Thank you all so very much for all your kind comments regarding the bookcase transformation. I am trying to return a visit to each and every one of you.
In this post I thought it might be helpful if I offered a few tips on how to accessorize shelves and bookcases.
Let me start out by saying that I adore the old English look of an entire wall of books.
Color coded bookcases can truly be works of art just in and of themselves.
If you want to mix your books with accessories, a good rule of thumb is to keep a ratio of 1/3 books, 1/3 accessories and 1/3 empty space so that the eye has a place to rest. You also may want to stagger your heights, group similar collections, and balance each grouping with another, either symmetrically or asymmetrically.
In my own bookcase there weren’t enough books for the English look so I decided to add in some accessories. The room is being redone in shades of French blue, cream and navy, so I sought out accessories that I had on hand that fit this color palette. The selections were then narrowed down even further by selecting a theme. In this case an aviary motif was decided upon.
In terms of balance, a symmetrical arrangement was used on the top shelf. A balanced pop of yellow pairs well with blue. The left side of the cabinet features a birdcage that was a Goodwill find. On the right side a vignette containing a birds nest resting on a votive holder is covered with a cloche I made from inexpensive materials. The books on either side are favorites that are easily accessible.
The second shelf contains a blue, silver and crème palette. Remember that your accessories only need to make sense to you. I stacked vintage jello molds on top of a wee pedestal. An antique child’s egg gathering basket, purchased years ago at a French flea market, rounds out the grouping of three. Also easily accessible~ a well loved dictionary and book of etiquette. I am a firm believer that good vocabulary and manners still matter.
On the left hand side also sits a grouping of three. It includes a pedestal that was once black, a vintage strainer used in canning and a sweet tweet picked up at Target during their after Christmas sale. I considered using chicken wire on the bookcase doors, but the Arizona dust would not be kind to old treasures such as a first edition of Dorothy Draper’s “Decorating Is Fun”.
Also included are treasures I truly adore such as this covered dish given to me by a friend and my mother's book on Michelangelo. The tureen was filled with paper shred from the dollar store and eggs purchased from the Homegoods after Easter clearance section.
Books that didn’t fit the color scheme, but that are referred to quite regularly, are hidden behind other palette pleasing pieces of literature.
Gaps were filled in with simple frames that contain images found at the Vintage Moth.
Asymmetrical arrangements were also used such as the pyramid created by the positioning of the three white frames.
Now onto the questions.
What is the wall color behind the bookcase?
It is Biscuit by Sherwin Williams. A wonderfully warm white.
Why do you wish you had used an oil based primer?
Since I open and shut the doors of the bookcase on a regular basis, there is already a bit of wear showing on the surface. I am ok with this as it gives it a more “rustic” appearance, but an oil based primer is a better choice for a piece that will receive quite a bit of handling if you want the paint to wear well. Once an oil based primer is completely dry, you can still use a water based paint.
Who carries Ralph Lauren glaze now that Home Depot has discontinued it?
Here is a link so that you can select your state and find a store.
Did you paint it with a paint brush?
I actually used a roller for the large areas and a paintbrush for the nooks and crannies. For glazing I like to use a lint free cloth which can be purchased at any home improvement store.
What are the plans for the bottom? The answer of which also answers the question How do you keep the bookcase looking spare?”
The bottom half is completely full with the less pretty necessities I need to run my interior design business. I do wish that the center section also had a door as I find that I hate pulling out the files to access the books in the center. Lesson learned.
Come back on Friday for a bit of French baking.