December 19, 2008


Posted in decorating tagged , , at 1:33 pm by allisonwonder

I like to think that I’m good with bookcases- specifically with making them look nice, rather than construction, though I can knock an Ikea BILLY shelf together if need be.

Take, for example, the corner shelf in our living room/dining room. I love this shelf, by the way- one of the best second-hand deals we’ve ever found.

corner shelf <Pay no attention to the unfinished bottom shelf…

I like balance… space… and things that make me happy. Library shelves, full of books from end to end, top to bottom, are great for libraries, but display shelves are different- for me, anyway. I’ve got my old books out (which I do actually pull out to peruse occasionally), my favourite faux blooms, and lots of pictures. Nothing’s formal, most of the picture frames don’t match, and there’s nothing there that’s just around to show off- if I don’t love it, it doesn’t go out.

upper shelves

It looks casual, but I think about things like depth, layers and balance when I’m arranging shelves (which I probably enjoy too much, actually). Books are standing to the left on the second shelf, so they start at the right on the fourth; the books lying on their sides function as a bookend, but the horizontal lines make it a bit more interesting to look at. The picture on top of the stacked books fills in the space, and the tin pewter frame in fromt of it adds a different texture. I like how the flowers come down at the front (which was actually an accident- I didn’t know where to put them when I was unpacking, so I stuck them up there), which adds another layer to the whole thing. See? I think WAY too much about this stuff.

middle shelves

I don’t think these shelves are completely done, especially the middle ones. There’s nothing wrong with them- I like having one shelf in the middle there just for stuff other than books, and the figurines add different heights and depth to the display, but… I don’t know. It needs something. The shelf below that is alright, too, but definitely unfinished. The books on the right balance the antique books on the upper shelf nicely, but the left side of this one seems too enpty, even with the otters there. “Pip” and “Pop” (as my mom named the otters when she gave them to me) might need to be replaced.

As for the bottom shelf… I’d like to put photo albums there, but anything on a low shelf is vulnerable to attack from the Ikester, so I’m not sure.

Now, there are other people who prefer a more utilitarian shelf- a shelf that will hold as much well-organized stuff as possible. My hubby’s one of those people. He has no problem with a nice-looking shelf, but he prefers to have his book and movie collections out where he can see them. I just want to be clear on something here: I love my husband. He loves his movies. Therefore, I want him to have easy access to his movies and be happy with how they’re displayed. But I’ve got to do something with this:

movie shelves< this, plus 300 DVDs

The movies are extremely organized- alphabetically and by genre. It’s a good system, and it makes for easy browsing… It’s just not pretty.

Eh, some day we’ll get closed cabinets. For now, if he’s happy, I’m happy. It’s all about the compromise, folks. 😉


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