Is there even such a thing?!
We have one massive built-in bookshelf in the nursery, and it will forever and always be a blessing and a curse. How am I suppose to stylishly arrange all of our
crap life memorabilia?!
Through converting the guest room into the nursery, I’ve spent considerable time studying up on shelves (aka trolling Pinterest) and figuring out how I could make ours stylish and functional – after all, babies come with LOTS of accessories, and we don’t have oodles of storage space.
Here are the tips I’ve learned:
- Start Clean: My biggest tip is to start with a clean slate. It gets too messy and too confusing if you are juggling space. Clean off the shelves and start fresh.
- Think About the Backside: There’s a way to add depth to a bookshelf without even putting a single thing on there. I painted the back of our bookshelf gray to match our walls, and the variation between the white shelves and gray walls makes a fresh contrast! I also adore wallpaper (like below), but really – who has time for that?
- Hide the Clutter: Not everything should be seen (including your old framed baseballs and high school newspapers…looking at you NICK). We bought 9 baskets for our shelves to put on the lower levels. Not only did this look WAY cleaner, but now it allows me to group the baby stuff by category in each basket, all while hiding the mess.
- Vary the Books: Book placement is tricky. You want to stack them in different configurations to create interest between shelves, but not too much so it’s overwhelming and chaotic. Also, don’t feel like you have to arrange books by height. Sometimes adding variation is more interesting than tallest-to-shortest.
- Lose the Sleeve: This might be my favorite recent discovery. We have ALOT of books – and not glamorous ones – Oil and Gas books, Baby books, Dog books, Apparel Textbooks, cheesy RomComs, you name it. Recently, while trying to finagle our hallway bookshelf, I discovered that if you take the book sleeve off (assuming it’s a hardcover book), often times the plain book itself looks much prettier. For example, I found most of Nick’s Oil & Gas books have gold embossing on the cover – whoddathunkit!?
- ROYGBIV: Think about colors – this is not a hard one. Sometimes it can look too elementary, but done right it’s really effective! I like to group color families together, rather than sticking to a rigid rainbow pattern – to me it seems less structured and more fun.
- Awkward Accessories: The seashell we brought home from Turks & Caicos? The Gladimir Putin matryoshka doll? Oh yes, they’re all there. Getting creative with accessories is a true challenge. We spray painted the seashell with white lacquer (which surprisingly looks acceptable), and used picture frames, fresh flowers and other odds and ends to add interest and balance out the books. I recently bought a few succulents for the shelves, and they’ve definitely helped up my fancy factor!
- Add Light: If you can add an outlet to your shelf, DO IT! Adding a small lamp (or even candle) to your shelves makes such a dramatic difference – it’s my favorite addition thus far!
I really hate to follow all of these pictures with my measly shelves, but…#proveit, right? Here’s where I’m at now – nowhere close to finished, but at least I can show I’ve put these tips to practice! What do you think? Disclaimer: Giraffe creepin in the top right corner is just a place holder…)