Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bookcase Rearranging and Styling Tricks

Since I have to wait to put my new storage bench together, I'll share some other furniture rearranging that I've done.  We've had these bookcases for at least a decade.  They are made from real wood, none of that particle board stuff, and have held up wonderfully over the years, even with tons of heavy college books on them.  The shelves haven't warped a bit.  I love them, but wasn't liking how they were situated in our living room.

Our living room is large and we have a large tv and entertainment center on the one wall.  The bookcases were more toward the corners leaving a space between the entertainment center and the bookcases that just looked awkward to me.  The speakers were there but the tallness of the entertainment center followed by the shorter speakers and then up again to the tall bookcases just didn't seem to flow.

Is is just me, or does it look weird that way?

You can see we have lots of books.  And this is the kid's side.  The other bookcase is full of our old college books, some church books and my scrapbooks.

The only way to move these babies was to completely empty them.

I made piles on the floor, trying to group like books together.   I also got rid of an entire box of books so things would look less cluttered when I put the books back on the shelf.

Then I put the bookcase diagonal on that wall.  I liked it better.
 But still wasn't satisfied.
So I tried turning it so the bookcase would be on the adjoining wall, and liked that even less.
 Then I put the bookcase right up next to the entertainment center and liked that the best of all.
I like how it makes the entertainment center look larger and fills the space on that wall better.  Your eye just naturally goes from taller to shorter with the speakers on the end.

And now for some bookcase styling tricks.

I don't have a lot of empty space and cute decor items on our bookshelves since we use them to hold books, and we have lots of books.  But here are a few tricks I use to make things look nicer:

1.  Place books to the front of the shelf.  That way dust won't collect on the shelves.  Of course if the kids are using the bookcase, they aren't able to keep it this way, so their books are stored toward the back.

2.  Store less used or not as pretty books, behind other books.  Here I have some phonics books that I'm saving for the Babes, but don't need them yet, so I've stored them back behind a set of "Help Me Be Good" books.  I just hope I remember they are back there when the time comes.

I love this set of "Help Me Be Good" books by Joy Berry.  They teach all kinds of good habits (such as not complaining and being a good sport) in a fun way.  It is a great way to teach social skills too.  I found the entire set on craigslist for about $30.

3.  Use baskets and store books with covers facing front so little ones can see what's there.
For the Babes' board books, I have them in a basket to make it easier for her to put them away and flip through to see what's in there.

4.  Store vertically and horizontally.
Some books I stacked up instead of storing them vertically.  You can mix and match vertical with horizontal storing of books, varying it for each shelf.

5.  Keep like books together.
I also kept like books together such as all our Henry and Mudge books together on one shelf.  So sometimes books are stored by height going from taller to shorter, and some times they are stored by type.

And here is the other bookcase.   I added some decor items to it since the kids books aren't here so I don't have to worry about them reaching for a book and breaking something.

I even stored our Wii on top of some books.  That way it's not so obvious.

 So here are the new and improved bookcases.

I like it better than the before picture below.  What do you think?

How do you style your bookcases? 
Do you have lots and lots of kids books?  What do you do with them.
These aren't all of our kids books.  We have some stored in the kids' bedrooms too.

Thanks for stopping by.

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