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TIP #4
 

Karen Young, CKD

Keeping House and Home Tip #4

Basic arrangements for book cases and decor

It is easy to get it wrong and difficult to understand how to get it right but here are some basic steps in arranging your bookcase and shelves with finesse and style.

  • First determine what you have and what you can eliminate.  Much of what you display has sentimental value but some items might have more importance than others or aesthetic value. 
  • Try to determine what you have vs.  what you want to display. 
    Get rid of the paperback books that are small and probably wont read again anytime soon or at least store them out of prominence.  Occasional coffee table type books in paperback will have merit. 
  • Look at the books you have kept and determine their value�sentimental and /or aesthetic�then when you arrange them try not to fill every shelf with the books.  Leave a little space on some shelves at one end or the other.  Stack the books from tallest at the outside to shortest toward the middle.  If you have tall ones lay them on their side in a short horizontal stack a time or two.  Here you could place a piece of pottery or a small clock.
  • Photographs in frames should be arranged in groupings.  It might be best to have them in groups that make sense�family branches, friends, years�whatever strikes you but take care not to do too many in one bunch.  Set them on the shelf with some angle and not all the exact same.  Tall ones in the back and short ones scattered around the front.  Don�t worry about the frames matching it's an assortment.
  • Collections are always great to display on shelves.  Be sure to place them where they are easily viewed.  If your collection of a theme is large then consider using only these items among your books or pictures but maybe not all three�books, collection, and pictures.  The look could be scattered and too busy.  You need to step back and look at it once it all gets arranged to determine if you've just got too much.  Remember, less is more when it comes to small things and lots of shelves.
  • Think about your composition.  This is the finessing part.  You want to have balance in mass and color.  Light colors and white are striking and strong, large dark areas are heavy and take up space more than other colors.  Patterns are busy and should be used sparingly unless grouped. 
  • Never, never spot about your little things.  Always do groupings.  A little piece here and a little piece there are not very interesting or cohesive.  Let the items speak for themselves.


If you start with these basic steps you can get your display roughed-in.   You�ll most likely rearrange a bit before it is just right.  Not to worry about having it perfect�it needs to look personal and spontaneous�even if it didn�t start out that way. 

 

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Basic arrangements for book cases and dcor:

It is easy to get it wrong and difficult to understand how to get it right but here are some basic steps in arranging your bookcase and shelves with finesse and style.

- Karen Young