Cracking the code on bookcases

I happen to love bookcases. They cosy up a room like nothing else I know, in fact here is a little sneak peak of my  bookcase painted in my new paint colour Hudson Black. I think it’s the best this room has ever looked but that is a whole different post!

HH_008_0149-001(1) copy

This morning we are talking bookcases. It looks easy right  like I’ve just shoved everything in but as any designer will tell you  looks can deceive!  Here are some of my go to tips plus some tricks that will enable you to crack the bookcase code!

1. As you can see with mine you don’t want row upon row of spines. Mix it up

2. As well as books add flowers, ornaments, stuff with different shapes so when you look at the bookcase as a whole there is this lively rhythm going on – lots and lots of different shapes, round, square, rectangular etc.

3. Also mix up the heights.  Same principle as styling anything really – if everything is the same height it reads as really boring the minute you start playing around and mixing it up  magic happens!

I’ve just started doing this and I love it.

4. Put art on the outside of your  bookcases. Not only does it visually break up the books its fab if you don’t have enough books in the first place! I’ve gone a step further and put a light on the outside also and its transformed this nook.

5. Lastly put things in front of the bookcase again to make it look more 3 dimensional. I’ve added a chair and it’s made the biggest difference in the world. Again its creating that layer so rather than seeing floor to ceiling shelves there is something in front which has a whole different narrative and breaks it up. Cool no?

Hope you like my new looking studio, have a lovely weekend oh and I very much look forward to meeting my Design Class tomorrow. Love Design School days xx

19 thoughts on “Cracking the code on bookcases

  1. Hi Abigail, love this. Your bookcase looks fab and the new colours too. I’m just having a bookcase built between the chimney breast and wall and (maybe silly question) but would you have shelves right to the floor? Or does the floor become a ‘shelf’ too, if that makes sense? Or do you have a gap at the bottom? Guess it’s a preference thing, but can’t decide what’s best! Also, love your lights on the shelf, are they from the shop? Thank you!

    • Thank you. My bookcase although it goes to the floor has a skirting board on it so books are off the floor so to speak. There really is no right and no wrong whatever takes your fancy really. Oh and yes the light is from the store

  2. Looking forward to the design class tomorrow – can’t wait to see the new paint colours in the ‘flesh’ so to speak!

  3. Hi Abigail, love the new bookcase colour – looks fab. Is this a gloss version of the same paint on the wall, or a different colour completely?

  4. Your bookshelves have always been my favourite corner of your home and now they’re even more covetable! I got a cabinet on legs in Ikea (dark grey of course!) a few years ago and use it as a bookcase and it made a huge difference to my “library corner”. It feels much less bulky even though it’s bigger than the shelves that were there before. And glass doors makes for much less dusting!

  5. My husband and I have both worked in book publishing for over thirty years, so you can imagine that ‘not having enough books’ is not a problem in our ( small, Victorian) house. I’ve always done exactly what you suggest here and broken up the lines with pictures, object, plants – and things propped up in front of the books too. I’ve had that thing where friends say they couldn’t do it because it would look cluttered and not arty if they did but I say- have a go! Most people have a much better natural eye for arrangement – still life, in effect- than they think they do but they don’t have the confidence. That’s where people like you are so great and necessary, Abigail!

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