Beach up a Bookcase
In just a few hours, give humdrum built-ins shoreside panache.
Use these ideas to make a coastal display as interesting as thestories on your shelves.
• Feel the rhythm.Mix items of different heights, shapes, and visual weight. First,vary horizontal and vertical stacks of books on each ledge. Fillvoids and balance the arrangement with favorite accessories.
• Shelve it. Create a gallery for coastal collections. Here,boat models, shell art, and antique globes gain prominence. Forimpact, group small items of similar subjects. Larger pieces maystand alone. Art hung in unexpected ways adds a decorativeelement.
• Double your storage. Baskets in a variety of shapes, weaves,and colors hide CDs, magazines, blankets, toys, and more.
• Dive deep. Give your shelves depth by adding color ortexture to the back wall. Paint the rear surface to coordinate withthe room's wall color. Or, for design flexibility, cover cut-to-fitfoam board (purchased from an art supply store) with fabric orwallpaper. Choose one style, or mix and match for loads ofpersonality.• Take a seat. Adding custom built-ins? Leave room for a benchor window seat. For this room, we used fade- and stain-resistantoutdoor fabric to welcome the weary.