After years of assisting occupied homeowners (where the homeowner is living in the home while on the market), I’ve come to learn that arranging bookshelves is in the top 5 most common questions asked. And with reason. Bookshelves can be daunting. However, with proper planning, they can be a breeze.
Before I go into the tip on how to arrange your bookshelves, here’s a before picture of a home we home staged in Atlanta last week:
Here’s how the room appeared after home staging:
Tips for arranging bookshelves:
- Start with a clean slate.
- Sort and place in a pile all “like” items together (i.e., books, photos, greenery, etc.)
- Create balance. Start by placing an item on the left and then go to the other side and add something to the right.
- Don’t over accessorize. This is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes made. As the saying goes; “less is more.” And in this case, it’s true.
- Don’t believe that because you have 8 shelves, all 8 shelves must contain something. As you’ll see in the example above, the top two shelves were left empty.
Great items for bookshelves:
- Greenery – these can be artificial or real.
- Books – for a different look, instead of showing the spine of the book, turn it around. Another option is to group your books by color.
- Photos – displaying photos is great if you’re living in the home. However, if selling, you’ll want to minimize (or not use any at all).
- Artwork – In the case of the home above, you’ll see that I had opted for a piece of art on the right side, flanked with candles.
- Statues – scaled appropriately, they add visual interest.
- Candles – When used on a bookshelf, use extreme caution. Those in my own home are never lit.