Books are a fabulous thing, don’t you think? Hours spent immersing ourselves into a fantasy world or poring over beautiful images. Apart from some, at the time, entertaining paperbacks which I know I won’t read again, I don’t usually part with any of my books. If you’re anything like that, then you’ll be well aware that this can pose a bit of a problem. What to do with all those books?
You see, in an ideal world my bookshelf would be as big as and look as nice as this one:
Going all the way from floor to ceiling, white and light, tidy, not overstuffed and pretty and organized. Beautiful, don’t you think?
However, and this is where it gets complicated, my world isn’t ideal and I have:
a) no space for a bookcase this size and
b) way more books than these people seem to have.
So, I have to make my space work in the best looking way possible. Luckily there are some tricks which can help with this. If your bookshelf suffers from the same overload problem, then this might help you, too. The overall concept is the same, whether your bookshelf has masses of space or is completely packed.
So, first things first: the books. Don’t simply stack them all next to each other. Take a moment to think about their sizes and group them accordingly. You could go as far as ordering them by colour, but that might just be a little much for some people.
Arrange your books in a vertical as well as horizontal fashion. This will make your bookshelf immediately look more interesting and, with space being the obvious issue here, give you much needed space to place a few well-chosen objects on top. Again, think about the sizes of the books when doing this. Horizontally placed books should all roughly be the same size.
Layer elements. Place a particularly pretty book on top of a pile for a display feel and then layer other items in front. This will straight away give your bookshelf a more sophisticated look even if it’s fashioned from wine crates and a potter’s bench.
If possible, mix materials. A little bit of shiny copper, some (fake) coral, pretty pottery, all these will give the impression that your bookshelf isn’t just a place to store books, but that you can afford the luxury of space to display pretty items. Add the odd plant, too! A bit of greenery brings any display to life.
Last but not least, you will have to be a little ruthless. Some books simply aren’t worth displaying and if you want to hold onto them for sentimental reasons, then it’s ok to shove them into a box to be stored in the attic. There is always the possibility that your children might enjoy them one day, but that doesn’t mean they have to be on display, right?
Image sources: The Makerista