{dream home} beautiful bookshelves

As the year draws closer to an end, I'm getting more and more excited to move back to the US!  (The logistics of actually moving across the world do not even have a place in my mind at the moment...)  Seriously, it's getting difficult to contain my excitement!  Although my time here in the Middle East has been beyond amazing, I simply cannot wait to live in America again!    I miss my family, the modern day conveniences, and my adorable little condo in Chicago.  I've been dreaming and planning and obsessing over how I'm going to decorate it once I return.  I sold all my furniture and my style has changed quite a bit over the past 2 years, so I'm really looking forward to starting fresh.  The latest design element I've been researching is bookshelves.  I love their practicality for holding books but also for displaying lovely little things. 

Here are some of my favorite looks:

And a few tips I've gathered along the way for arranging the shelves:

Consider your space.
A book shelf in your office is going to serve a much different function that one in your living room.  The items you place on the shelves should be pratical as well as beautiful.

Color coordinate.
Group similiar books together by color.  And, please don't judge a book by it's cover.  Check underneath ugly book jackets, you might find a lovely surprise! Your favorite magazines could make a beautiful display as well. Use books as a pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic look, or switch it up.

Mix it up.  
Mix up the location of the books on the shelves, some might have symmetry while others mix up horizontal or vertical stacks, some might be on the left others in the center.  Play around with the arrangement and placement until it's visually interesting and balanced.

Layer for depth.
The point is to have a variety of height and thickness so put shorter pieces in front of taller ones.  It's ok if you cover up some items in the back just try to keep a center focal point.  Be mindful of not covering up too much of photographs or art pieces, but play around with it.

Stand alone pieces.
Use the large stand alone pieces to fill in open spots and break up the books.
Great options for this include:  flowers in a vase, small statues, potted plants, vases, framed art

Small trinkets.
Collect small trinkets to place on top of stacked books or to use as book ends.
Some fun options include:  mirrors, candles, picture frames, candlesticks, coral & shells, intricate boxes, metallic bowls, jewelry boxes, and lamps.

{all images via}


soanthro said...

Gorgeous, I love the idea of using bookshelves to display much more than books :)

Amanda said...

I love bookshelves so much and the idea of accessorizing within them.
Great collection!

Jane @ In the Pink and Green said...

I just came across your blog and I just wanted to say I really like it! I've got a bookshelf in my bedroom that just looks kind of blah so this post is great inspiration! xoxo


Mae said...

that's so kind of you, Jane! thank you! I'm so happy you found me & that this post was helpful for you!

Mae said...

@soanthro & @Amanda...thanks ladies! Who knew it would be so much fun to style a bookshelf?! Love having one more thing to accessorize!
Have a fantastic weekend!

Elizabeth - MissWisabus.com said...

I'm about to overhaul my bookshelves and this is exactly what I needed for some inspiration.

Good luck on your move back!

Stopping by from the LBS Tea Party. You can find me at http://www.misswisabus.com

My Inner Chick said...

---Fabulous. I love books! What a superb way to organzie them :)

Mae said...

Thanks, Elizabeth! Good luck with your bookshelf overhaul project...glad the post was helpful! @ My Inner Chick, thanks for stopping by! I love books too!