When it comes to styling bookshelves, or an entire room, there are three critical elements you must keep balanced. For a cohesive look you need to balance color, shape, and texture. I’ve got some simple tips for you on how to intentionally use these elements in your decorating.
Last week we talked about the basics of bookshelf styling. Now, I want to cover the do’s and don’ts of using color, shape, and texture on your shelves. What you’ll learn here also applies to styling an entire room. It’s just easiest to start practicing these tips in a concentrated area of décor like a bookshelf.
You should choose a signature color for your bookshelf or styling a room. Try to use it in at least three places. On my bookshelf, yellow is the signature color, and it’s used throughout the shelves.
What you don’t want to do is concentrate the color all in one area. If I had all of the yellow décor on one shelf or in one column, it wouldn’t look balanced. You want to spread your signature color throughout your shelves or throughout the room.
You should use a variety of shapes in your styling to create interest, but to get a cohesive look you should also choose a signature shape to repeat multiple times. On my bookshelf, the signature shape is the star shaped or pointy items like the urchin, the mirrored star, and the jacks. Notice how they’re staggered throughout the shelves, and they’re not clustered together.
You want to spread out your signature shape. Just like your signature color, you also want to repeat your signature shape at least three times.
On a bookshelf one of the things that gives you the most texture is actually your blocks of books. You want to balance both the shape of the books and the texture of the books by staggering them on your shelves. You don’t want all of your books off to one side, or all of them on one shelf.
Since the texture of the books is a matte finish, I like to introduce a shiny metallic element. On my bookshelf, I used silver objects. You could also use other metallic finishes, glass, glazed ceramic, or another texture to contrast with the books.
Again, choose a signature texture that you can repeat multiple times throughout your shelves, or throughout your room.
The one thing you don’t want to do with texture is introduce to many different textures. You don’t want shiny metallic and glass and wood and baskets. It’s to many different textures for one space. You want to choose one standout texture that contrasts with the other elements on your bookshelf.
The key with styling, even though it feels overwhelming, is to keep it simple. Stick to one signature color, one signature shape, and one signature texture. Try to repeat each of those elements at least three times. If you’re trying to bring in a new element, and you’re struggling to use it in three places, then just leave it out. It’s probably over-complicating the styling. Keep it simple.
Watch the video to see how I styled my shelves with a signature color (yellow), a signature shape (star), and a signature texture (silver metallic).
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