I’ve been doing a lot of bookcase styling at work recently, so I figured I may as well talk about it on the blog as well. Sometimes a client has tons of great accessories, books, and pretty frames and it all comes together organically and easily, but other times it can be kind of frustrating and feel like it’s just not working out right. Whenever that happens I find that it helps to snap a photo of the shelf so that you have a different way of looking at it – for some reason it makes it easier to see where there’s something missing or if you need a little more white space in a certain area. I also like to look on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration; two designers who are particularly skilled in creating the perfect ‘shelfie’ are Emily Henderson and Amber Lewis.
Once I’m back on track and know what I want the shelves to look like (whether that’s cluttered and collected looking or super minimal and clean, or somewhere in between, which is my personal favorite) I like to look around the client’s house for little objets and mementos so that the shelves are personal to them and don’t just look like a designer was brought in to put everything together (even though there was).
Oftentimes you do need to shop around and find fun accessories and items to add the finishing touch and create the perfect arrangement, and a few of my favorite places to source these items are High Street Market, One Kings Lane and Etsy. Pottery Barn and West Elm also usually have great frames and decorative pieces, though I like to use these minimally and mix in vintage and personal items so that rooms don’t look too generic.
Scroll on for some of my favorite inspiration images, below, and let me know if you have any shelf styling questions!
I’m a big Mark D Sikes fan, and after having just spent a couple of hours poring over his latest book, I’ve become even more obsessed with his work. Mark is an LA based designer with a seriously chic aesthetic; whether he’s doing full blown print, pattern and color like this NYC apartment or keeping a room neutral and calming, the results are equally beautiful.
He has done so many gorgeous homes that it is hard to play favorites, but I think that if I had to, I would choose his own home which was featured in House Beautiful a few years ago. The bones of the house are pretty great to begin with but Mark’s design of the home is so thoughtful, from the custom wrought iron banister they installed upstairs to the upholstered family room walls (in my favorite fabric, Samarkand) to the multitude of built in bookshelves. I also appreciate how everything is styled in his house; you can tell that he’s a ‘more is more’ kind of person when it comes to accessories and collected items, but everything has its place and looks like it was meant to be there. I want to move right in, or at least spend some time relaxing in that backyard with a good book.
Scroll on for more pictures, I bet you’ll love the house as much as I do…
I’m having a bit of a Kathryn Ireland obsession at the moment. I’ve seen her work when flipping through magazines, own one of her books, and have even sourced her fabric for my old boss, but since I never watched Million Dollar Decorators I feel like I missed out a little on seeing just how gorgeous her work is. I’m not sure how I fell down the rabbit hole of scrolling through her website and looking at every single project she has listed, but I did, and here we are.
I just love how her homes look so comfortable and lived in, while being well thought out and beautifully designed but never looking too ‘decorated’. Her rooms all look like people actually would actually put their feet on the coffee table or flop down on the couch for a nap, which is so much better (in my opinion) than a showpiece room that you’d be afraid to go into for fear of messing it up. Kathryn spends a lot of time in the South of France (you can even go to a design workshop that she teaches there, doesn’t that sound amazing?) and you can see the French country influences in her work, as well as her love of colors and patterns and mixing the old with the new.