In between nailing down final details for our annual Paris Buying Trip (our buyers are in the chic and stylish hands of Ann and Linda) and gorgeous art and merchandise pouring into the gallery and Home, I’m working hard at our little renovation of The Nest. And right now I’m having fun dreaming of how to style a bookcase or two.
Of course, I don’t have to look far for advice. At the store, we’ve got the creative and capable Sam Jones and Mary Douglas Peyton (who recently joined us from the lovely Mercantile) who are ready and willing to dish some advice.
I love bookcases two ways: one, crammed every which way with books, books and more books. But I also like them elegantly arranged and serving as a perfect vignette for life’s little treasures.
Sam: Repeat after me: “less is more” : one to three beautifully displayed objects shine much brighter and are more memorable than eight to ten pieces. In other words, purge like crazy and keep it clean.
Sam: Yes! You can move the shelves: most bookcases are adjustable. Go ahead and move them around – the more breathing room there is, the more the eye can savor every object. (Martha Douglas adds, “I agree. Don’t be afraid to have a small dead space here and there. The human eye needs a place to rest.”)
Bring the back to the front: Sam likes to gussy up the backs of shelves with paint, wallpaper or fabric.
Martha Douglas: Layer, layer, layer: I love layering shelves with pictures, paintings and interesting objects. Layering is a great way to add depth to the book cases and create a visual interest that takes the human eye to a more complex place.
Martha Douglas: Using books? Books are a great way to fill space and add color. Sometimes, taking the book covers off to display the beautiful color of the books is fun. Stacking and standing books adds a visual interest and gives an insight into what interests you – and it also provides the opportunity for some great and interesting bookends.
Think in odds: Sam and Martha Douglas swear by the odds – odd numbers, that is. Things just look better in odds, so keep that in mind when mixing your favorite bits and pieces into the bookcase vignette.
Martha Douglas: Use what you love: Add a few objects that are special to you and display those objects prominently so that you can see them clearly and enjoy them as you should. After all, originality and personality are what matter the most.