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by Matt Goering

Library Bookcases

Library Bookcases

Bookshelves are often overlooked when it comes to designing the interior of a home. The truth is that the right bookcase in the right place can make a world of difference, increasing the beauty of an interior and decreasing the clutter. Here are a few suggestions for different types of book shelves to consider if you’re in the market.

Freestanding Models
You can’t beat a good freestanding bookcase for convenience. Not only are they great places to store books and knick knacks, but they can be attractive furniture additions to your living spaces as well. The beauty of freestanding book shelves is the incredible variety of styles available. Corner bookcases are wonderful for making use of those odd corners in the living room or den, and provide an attractive place to store and display books and other valuables.

Rotating models are also available, and are very handy when used as end tables to store books, magazines, remotes, and other things you want to have within arm’s reach when stretching out on the couch.

If you’re looking for something really distinctive, consider a doored bookcase, a close cousin of the china cabinet. These are great for displaying everything from grandma’s old dishes to that autographed copy of The Old Man and the Sea that you’re always telling everybody about.

The fact is that when you’re talking freestanding book shelves, there’s a model out there that will satisfy just about any space, taste and budget.

Built-In Bookshelves
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of furniture you already have, you’ll want to consider having built in bookcases installed instead. These can be custom designed to fit your living spaces, and often can be fitted in out of the way places or recessed into a wall where a freestanding model just wouldn’t work.

Some examples of places where built in bookshelves can really bring a room together include around fireplaces, doors and windows, beneath stairs or running up them, and in odd corners throughout the house. Bookcases have even been built in to serve as a barrier and divide a room into two distinct areas. If you have a space you think a custom built-in bookcase might be the ticket, Highlands Designs can make it happen.

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Looking for some new kitchen design ideas for your remodel? We’ve created this handy infographic to help you out along the way! Find out the most popular themed kitchens, most popular kitchen materials, and how to create your favorite kitchen design theme.

  • Traditional Kitchen Theme: Use raised panel cabinets, granite countertops, marble backsplash, and maple wood flooring.
  • Transitional Kitchen Theme: Use flat paneled cabinets, marble countertops, ceramic backsplash, and ash wood flooring.
  • Contemporary Kitchen Theme: Use shaker style cabinets, concrete countertops, stone backsplash, and tile flooring.
  • Modern Kitchen Theme: Use flat/high gloss cabinets, quartz countertops, glass backsplash, and vinyl/high gloss flooring.
  • Rustic Kitchen Theme: Use inset/distressed cabinets, butcher block countertops, brick backsplash, and travertine or chipped flooring.
  • Industrial Kitchen Theme: Use a custom cabinets, stainless steel countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, and concrete flooring.

History of Kitchen Design – Infographic

The History of Kitchen Design Infographic by Kitchen Cabinet Kings

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I truly love to see bookcases in homes because they are the perfect solution for adding storage and style to your surroundings.  Books and collectibles on display add warmth and personality to any space, whether it’s a living or dining area, bedroom or home office.  To any visitor, a bookcase will communicate what you read, what you collect, and what you love.  Bookcases are a window into your passions and pursuits, and an opportunity for you to put your most favorite things on display.

The challenge for most people is how to style a bookcase well.  How do you maximize both utility and aesthetic appeal, but also avoid monotony and clutter?   Styling a bookcase is an art, but a job easily tackled if you study those done right.

Analysis of a well styled bookcase:

It Starts at the Back.  Simple inexpensive bookcases become stunners when their backs are dressed up with paint, fabric or wallpaper.  Eddie’s Billy Bookcase was brought to life with a pattern that accentuates the balanced display of books and collectibles.

eddie ross billy bookcase styling for womans day

via Eddie Ross

When styled against a backdrop of robin’s egg blue, this collection from the home of model Coco Rochas has visual appeal, and showcases a love of books, antique coffeepots, vases, and glass bottles.

vogue bookcase

via Vogue

 

Think in Layers.  Here is a shelf masterfully styled by Emily Henderson.  Notice the balance achieved between the books alternating in placement from left to right with the ceramics poised on the opposite side.  The middle shelf repeats the books plus ceramics combination, and also provides the opportunity to display smaller collectibles.  Different heights and textures also add to the appeal.

emily henderson hgtv

via HGTV

 

Vary Book Placement.  Did you know there are 7 ways to stack books?  Karen fromThe Art of Doing Stuff teaches us how she styled hers in her IKEA Billy bookcases to break up the columns.  Notice how she doesn’t just stick to books, she adds art and natural objects too.  And don’t you love that reading chair?

art of doing stuff bookcase

via The Art of Doing Stuff

 

Arrange Books by Color.  Inside this IKEA Expedit, the books are grouped by color, and also displayed both horizontally and vertically.  Practical baskets mix with glass bowls, vases and collectibles to form an aesthetically pleasing display on a brightly painted wall.

ikea bookcase style at home

via Style at Home

 

Hang Something.  There’s no rule you have to keep it all inside.  Why not add one more layer of interest?  Consider using the framing of the bookcases to suspend a dramatic mirror, framed artwork, or sentimental photographs.

framed art on bookcase

House Beautiful; source unknown

bookshelf hgtv

via HGTV

 

It’s OK to be Single.   Smaller cubbies look simply perfect with a textured or sculptural object placed all by itself.  Notice the use of a single vase or shell in the smaller spaces of John & Sherry’s bookcase, and the fantastic contrast with bold blue and crisp white.

yhl painted built in

via Young House Love

 

Think Oddly.   Objects tend to look better when gathered in odd numbers, and the basic design principle of the rule of threes is cleverly applied in this bookcase featured in Lonny Magazine.  Notice how most of the books are stacked horizontally, but the bookcase becomes so stylish with the varied and perfectly placed decorative objects, prints, and forward facing book covers.

bookcase lonny

via Lonny

Varied groupings of three or five are always visually appealing.  This bookcase from the home of Lisa Martensen is an example of a well edited display from her treasure hunts and travels all around the world.

dmagazine lisa martensen

via D Magazine

 

Allow Room to Breathe.  With airy shelving, it’s best to not overwhelm and allow for plenty of breathing room around objects.  Deliberate use of open space keeps the eclectic collection on this bookshelf from appearing too cluttered.

viva terra railroad bookshelf

via Viva Terra

 

With a little concentration, it’s possible to style a bookshelf well with both books and the things you love.  The secret to doing it successfully is truly all in the placement and editing of your favorite objects.

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