Design Dilemma: Bring Order and Style to Chaotic Bookcases | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Bring Order and Style to Chaotic Bookcases

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Just about everyone has a bookcase. And just about everyone has trouble taming it. Bookcases left to their own devices become wild and woolly things filled with tchotchkes, DVDs, photos, assorted household detritus, and just about everything except books. How do you tame the beast and make your bookcase a showcase of style?

1) Declutter. First, completely empty your shelves. Sort through the stuff you no longer need or want.

2) Rethink color and pattern. Now’s the time to consider painting the inside of your bookcase a bright contrasting color. Or perhaps you’d like to add pattern by wallpapering the inside of your bookcase.

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3) Decide at this juncture the role your bookcase will play. Is your bookcase strictly for books or is it more of a display case for art, photos, pottery, etc? As a general rule of thumb, choose one function for your bookcase and stick with it. Books mixed with photos and artwork often takes on the look of clutter. However, if you have a bookcase with compartments, you can more easily dedicate compartments to different functions without risking the clutter effect.

4) As you return books to their places, think in blocks. The tendency is to add all large books on the bottom for balance. While this isn’t a bad idea, break it up a little by adding blocks of large books in a staggered pattern (zig-zag might seem a little too predictable.) Next move onto medium books and fill in your bookcase arrangement with the smaller books last.

4) Resist the urge to arrange by color, cover books in jackets of the same color or turn book spines inward. Yes, we know it’s trendy but when you get right down to it, it conveys the idea that the color of the book and uniformity of the bookshelf is more important than its content — not the impression we want to give! On the other hand, if your bookcase is more of a display case featuring objects besides books, choosing one color for frames and display items can help unify the space.

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5) Consider a bookcase with glass doors. If keeping your bookcase organized is a perpetual problem, solve it simply by encasing your books in glass. Simple and practical, bookcases with glass doors are classic and have a way of  pulling together chaos.

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Images: Via Delikatissen, LivingEtc, ApartmentTherapy, YoungHouseLove, Sempra Modern Bookcase

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