Monday, August 8, 2011

Accessorizing Bookshelves


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These are the bookshelves in my living room. I personally love being surrounded by books, although I’ve never spent a lot of time decorating my bookshelves. Recently, I received a clock as a birthday gift and I immediately propped it inside the bookshelves in our family room. Here’s a partial look at the shelves.

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Ok….. but I’m not thrilled. So I decided to look for some inspiration. House Beautiful has a nice little article on updating your bookshelves, especially if you want to inject some color into your room.

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After painting the inside of the shelves, books are arranged by size and subject. Then, books are put back into the shelves, vertically and horizontally. Similar colored art objects are placed inside. A framed picture adds interest.

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Do you collect any one thing? Don’t forget to decorate a shelf with your collections. In this picture from Apartment Therapy, artwork once again, is hung from framed molding.

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…..and more artwork that’s hung from shelves….

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I love the unifying pops of blue throughout this room that compliment the wall color. Blue candlesticks and figurines on the shelves, the blue tray and subtle touches of blue in the accent pillow gives the room a fresh look. And the creamy sand color of the baskets, pottery pieces and in the cushions makes me think about the beach. Also, I like the mismatchy look of the vintage chair with the rattan coffee table!

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Lots of small, framed pictures, earthy colored pottery pieces, and small figurines break up the monotony of the books. The top of each shelf has similar art pieces that provide symmetry.

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I like the fact that older collections of books are interspersed with regular hardcover books.

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Here’s an example of using your bookshelves like a photo gallery.

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Photo: Google Images; Rita Konig article

These shelves look great. But personally, I think the tangerine colored French chairs with the blue and white piece on the table steal the show. What do you think?

Now. Guess who lives here? Yes, for those of us who might be getting stressed out looking at all these lovely, accessorized bookshelves, you might be interested to know that Mary Randolph Carter, Senior Vice President of Ralph Lauren Publishing, lives right here, with an Ikea couch covered in colorful textiles, books everywhere and vintage art on the walls. Can you see the sleeping doggy on the couch? Too sweet. As you can see, Mary, her husband, two sons and a dog, live like real folks. No untouchables in this house.

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Photo: Ralph Lauren

Mary believes her taste for the “beautifully, artistically cluttered studios of Picasso or Alexander Calder” blends well with Ralph Lauren’s warm, lived-in look. And her book, A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of A Misspent Life, embraces a philosophy about creating a home in which people feel comfortable. She personally feels inspired, “whenever I walk into a home that shows its heart, whether it's a refrigerator filled with children's artwork, or a wall of photographs or books.”

And all those beautiful pieces and well-designed Ralph Lauren rooms? She simply says, “I’ve learned the lesson that people aren't replaceable, dogs aren't replaceable, but most things are.”

Hmmm. Maybe I’ll worry about my bookshelves later. Right now, I think I’ll put my feet up on my own artistically cluttered coffee table, relax and finish my novel.

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