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Books, shelves, a before & changes

When it comes to shelves in magazines- have you ever noticed that they always look so perfectly polished, spaced just so and edited and curated to be a work of art?

And then if you are like me... 
maybe you look at your shelves and think 
 'What in the world have I done here?'

Disclosure- I am not a what I would call a 'shelf styler.' 
I just do what makes me happy when I step back and look at it. 

Full and happy. Simple and edited. Quiet. Colorful. Art based. Utilitarian and just pretty.
There are so many ways to style shelves- and so many looks you could do. 
So in the interest of keeping this short-
 I am planning to share a couple of different looks in a couple different posts.

When it comes to books - I tend to like layers. 
 I like the romance of the books on top of books on top of books 
with a few fun things tossed in the mix.  
Like flowers.

I like books wearing pretty gold detailed bindings.

and even just the spines when the binding is missing.

A lot of the books I have out in the little cottage are missing their covers and bindings.
I love them all just as much as any others.

And I even love just the ruffled old, torn pages.
I think they are beautiful on display.

Several of you asked about these bookcases and my love of books recently-
these photos are actually from a few years ago- and the books and bookshelves don't
look like this currently.
(We are in process of re-doing some things in the cottage-
 and the bookshelves are one of them.)

In the little cottage- we have 2 built in bookcases flanking the fireplace- when styling these- 
I started with one thing- which obviously would be vintage books.  
They are on repeat on every shelf.

These are mostly vintage books with luscious old ruffly and gold pages.

and please don't yell at me...
Yes, the page sides are out- and the other books do not have covers in this styling.
 I am not ashamed to admit that I love the way those gold and ruffly pages look.
But I know it isn't for everyone- and so another option  if I don't have the pages out-
 I will display mostly neutral or quiet colors of book bindings for a cohesive look.

 In our house- on the bookshelves in our hallway and my office- 
the books we have displayed all have their spines facing out-
and they ones in the hall bookshelves are a bit more curated to be shades of neutral
so as to keep that quiet theme while being easily readable.

A favorite way is to stack books on shelves is to vary them- 
some are stacked horizontally- some vertically.
Up next, add in something interesting that adds a different element-
 A piece of driftwood,  architectural fragment,  old brass bookend,  small vase of flowers, etc.

This creates a focal point for your eye to land on.
Then there are things like old artwork, vintage signs or vintage pottery 
that can add one more 'layer'  or element.
A mistake a lot of people make is to not leave enough open space.
 Yes, where is that eyeball emoji when you need it- hahah- basically- looking at myself here. 

Usually, you would leave quite a few 'open' spaces on those shelves -
 more like the bottom shelf on repeat.  For this look- I was going for the more is more is more.  

And out here in the little cottage we have a lot of shelves. 
The dining room cupboard was full of white dishes for the book-
yep- you guessed it- that changed since then too- but
I will share how I style plates and pitchers and stacks of pottery goodness next. 

What kind of shelf styler are you?

Happy Tuesday all.

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