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Designer Tips and Advice: Arranging Bookshelves


Designers In Residence
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Q. Bookshelves are a wonderful place to display everything from collectibles and photographs to books and boxes. However, many homeowners find accessorizing a bookcase somewhat intimidating. Do you have any tips or advice for someone who would like to avoid the straight rows of books.

    Lyn Peterson: "First of all, read the books! Then they will find their own homes - a sort of natural order that defies decorating. Don't make the shelves too far apart when you're building new bookshelves. Books are only about 8-10" tall, so when shelves are 15" apart you have these ridiculous gaps at the tops. Also, keep like items together rather than spreading them out like bread crumbs everywhere. For example, mass a collection of mercury glass on one shelf and use another one or two pieces at the end of a row of books. Same for family photos or finials, or whatever it is that you collect."

    Tricia Foley: "I don't find anything wrong with rows of books in bookcases! If there are family photos or collections that need a place, I always find that keeping them organized in groups makes more sense and makes more of a statement, instead of being scattered around on shelves..."

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