I recently had a reader submit her bookcases/TV unit for my give and take series, and although I’ve never tried to virtually style shelves, I decided it might be fun to give it a try. Cat has books for the shelves that she hasn’t placed yet and was also wondering if she should accessorize the top.
What I would take away from the space: When I’m styling bookshelves, I like to take away all of the very small accessories (possibly adding them back later as a finishing layer). I also think too many different styles of picture frames can sometimes look too busy.
What I would give to the space: I definitely like to see books on a bookshelf, but how many is a personal preference. Cat mentioned that she didn’t want the shelves to be overstuffed, so I would use books on every other shelf, along with a few well placed accessories. In this case, I wouldn’t add anything to the top. I think it would take away from the thick moulding and pretty beams.
Okay, are you ready for this diagram? :) Hopefully it will make sense.
A: I would keep it simple and symmetrical by using a row of these small vases, two in each compartment (four total). If it feels too minimal, she could also fill in with books and use the vases as bookends.
B: This is where I would add a row of books, using one of these bookends per compartment.
C & D: I would add frames on each side (mix it up—one horizontal and one vertical), along with a smaller accessory like this little succulent or this gold star. (Again, she could always layer these pieces in front of more books. . .)
E: I would keep these shelves pretty minimal, adding a horizontal stack of books on each side.
F: A longer basket or bin is not only an easy way to fill a bookshelf but is nice for hiding remotes and other little things that seem to accumulate.
Since the bookcase won’t be overly accessorized, it will give Cat some space and time to collect other pieces, but it still looks “finished” in the meantime.