Monday, May 23, 2011

Decorating & organizing bookshelves

I like to decorate and I don't have a lot of space. I also, however, have a TON of books. So what if you have a lot of bookshelves, a lot of books, but want to decorate too?

Whatever you do, please don't do this. This makes me want to crawl into a fetal ball and sob softly.



What if you use books as your decorations? Or as your room color? I recently discovered this:


I got big puffy hearts in my eyes. I LOVE the way it looks but again...I'm too much of a librarian to break up series or genres to do this everywhere. Thankfully I have no less than five bookshelves in the space I was working in.

Atop a bookcase makes a great space for a few books and mostly accessories. I have a lot of historical books in the first shelf so a natural theme felt like the thing to do on top.


Once you get to the actual shelves though, don't be afraid to accessorize them too! I usually add things that deal with the book subjects.

This is my "scholarly" shelf. Some are leftover school books and others are just because I'm a nerd. :)
Pottery from my grandmother, a painted turkey feather quill and ink go along with the scholarly feel. See where I'm going with all this?



This candle belonged to my grandmother as well, it's one of the weirdest candles I've seen but seems to fit this book grouping.
(Not so much the Fanny Crosby book - haven't found the right home for that one yet!)



My largest bookshelf hangs above my desk and gives me plenty of space for non-book decorating...if only I'd quit buying books.




This carved wooden chest filled with dried flowers and seeds seemed the perfect companion for my Brother Cadfael books.




And this horse head bookend sits next to my Margeurite Henry books and my copy of Traveller by Richard Adams.




I have to admit I haven't read any of the books in this next photo excepting the one on the far right. I'm working on remedying that, but my exotic looking candle holder goes next to my exotic sounding books.




I have a huge collection of Breyer horses and this one wouldn't fit in storage. He goes in my horsey vignette with this vintage print I bought at an antique sale years ago (I just love it!) and a pinback button that belonged to my mom; Ginger was the name of her horse. I'm bugging her to get me a photo of her and Ginger to add to this spot.




I have a decent collection of classic literature on the lowest shelf. A pair of...things? given me by a friend from Okinawa and a photo I took in Israel (and put in a thrifted frame) make good companions for these books which span both history and the globe.



Also, have you read the Amelia Peabody mysteries (to the left)? Or the Mary Russell series? They are both fantastic.

 

See how I stack books this way and that? I am able to fit way more books on a shelf this way, and it makes it a bit more interesting to look at.

I already showed you my gorgeous shell treasure bottle (visit her shop here) which made the perfect accessory to my collection of nautical books (next to my American lit - yeah...it made sense to me). I was also gifted that ceramic pirate treasure box.

 

And this shell "box" which I filled with foreign coins. Sometimes I just have too much fun with this stuff.



All those bookshelves I've got under a "system" with series and genre all together and making sense, but I really wanted to try the rainbow bookshelf thing. Luckily I have a random assortment of older books I can try this with on a small scale.

It's actually a bit of a challenge to match the shades properly! And I didn't care about making this one in proper rainbow order - I just wanted like colors together.




And do you know how many older books are blue? Most of mine are.




I found another shelf to play rainbow games on. Had been wanting to change this one for a while yet anyway. And yes there are unicorns. More Breyer collectibles that also won't fit in storage and I'm afraid they are going to get broken. I won that large unicorn for getting straight A's in grade school, go me! :)




Unicorns go with books, right? ;)



The blue/green end. I don't have any purple books, what is up with that?





When changing this shelf I found some really fun books that I forgot I had.




This one belonged to a great aunt who was a ballerina.




So....are you feeling motivated to make your bookshelves interesting? I should warn you that if I come to your house, I might feel compelled to move books around. It's not a mean thing or even something I can control. I'm a crazy book person and I can't help it. Pity me.



10 comments:

Kristin said...

I love this! I'm such a bookworm that I love seeing how other people organize their bookcases. :)

I've seen rainbow bookshelves before- it looks amazing but I feel the obsessive need to have my books organized in alphabetical order of author and by genre, so there's no way I could do that. I just reorganized my shelves not too long ago and realized that I'm out of space. But I love the way you placed them vertically and horizontally...I need to try that with mine. :) I have so much empty space at the top of my shelves right now.

~Kristin

Twyla and Lindsey said...

I love the way you've stacked your book shelves and I agree, that first picture is just Wrong! Have a nice day! Twyla

Buccaneers and Ball Gowns said...

Um I am pretty sure I have said this before, but I love the Amelia Peabody books too! In fact this whole post is eerily similar to the way I deal with my books and also we seem to have many of the same sorts of books arranged in the same groupings: history, especially ancient egypt books, old books, pirate/sea related books, and the list goes on! I think we must be book twins.

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Toqua's Crafts said...

How is it even possible to know which books are which in the first picture??

I love all your antique little nic-nacs!

Blessings,

melody-mae said...

I cannot even remember how I found you today, I was hopping along other blogs and the word 'shine' showed up and had to click! :) I am swooning over all your books. Just swooning! I am enamored by books and have taken a spare room and turned it into my own personal library. I collect old children books as well. I loved all your gorgeous photos...I used to work as a page in a library, so my love for books has always been a real love!! :)

melody

chelsea.anne said...

I love this... already getting started!

Erin Williams said...

I love - and appreciate - this post. I have been googling creative ways to design a bookshelf (just like you displayed) but nothing comes up other than common sense generic text, designing a bookcase without books, well, I'm sure you've been there.

And yes, Unicorns completely go with books :)

You've given me a lot of inspiration. My shelfs aren't as tall as yours so I don't think I can get as creative with the sizing and building up; I love the way you did this though, very inventive.

You get extra brownie points too for having the Narnia series :)

Erin Williams said...

I love - and appreciate - this post. I have been googling creative ways to design a bookshelf (just like you displayed) but nothing comes up other than common sense generic text, designing a bookcase without books, well, I'm sure you've been there.

And yes, Unicorns completely go with books :)

You've given me a lot of inspiration. My shelfs aren't as tall as yours so I don't think I can get as creative with the sizing and building up; I love the way you did this though, very inventive.

You get extra brownie points too for having the Narnia series :)

Girl With A Truck said...

Fun blog! Found it searching the interwebs for bookshelf design ideas. I'm going to post a link to it from my website: http://www.bellaorganizing.com

You're so creative! ~ Isabella