Do you ever wonder what to do with that stash of books you have at your house that have become bruised and beaten over the years? Maybe they are missing some pages? Or, maybe you have come across some books at a vintage shop that you loved enough to buy but aren’t quite sure what to do with them? Well, a handful of books is what we had laying around our house and wanted to upcycle for our newly built bookshelves to stylishly mix in a little worn-in detail with the crisp modern built-ins.
Our books were not vintage, however, removing the covers gave them a weathered vintage feel and the leftover glue created some appealing texture. We sporadically brushed some Martha Stewart Metallic Gold paint on a few of the binds and arranged them on the shelves. This simple touch took less than 5 minutes!
You can even take some of these bundles of books and wrap some jute around them to create rustic book bundles.
When styling bookshelves there are two main rules that we like to live by.
Rule #1: The books are the base of your shelves
Assemble your bookshelves by placing all of the books in first and then fill in with your objects of interest, greenery, picture frames, and taller items. Start by placing some books vertically and then lay others horizontal. We like to lay a few flat on the shelf too. Try flipping your books around so the pages are showing instead of the bind. This is great to do to add some texture or if the book cover doesn’t match your décor.
Rule #2: The rule of odds, or as some call it “The Rule of Three”
If you are wondering what this rule of odds is, you are not alone. The Rule of odds is a compositional technique that is used in photography and styling. This simply means that having an odd number of objects in an image will be more visually pleasing. Your mind will automatically group these images making one of them the center item. If you have one main object then group it with two smaller ones. With even number objects your eye will create a negative space in the middle. This rule becomes important when styling several components together. To better show you what we mean, we have placed three photos below. Each photo is styled with lemons and a bowl. You will notice that the image in the middle with three lemons is more visually appealing than the images with two and four lemons.
The easiest way to accomplish this rule is to break your bookshelves into sections and style each section. Then counter style those sections with the shelves above and below them.
Remember, styling the perfect bookshelves takes time and patience, but once they are complete they can transform your space. Tag us on Instagram, #seventhbixel for a chance to be featured.