Monday, November 7, 2011

Storing Books in Style

I have trouble with clutter.  Our home gets cluttered often because we are not home enough to organize constantly, nor do we have lots of space to keep things nice and organized.  I am a tad OCD, however, when it comes to clutter, because I cannot think if I’m in a cluttered room.  If I have to write a paper or read for school, the room I am in needs to be clutter-free, meaning no random things on the floors or furniture.  Everything needs to be put away.  I am okay with stacks of what I like to call “organized clutter” which is what I do when I go into school/homework mode and need a clutter-free room quick.  I take the clutter and organize it by category into a pile and put the pile somewhere I can’t see very well.  This doesn’t solve the clutter issue, but it makes it manageable for the time being.

Somehow, my rambling really does connect to our bookcase in our living room, I promise.  The current styling of the bookcase was done with little thought, and to me looked like a big case of clutter, which is the opposite of how I think a bookcase should look.

See what I mean?


So, I admit that in photos it doesn’t look that bad, but the rest of the living room is fairly neutral with pops of colors whereas the bookcase is one giant blob of tons of colors.  I find it distracting when I am trying to get anything done in there because it looks like a cluttered mess to me.

I decided to style it differently.  I would love to not even have the bookcase in this room because I would much rather have a whole wall of bookcases in an office or library where I could stand all the books because it would make sense, but that is not an option for us.  I didn’t even think about covering all the book because, although the room would feel a lot more peaceful, I would go insane covering them since I have hardly any time lately and that would be a huge undertaking.

Instead, I sorted the books by color, moved some to our entertainment stand with concealed box storage, and added a few more nick nacks to make it more homey and fill up the extra spaces.

Here is the after shot:


While the colors still bother my eye, they are now organized and styled better, so I can live with it.  Part of apartment living (or any living, I suppose) is doing the best with what you have.  I could definitely buy some accessories that would fit our style more to make everything look better, but we don’t plan on living here for a long time and would rather wait until we have a style for a future home.

Let’s get a closer look at the shelves:


I love my ornate frames!  The one on the top shelf holds a postcard of the Minnesota state fair.  the biblical wooden quote was a gift from San for one of our anniversaries.  The candle accessory on the second shelf was a wedding present.  I do like that the pops of red help balance our new lamp shade I covered.


The third shelf from the top has a blue mason jar with our loose change, a photo of us with our two friends, Courtney and Pat, at our junior prom (crazy that we’re now married couples and they have a baby).  the stack of vintage pop cans (yes we say pop here in Minnesota) were purchased on our honeymoon in Duluth, Minnesota.  They’ve been in storage, so I threw them in since we love them so much.  I want to use them as flower vases in our first kitchen once we buy a house.  The second shelf has a wooden plaque that says, “Friends are the family one finds along the way,” which was coincidentally a present from Courtney for my birthday.  I love all of the sentimental touches even if it still looks a little cluttered!

Now, I want to know if you style your bookcases or if you let the books accumulate and enjoy the collected look?


  1. We have a bookshelf very similar to this. It was a hand me down from a family I used to nanny for (along with most of the furniture in our home--gotta love the freebies). I am thinking of getting rid of it and building some rental friendly shelving (if that is possible) so that things look a bit more open. I like how you de-cluttered and reorganized yours. Very nice. :) Oh and my husband and I honeymooned in Duluth too! We called it our minimoon, with plans of going somewhere tropical this winter, but unfortunately the wedding got too expensive and a tropical honeymoon is no longer in the cards. Boo.

  2. The bookshelf looks great! We have a bookshelf too, and it was drive me crazy, so we kept it in the foyer.

  3. I love bookshelves, they are so great for storage of many kinds! I just use mine for books which I arrange by types of literature. I just love books! Your arrangement looks great, nice and neat (I love the Candle centerpiece!). Very pleasant to look at!


Thank you for stopping by! I am a little crazy sometimes (it's probably the red hair), but I would really appreciate if you would leave a comment. I love getting to know my readers and reading what everyone is thinking! - Mrs. Ruffled Flats


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