Keeping House and Home Tip #4
Basic arrangements for book cases and
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
- 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
- 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
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.