Design Chat: Accessorizing Bookshelves and adding the finishing touches

I received an email from one of my blog reader, Megan who was looking for help with the wall decor and accessorizing the built-in bookshelves in her family room. The bookshelves and the walls have been empty for 3 years and Megan doesn’t know where to start with a decorating plan. She is also struggling with the sofa, which she’s not a fan of but others in the family are.

Here’s a look at Megan’s family room…

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

And here’s my design vision for Megan’s room…

THE COLOR PALETTE

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The tan sofa, beige walls and white built-in shelves create a neutral color foundation for the room.  The area rug has different tones of red, browns and green in it so that should be the jumping off point for accessorizing the rest of the room.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

The expanse of white shelving surrounding the TV needs a major pop of personality.  Beyond getting the right mix of accessories, I recommend that Megan either paint the backs of the bookshelves in an accent color or cover the backs with a grass cloth wallpaper.  Wallpaper would achieve two things–1) color and 2) visual texture which would really enhance the space.

When painting the backs of bookshelves, I usually recommend that you go a shade or two light or darker than your wall color.Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

ACCESSORIZING

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When it comes to decorating bookshelves, the items you decorate with are just as important as how you arrange them. Here are a few tips on accessorizing bookshelves and a graphic with accessory groupings that always work.

  1. Create depth ‘top to bottom’ and ‘front to back’.  Arrange items so the pieces are not at the same level or position of the shelf.  Your accessories should feel layered and not uniform.
  2. Vary the size, scale and shape of your accessories.  Decorate with a variety of items to create visually interesting arrangements.  And also keep in mind that if your shelves are adjustable you can create wider openings which will allow for larger decorative pieces.
  3. Create balance from shelf to shelf and side to side.  As you arrange items, step back to make sure the overall look of each shelf and each side of the fireplace feels balanced.
For more bookcase decorating tips, read my post 5 Ways To Style Your Bookcase.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

WALL DECOR & SOFA STYLING

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Wall decor is one of the most important elements of accessorizing a room.  In many cases your wall decor will serve as the focal point for the room.  In Megan’s room, the wall decor will provide a dominate impact statement within the room so it needs to be dynamic.

I recommend a large piece of artwork flanked by starburst mirrors for the most visible wall in the family room.  A piece of art will add color and draw you in to the room.  Mirrors will add a graphic detail and enhance the light coming in from the opposite window.

To enhance the sofa, Megan should add accent pillows and a small-scale bent arm floor lamp at the end of the sectional providing much-needed task lighting.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

FUNCTIONAL DECOR

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The other decorative items I’d recommend is a console table behind the sofa, an accent chair near the built-ins and curtain panels for the windows.

 A console table will visually extend the partial wall behind the sofa and create an additional surface for a lamp and accessories.

The accent chair will provide additional seating and create a more balance space, filling the now empty corner.

Curtain panels will add softness and another pattern element within the room.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

THE LOOK

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Unique accessories and colorful wall decor is all that is needed to bring Megan’s room to life.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

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