It Works… But WHY? (PART 1): TOP 5 Kimplistic Tips for Styling Luxury Interior Design Bookshelves

Often, when I visit the the homes of new interior design clients, they will share with me that they love their homes themselves, but their decors “just don’t seem to work”.  This, of course, is where I come in to help my clients discover and hone their own styles and tastes, with the finished product being a representation completely personal to them.

When a client is unsure of their own preferences with regard to decor style, one of the recommendations that I start with is to flip through design magazines and mark pictures that they love. Whether it is organic and “green” feeling or contemporary-sleek, as we review the images together, we will often discover underlying patterns that indicate a clear direction in which to steer the design plan. Typically, a client does not actually know WHY they love a certain look… they just like how it “feels”.  It is my job to incorporate all of those “likes” into one beautiful, cohesive space.

In this week’s blog posts, I will share some of my own designer thoughts and tips about WHY it is that certain design components are so successful and aesthetically-pleasing to the eye.

So today, let’s start with bookshelves! As most of you can probably agree, bookshelves can go ALLLLL kinds of wrong! They can end up being the “catch all” for a random display of anything and everything, with no emphasis on form or organization. Now granted, bookshelves are too valuable of storage spaces to not be utilized to their fullest! However, the items you select for your shelves, as well as the way in which they are arranged, make all the difference in the world! There are many ways to successfully style bookshelves, but here are a few of my Kimplistic tips to get you started….

TIP #1: Bookshelves are not just for books!

Instead, intersperse accessories between your books to create designer flair!

Rather than just books, these shelves incorporate interesting accessories to break up the groupings. In addition, the coastal elements are repeated throughout the entire space, which enhances visual appeal. Photo from Elle Decor.

TIP #2: Create symmetry by balancing items of similar shape and/or size on each side of a large bookcase, or on both sides of dual bookcases.

This photo from Elle Decor is from the home of Ali Wentworth & George Stephanopoulos. Both sides of shelving are balanced with objects of similar shape and size. This symmetry is one of the reasons that this space is so aesthetically welcoming.

TIP #3: Carry accents of your color scheme throughout your bookshelf arrangements.

Notice how cleverly the red books on the top shelf of the bookcase tie in with the red lamps flanking the sofa. Photo from Elle Decor.

TIP #4: Rather than loading your books all in one direction, alternate horizontal and vertical stacks.

These bookshelf arrangements are styled with stacks of vertical and horizontal books, which contributes to the appeal of the space. Photo from Elle Decor.

TIP #5: For narrower bookshelves, try a top-down arrangement!

Create this type of look by beginning with a large focal point accessory on the top shelf that narrows as the shelves get lower. The bottom shelf should end up with all books, thereby encompassing the bulk of visual “weight”.

Notice how the large plate begins the top focal point, which then narrows as the shelves descend. The eye travels easily from top to bottom, ending with the bulk of books on the lowest shelf. Photo from Better Homes & Gardens.

Here is a modified version of the same concept applied to a larger, see-through bookcase. Photo from Elle Decor.


NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s SO Fabulous!” DAY!

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Stylish, sophisticated and dramatic, Kimberly Grigg brings her unique talents to client’s homes across the country and to her retail boutique, Knotting Hill Interiors. An award winning retail boutique and an award winning full service design firm, Knotting Hill offers luxury interior design, renovation and remodeling services, custom design, childrens rooms and nurseries and accessorizing. The retail boutique sells fabric, home furnishings, retail design, lamps, accessories, art, upscale furniture consignment, gifts, fashion and jewelry. Voted “Best on the Beach” in both retail and design, our customers say that this place and this process is truly “enchanted”! Knotting Hill Interiors is based in Myrtle Beach South Carolina and is located at 7751 North Kings Hwy.