Decorating the shelf :

  • Mix in antique books and accessories with new coffee table books for interest.
  • Stand up pretty porcelain plates and framed antique drawings on top of books and position them in between vertical stacks of books.
  • Create a zigzag pattern of large objects and colorful books from upper shelf to lower shelf, to keep the eye interested and moving from top to bottom.
  • Vary the texture of items on the shelves. Among shinier porcelain items mix in woven baskets, painted wooden folk art, metal and wooden boxes and framed artwork to enliven the shelves.
  • Think "large scale" when choosing bookshelf accessories and books. Coffee table books that are too tall can be stacked horizontally to fit. A single large inexpensive basket has more impact than an expensive collection of miniatures. Save the miniatures for a small tabletop where they can be stars in their own right.
  • Consider painting the back wall of your bookcases a deeper tone or a contrasting color to make accessories "pop" visually.
  • If space allows, consider placing a small lamp on a shelf. It adds a glow and warmth to the room.