Brimming with Books

Hey everybody!  I hope you had an awesome weekend!

We’ve been fiddling around with our new Ikea bookshelves lately and wanted to show you the results so far.  Once the bookcases were built and we’d determined the shelf spacing we wanted, we brought out all our books and accessories and started filling them up.  Here are a few shots of the process (excuse the poor night-time lighting!).

Filling Shelves 1

This stage took a lot of trial and error to see what looked best on which shelf.  I was totally shocked to see how much shelf space we had leftover after bring out stacks and stacks of books.

Filling Shelves 2

I originally wanted to display our globe on the top of the shelves, but after seeing it in place it just looked awkward.  Maybe someday we’ll have a globe collection on top of those shelves, but not today!

We worked and swapped and fiddled until we came up with this arrangement.  Since the shelves have stayed like this for a few days, I think we’re both happy with this setup for now.  Later down the line, I’d like to add some baskets and natural textures to break up all that color.

Shelves Full

The shelves are filled with a mix of novels, non-fiction books, textbooks, art, photographs, and accessories.  Since we don’t have enough books to fill every shelf, it was nice to get to add some personality and height-variation with the accessories.

Left Shelves

This is probably my favorite shelf: a piece of art handmade by Mr. Heard, three new design books (The Domino Book of Decorating is AMAZING, by the way) and a cute white ceramic vase.

Decorating Books

The right-hand bookcase is the one I think of as Stephen’s bookcase, since it was where most of the books from his office ended up.  I love how the colors came together in this section with the yellows, greens, and reds.  The line of neutral books on that third shelf was a nice break from the primary colors, too.

Right Bookcase

Instead of showing all the spines of our Chronicles of Narnia series, I turned the box so the image on the side was showing.  It’s easy for bookshelves to start to look busy, so this was one way to break things up a bit.

Color Grouping

These are the shelves that may still see some tweaking.  I’m thinking about turning the really mis-matched books 180 degrees so just the pages are showing.  That might give us another break from the color overload going on here.  Can bookshelves get too colorful? I think ours are getting there.

Bottom Shelves

Once the shelves were somewhat organized, we were left with a gap on the end of the wall by our sliding glass door.

Shelves Full 2

Luckily we had a chair to fill the spot.  I’m thinking a small floor lamp or hanging pendant over this chair would create a cute little reading nook.

Bookcases with Chair

So that’s where were are with the bookshelves.  I definitely have a greater appreciation now for designers who can make bookshelves look completely effortless and organic. Believe it or not, it takes a lot of work!

Have you tried staging shelves before?  Was it harder than it looked?

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9 Responses to Brimming with Books

  1. cassie says:

    they look awesome! i find styling bookcases to be challenging, too, and a trial and error as well! in the end yours look awesome!

  2. Morgan says:

    Your bookshelves look great! I agree that bookshelves can be so hard to style. It’s fun playing around though. =)

  3. It’s looking SO good. I love the globe and all the colorful books. They just pop off that white bookcase.

  4. Jen Y says:

    I’m in the process of emptying my shelves so they look pretty bad right now. We have 6 floor to ceiling shelves plus four smaller ones full of books! I’m seriously getting rid of them..giving them away, selling them & donating some to charities or libraries. I even have quite a few family heirloom books, some dating back to the 1800’s.

    I’d love to arrange them by color. I’ve seen some beautiful examples on Pinterest. I’ve had so many that I’ve arranged them by subject to be organized. We’ll see if I can pare them down enough to try this at least on my display shelves in our living room.

    My best tip for staging is research & practice. Find lost of examples you like then try to copy them. We use ours so they never stay the way I arrange them but it’s so much fun when you get them just the way you want them.

  5. I have done this before, but with smaller shelves. I like how yours turned out!! Very pretty and it tells a story, which is the best part!

  6. Katrina says:

    the bookcase look nice! 🙂

  7. Janie says:

    Hi! I live in Midlothian, Virginia but am an Arkansas native and grad of U of A…woo pig sooie! 🙂 I saw a link to your blog from Centsational Girl and have been reading all of your posts! I love your house and the way you write, so keep up the good work! I am TOTALLY copying your DIY sunburst mirror! I also wanted to say that organizing book shelves is really hard! Design bloggers do make it look effortless, but it’s definitely harder than it looks. Would you possibly consider painting the backdrop of the shelves? I think it would add lots of drama and be beautiful. 🙂 Glad to have found your blog!

  8. nora says:

    I love the bookshelves, and all the decorations, but it got me thinking about something I like a lot less… dust! My parents had a small built in and I used to have to dust all of my mom’s vases and frames on it. We’re getting some dark bookshelves so I’m going to have to try to keep them easy to clean!

  9. They look amazing! I’m total crap at styling bookcases, my mom is awesome at it so I let her do it at my house ;o)

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