Buying a lot of small knick knacks is like ordering a lot of small appetizers at a restaurant in lieu of an entree = it seems easier and cheaper, but ultimately you end up spending more and walk away less satisfied. I love tiny accessories, as you know. Like super tiny. I even once framed some handmade dollhouse fly swatters – which were each only 1 inch high. But if you ONLY have small things on your shelves they lose their individual aesthetic value and your whole space can look VERY cluttered.
You know these people:
These shelves mainly have books, then tiny pieces of stuff. What they are lacking are larger accessories to help contrast the smaller pieces and anchor everything. These could be larger frames, stacks of larger books. large vessels, art leaning against the back, etc.
These larger items give the eye some visual landmarks to rest for a moment so that you don’t get too overwhelmed. They also help to distinguish between your collections so that it all doesn’t just mesh together like a big cluttered mess. A little more order, a little less hoarder.
We have covered the process many times here on the blog on how best to style out your bookcase, and the proof is in the many different versions of my bookcase that you may have seen. Although the contents of the shelves are constantly changing for different blog posts or shoots the formula and process of how to style it out stays the same (in case you missed our most recent post on how to style out your shelves, you can check that out to help you through the process), and is quite simple when you boil it down.
You start with your larger books, then add in your art and larger objects, and last you style and accessorize with your other smaller items. The mix of large and small will fill out the shelves well, and help the whole space to feel a bit less cluttered and a bit more pulled together. In case you need a few more shelves to inspire you, scroll on through to some of our favorites from recent past projects. Now get out there and have fun with it, your shelves will thank you.
For much more bookshelf styling goodness, look here: The design/build of my bookshelf | 1 Bookcase 4 Different Ways | 3 Steps To Styling Out Your Book Shelves and in case you missed any of our other design mistakes/PSA’s: The Generic Sofa Roundup | Rugs That Are Too Small | Painting a Small, Dark Room White | How To Hang Art Correctly | How to Hang Curtains