How To Style Your Bookcase

Hello everyone! 

My husband and I are currently working on updating our living room.  We finally got new couches!  There are a few finishing touches that still need to be done before I share with you all the mini makeover, hopefully very soon!  I did, however, want to share with you the way I styled the top of my bookshelf.  I found this really cool lamp at Target, which served as the inspiration for the rest of the objects surrounding it.  I really love the glass paired with the brass finish, it kind of gives it an industrial look.  I love interior design, I am by no means an expert but I wanted to share a few tips and tricks that I have learned over the years.  I hope you enjoy! 

(by the way you can totally see my reflection in the picture hanging on the wall, hi guys!) 

The three main areas that you will want to focus on first are balance, color, and texture.  Paying attention to these things will give you a complete and cohesive look. 

//1. Balance//

To me this is the most important thing.  If things don't look balanced to me then I will go crazy!  Balanced can be achieved many different ways including color and texture but I will talk about those things later on in this post.  Right now I am just going to talk about height and depth.  You always want to start with counter balancing your tallest object. Im my case it's my lamp.  So what I did was hang my picture slightly below the height of the lamp and then places a shorter vase of flowers on the other side of the bookcase.  This is a good start but now you need to fill the space between.  You next rule of thumb when placing your next object is to not place anything taller than the shortest object that is already in your composition, anything taller will throw everything off.  In my case it's my vase of flowers, so I choose to place I slightly shorter picture frame in that space.  Now we have one space left to fill.  Now whatever we put here we want it to be shorter than the picture from but tall enough to just overlap the picture hanging on the wall.  I chose to stack three books with a tea cup on top, which was tall enough to fill the space below the picture on the wall but then I can back the next day an added this little bunny inside.  I thought that its little ears added just the perfect amount of extra height. 

Now let's talk about depth.  We already created some depth with all of the objects that overlap the picture hanging on the wall but you can add a lot of interest by adding another layer.  I did this by placing a little Eiffel tower in front of the vase and picture frame.  I also adjusted the flowers so that some of the leaves sat in front of the picture frame.  These tiny little details can make a huge difference! 

//2. Color//

What I wanted to do with color here was pull out the colors from the picture and also the brass color on the lamp.  I tied in most of the color from the picture using the stack of books.  The color variations are very similar and the books help draw the eyes downward from the picture and then ultimately your eye is drawn to the rest of the scene making it complete and very satisfying.  To help draw the eye even more I was very intentional about using white.  In my opinion a brass finish's best friend it white.  This is why I chose white flowers and added the white bunny, I just think it looks really refined and helps the metal finish pop.  These object also help pull out the white in the picture frame. 

//3. Texture//

Texture really helps to complete any composition. You want to have contrasting textures as well as like textures to tie everything in.  There is a lot of contrasting texture in this space with the flowers, metals, glass, and the glittered finish on the Eiffel Tower, which helps add interest.  The teacup and vase tie in well with the lamp as does the metal finish of the frame.  It also helps to strategically space these things out.  For example the teacup sits between the lamp and the frame and the frame sits between the teacup and the glass vase.  By doing this you are calling the eye to take in the entire composition at one time.  The eye isn't fighting to move fluidly. 

//Personal Touches//

Now that we have talked about overall composition lets talk about personal touches.  When you are working on your project try and find some personalized objects that you can incorporate.  For me I love books, which is an obvious touch but beyond that I also love whimsy.  Adding little trinkets such as the little bunny sitting in the tea cup really helps add that quaint touch. 

I found this porcelain bunny at Target a few years ago so it's no longer available.  But they always have the cutest salt and pepper shakers that have a similar look as this bunny.  I also think that there is something very whimsical in nature about taking objects that are meant to be in the kitchen and placing them in your living room.  Play around and have fun with it! 

The picture in the frame is one that I took of Notre Dame in Paris and out of the thousands that I got while I was there this is my very favorite!  I visited Paris back in 2009 (OMG so long ago, time to go back!) and the most special part about it was that I got to go with my mom.  So yes, I have a lot of little nods to Paris throughout my home but I love that share that memory with my mom so it's very dear to me.  Plus, Paris is just plainly a beautiful city, which can be inspiration enough! 

//Let's Talk Faux Flowers//

I know that fresh flowers are ideal, and I love to incorporate them in my home but let's be honest, filling all of the little spaces in your home with fresh flowers can get a little expensive.  I would maybe save them for the center of your dining room table or even your coffee table.  That way you can still enjoy them in your home but you can save a little money.  Faux flowers can honestly get a little cheesy if you aren't careful so here are my tips. 


I always go for hydrangeas or peonies.  I just find that these look the most natural.  Try to stay away from things like daisies, tulips, and roses these can end up looking the most cheesy. 


Try and choose a color that is natural.  If you want them to look real you want to make sure they match the color that would naturally grow from the ground.  It is also imperative that there is some sort of variation in color.  You never want to buy faux flowers that are just one solid color.  Mine have the slightest hint of blush towards the centers, this also helped pull out some of the color from my paining on the wall. 


You want to make sure that the texture and shape of the flower is very similar to real flowers.  For example hydrangea petals have scalloped edges and veins running throughout.  These little details will help trick your eye.  They also make faux flowers with a sort of rubberized finish, which are so great because it gives a hydrated look to the flowers, making them seem more natural.  These kind can often be more expensive but are so worth it if you can spare the extra money! 

Whew, ok so I know that was a lot of information!  At the end of the day you want to play around until your eye is satisfied but I hope these tips and tricks can help you simplify the process!  Just remember to add the things that best represent you and to have fun! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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