Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#1 Question I Am Asked

The question that home owners repeatedly ask me is,"How do you know where to put stuff on a bookcase".

How To Stage A Simple Bookcase 

This bookcase is an old vintage piece that I stripped from its deep brown scratched finish and gave a new life with Cherry varnish.  I used my point and click camera so there is some glare and I lack cropping skills. (Photography is on my To Do List. Also, all the wood trim is in the process of being painted.)

I added two Botanical prints above the first shelf. The prints add height to the squat little bookcase. On the far right of the first shelf, I placed a brass pedestal stand with wax grapes.  The bookshelf flanks the wall to the kitchen.  It is a nice transition piece. Then, I added the black book and Cricket box. I like to work in diagonals and bounce from shelf to shelf.  A small painted lamp went on the left of the top shelf.

In this picture, notice I changed the black book for a stack of more colorful books. The Cricket box was moved on a diagonal (which is more visually interesting.) A Spaniel statue was placed next to the lamp. The ceramic lamp and bronze dog are a good contrast in textures. A small oil painting on a stand is placed in the middle of the second shelf.  (You could use a family picture if it is in a house you are not selling.) Live plants infuse any space with energy! A Pathos vine was placed in a violet and purple vase. The vase is on the far right of the second shelf. The purple vase picks up the color of the grapes above and is a small accent color in the little lamp.

Third shelf:  A green wooden box was placed on left.  Notice it is moved a few inches towards the center instead of on the far left of the shelf.  This placement is a nice juxtaposition to the items on the first two shelves.  On top of the green box is a brass bowl with chunky woodland potpourri.  The potpourri adds great texture. The brass bowl corresponds to the brass pedestal on the first shelf. On the far right, I placed some vintage books and alternated the color of the spines. A large marble bookend supports the books. See how the gleaming marble, ceramic violet vase and porcelain lamp all have a similar surface?

On the fourth shelf I placed a burgundy vase. I love the curves! The burgundy color is used in the Botanical prints.  I stacked books horizonally on the right-added a small basket for texture.  See my bookmarks?  I adore adding decorative bookmarks to display books. I think bookmarks are a great touch!

On the bottom shelf is a vintage plate that was in my parent's kitchen forever.  The plate has a grape motif. Yes, the plate corresponds to the grapes on the first shelf.  The plate is standing on a black book. My grandmother's ceramic birds are placed next to it.  Cute, huh? The book anchors them so they don't appear to be floating or look like clutter.  Next to that little vignette, I placed a large rattan box trimmed in black.  You'll see in the next picture there are twig balls in the box--another texture. 

When you mix and match size/scale, color, and textures you get a lovely finished product.

Taah! Daah!
Did I totally confuse you?  What do you think? You can stage any bookcase using my easy design principles.

If you need help staging your bookshelves and your whole house, please contact me:


  1. Photography is perpetually on my to-do list, but you did a great job with the bookshelf ... glare or not!

  2. Thanks so much, Traci. You inspire me! Love your blog!