You’ve finally found the bookshelf of your dreams and all seems right in the world – until you realize said bookshelf is empty. Standing tall in your library or living room with nothing to showcase but the price tag and perhaps a shipping kernel or two. And, your bookshelf is only a million accessory combinations away from being perfect. Where do you start? Let these three simple tips get you going, and if all else fails, we’ve got your back.
Step #1: Symmetry
Start by using larger accessories to anchor the shelf and add a sense of rhythm, seen above with a plaster urn and matching planters. Keeping a symmetrical pattern at eye level will make more “organic” styling look purposeful instead of chaotic.
Step #2: Cohesive Variety
Collect art and objects that differ in shape but share the same tonal values or subject matter. We curated a collage behind the shelf to make it appear larger and add visual interest. All of the frames have at least a hint of gold and capture art with mostly negative space. If you find there’s an item that looks like the black sheep of the collection, group multiples of a similar object close by to bring it all together, like we did with small marble votives on the top and middle shelves.
Step #3: Odd One Out
Grouping accessories can be tough. How much is too much? As a general rule of thumb, choosing an odd number (like three or five) keeps groups from looking excessive. Bonus points if these items differ in height, as seen below with the geometric sculptures we placed next to a simple marsh painting.
The key mantra to a well-curated shelf is “less is more”. When in doubt, subtract the accessories by half and play with what you have left. If you find yourself stumped, give us a shout in the comments below or contact us directly. We’d be happy to help you out!