When artfully arranged, it can be a stylish inventory of interests, not just a storage unit. Here's how to go from cluttered to curated.
Bookcases are not just for books—and art needn't be just for walls. Here's a fresh idea: Hang small artworks from the shelves
themselves. (Paintings can be easily removed for access to your books.) Sea life accessories and other objects d'art will
give bookcases an added coastal feel.
Decorative Crystal Ball on Stand, $150, and White Coral Sculpture on Glass Stand, $130; twoscompany.com for retailers
Vellum Books, $28–$38, Tara Shaw, Ltd.; 504/525-1131
Painting built-ins a beachy shade that's different from the wall color makes them—and their contents—pop. Sandy taupe is a
versatile choice, while an inky blue makes a bold statment. If you don't want to commit to a color for the whole shelf, warm
turquoise on just the backs showcases your items beautifully.
From top to bottom:
Light Stone (9); farrow-ball.com for retailers
Pacific (23-30); prattandlambert.com for retailers
Summer Nights (777); benjaminmoore.com
Pretty patterned boxes keep less attractive items organized and out of sight. For collections that deserve to be seen, choose
glass boxes that doube as display cases—perfect for shells picked up during walks on the beach.
Julep Boxes, $6–$18; smockpaper.com
Dress your books with decorative jackets in one color for a cohesive look.
"Too Much of A Good Thing Can Be Wonderful" Book Cover Kit, $20; sayitwithbookcovers.com
For an unexpected twist, try lining bookcase backs with wallpaper. A light pattern breaks up the heaviness of built-ins.
Great Harbor Wallpaper in White, $60 per roll; ralphlaurenhome.com for retailers
Like a colorful necktie with a suit, bookends lend personality to a group of books. When placed on top of stacked titles,
not just next to upright ones, these sculptural pieces get a chance to really shine.
Sloop Bookends in Solid Brass, $100 for two, Mayer Mill Brass; skipjacknauticalwares.com