Friday, September 26, 2008

A Bookcase Update

Many of you have left comments wondering about the status on the bookcases, some even hoping that they were finished. I'm sorry to report, they are in the same condition as where we left them when we closed the first post about them.

Life, health, and work got in my way, so I've had a bit of a hard time getting in there to finish them up. You'll be happy to know, however, that the primer and filler was purchased last night, and I plan on working on them most of the day Saturday, with a hopeful finish of the painting (faux and all) by Monday.

In the mean time, I thought you might like to take a peak at my research on bookshelf organization. I read somewhere, possibly a blog some time ago, that organizing books in a color order is the "new" or "latest" craze. Although it would certainly take some time, after finding these clever and colorful examples, I'm rather intrigued.

I have to admit that I'm not a great fan of this particular bookshelf, but the organization of it is really nicely done, don't you think? The castle 3rd shelf down is interesting.

This looks too decorated to me. Unlike the image above, this doesn't look natural. It's almost as if all of these books were purchased to make this wall the rainbow that it is. It is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but in a forced, and rather awkward sort of way. The pink baby on the second shelf doesn't really help.

This, to me, is a better representation of color organizing in a true and natural form. These books were obviously preexisting and organized, rather than purchased to make the bookcase a feature. I'm curious though, should I shove baby toys in with the books and pretties? See the bear in the 3rd left shelf. A reoccurring theme? Castles and Baby dolls and bears - Oh MY!

My favorite of the color-coded shelves. This is chic, and sophisticated. I am a fan of the stacked book along side of the standing. The art inside of the shelves is lovely, and the little vignettes of objects (like the pitcher and vases on the bottom shelf half covered by the lovely danish modern bench, and the glass ball paperweight atop the books on the 3rd shelf). These shelves are obviously deep, and this cabinet obviously built in - but I would really love to emulate this particular look in regard to organization.

Another color coded set of shelves. I won't lie - I hate the vases of palm frawns on the top shelf. I think it's too much. Maybe if the one in the center hadn't been haphazardly placed - I don't know, this to me, looks way too showroom. But the books - here again we have the stacked book along side the standing. I'm a fan of this concept/style, and you'll certainly have that to look forward to when I post the "grand reveal"!

Now, bookcases don't have to be color coordinated to look beautiful. Recently, I've noticed a number of bookshelves where art was hung directly on the case, as if it were a wall in the room. I think the first time I saw this was on a television show - and I remember thinking, "How silly is that?! They can't access the books that way!" It hit me then that you wouldn't need to. It's for show and not function. My bookcases have to be functional, so I'd rather stick to art inside of the shelves. Here are a few of my favorite examples of art hung on bookcases:

I'm in love with this, although it would never quite work in my guest room. This french inspired room is lovely with it's checked fabric and seagrass rugs, bamboo tea table and feather reed trunks with french detail (writing). But the art on the bookshelves is what we're focusing on. I'm a fan of the triptych hanging of the shadow boxes. It looks like something sealike, maybe coral. Either way, not terribly useful, but beautiful to boot!

I don't know what it is about square shelving units - but I'm not a big fan. Maybe they are to reminiscent of the cubes I had to store my backpack, coat, and lunch bag in while I was in grade school. No matter - these are beautiful, and the art hung on them is just enough. The prints are wonderful too, no? And that sofa looks like a very cozy place to pick up a book and read a chapter or two.

Again, another not so useful design, but beautiful for sure. Remember my Will & Grace inspiration post where I thought about using bookshelves behind the bed? This is a better photo of that example. Though I find every book in the picture to be inaccessible due to the headboard, side tables, art or lamps, the look is impressive - inspiring even.

Ah, and the quintessential red lacquer bookcases. This reads more library to me with the round table and leather seated chairs. A formal room, beautiful, but stuffy. The art is wonderful, beautiful and interesting. It's age matches the "old" feeling of the room. I'm a fan of all red lacquer furniture, so this photo had to make it into the line up.

Now, I will have what I like to call "Dead Space" above the bookcases. Even beefing it up with crown molding doesn't help mask the fact that there is almost 3 feet from top of shelf to ceiling. Sometimes, in this case, what's on top of the bookcase is as important as what's in them. At least for a decorating state of mind. This happens a lot of times in kitchens, where there is a void space between the tops of upper cabinets and ceilings. So I went searching for ideas, and found a few:

Quite possibly my dream kitchen (get an eye full of that island and breakfast room chandelier), the china hutch in the attached breakfast room which looks out over the antique brick patio and outdoor fireplace boasts a basket with a spray of silk greenery. It's beautiful, not all together interesting or unexpected, but an idea.

This is a little more interesting, though very country. Atop the old Hoosier cabinet they have stacked wooden boxes and a wooden bowl. Beautiful, country, the Christmas lights have to go. Maybe I can modify this somehow?

My random thoughts of accessory items: old kilim pillows (I have so many), leather suitcases stacked upon each other, empty decorative frames, amber glass vases, even more books. Of course, editing is important. None of this would be all together. Your ideas are of course encouraged and appreciated. It may take playing to get it right, but I know it will be perfect once we work it out. Looking forward to the fun part ...