down to the third row, starting on the right: navy to purple, orange to tan, capped of with grays on the far left.  

I'm happy to say I snuck in two pairs of accessories.  The blue agate bookend are just stunning, and are totally on trend this year (a bonus).  My husband has had them since he was a teenager, and he's happy to see them displayed in our home together.  I was also able to add in personalized brass bookend that I received as a  gift when I became Bat Mitzvah at 13 years old.  I'd call that a win-win for both us, don't you think?!

PS- my third visitor of the summer, a best friend from Chicago, finally got to enjoy the final result during his stay- PHEW!

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