Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Accessorizing Living Room Bookcases

I'm still in the process of completing my living room makeover.  We've added some bookcases which I've been accessorizing.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have tons of books!  So instead of filling it up with books from top to bottom, which would have been easy, I've been adding accessories to mix it up.  It's trickier than I thought!  I've looked at lots of pictures and inspiration, moved lots of things in and out, up and down.  All so that it looks it came together simply!  Trust me, nothing in my house works out effortlessly. I'm constantly tweaking.   

I found some bookcases at Ikea, from the Besta line.  We have a small nook in our living room and these bookcases fit perfectly, just like built-ins would have without any hassle.  These are great, sturdy bookcases, they were inexpensive, plus we had them assembled in a couple of hours!  The entire set cost about $260. 

Play around with your accessories and try different arrangements.  There's no right or wrong.  If you're like me, however, you need some guidelines as a jumping off point.
  1. Group like books together, you still want to easily find the book you're looking for.  
  2. Arrange books both vertically and horizontally for visual appeal.  Stack books horizontally and place an accessory on top. 
  3. Carry your color scheme onto your bookshelf to give the room a sense of unity (remember to best utilize an accent color it needs to be used at least three times in a room).
  4. Use photo frames as bookends, this is a great way to add color.
  5. Candles don't make sense on a bookshelf, paper and fire are not a good combo.  Even if you don't intend to light it, it still might not look right.
  6. Add a small plant.  I love adding live plants to spaces, it makes a room feel warm and lived in. 
To accessorize my bookcase, I started by going through what I had around the house.  My basement is always the first place I shop.  I had a couple of wicker baskets I added to the top of the shelves, plus, I had lots of art books that I inherited from my grandmother.  They've been in boxes for years and I was so pleased to bring those out and add that little piece of her into my home.    

My next stop is always the Goodwill.  I find great treasures at the Goodwill and local thrift store.  I purchased a metal tin that I repainted to fit my color scheme, tossed a silk fern in and placed it on the top shelf too.  Other odds and ends I found were a wooden clock, some frames and a brass jar with a lid.  These things I interspersed on the shelves and in total cost less than $10.

I started leaving the brass jar as is on the shelf, but it just didn't look right.  So I decided I spray paint it quickly in my basement with some silver paint I had on hand.  


That actually didn't work for me either, so I ended up spray painting it a high gloss white.  I only paid $1 at the GW so I figure it doesn't really matter if I mess it up!  White worked great and made it look more sophisticated.  


I purchased a couple of items at Home Goods, a blue picture frame and glass bowl with a rope handle.  They were only about $15 total and matched perfectly.  I love the brass nail head look on the frame, plus the blue color of the bowl.  I want to have just a hint of a beach feel and those pieces really help me get that, along with bringing the blue accent color through my room.  My absolute favorite piece is the large piece of driftwood.  I found it on the beach this summer, soaked it in a little bleach and let it dry in the sun.  It was free and this natural accessory looks great!

One last accessory I added was a glass jar I filled with some shells from our vacation.  I already had the jar and a few of the shells I just sprayed with a little gold paint to make them stand out.  The shells look even more beautiful gilded.  In case your wondering, Hobby Lobby sells small cans of spray paint for about $2 or $3, it's a great place to buy accent colors that you may not need a lot of.  But lets face it, once you spray paint something gold, you're going to see what else you can spray paint gold!

Finished product...for today at least.   


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