Thursday, February 16, 2012

Styling Your Custom Built-ins

Large wall to wall, built-in shelves are all the rage now a days. When you have the walls, they can be a smart way to maximize your vertical storage space and organize your things. But sometimes open shelves are an invitation for clutter, disorganization and piles of messes. Large, expansive shelves can be intimidating to fill. Here's some tips on arranging your favourite things and styling the perfect shelf.
- When possible, use a monochromatic colour scheme on the shelf, to create a cohesive, cleaner look. Shelf arrangements look their best when you use one neutral like ivory or black scattered throughout to ground the rest of the your things. Arranged in 3's or 5's in a "Z"-like pattern is a visually interesting merchandising secret.
- Mix up books, magazines, collectibles and personal accessories. Don't be afraid to top artwork or picture frames on stacks of books or magazines.
- Use larger scale objects to fill in space, ensuring that they relate to each other, in terms of size and scale. Group smaller, similar, like objects (eg. a set of small vases) close together on a single shelf. Stand back after placing objects on shelves and do the eye test, or snap a picture, review it and see if anything sticks out as being misplaced or out of scale.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat - a key principle in design is to repeat visual elements, such as line, colour, shape, texture or image. Not only does it unify a space or shelf to give it the designer-look, but it's creates rythm and flow in the space.
- Baskets and storage boxes are not only beautiful but functional. Store smaller items, toys, files, and collectibles inside - using several of the same baskets throughout is another great way to create repition to your overall shelf display.
Play around with the placement of all your accessories and objects. It could take a few days of review until it feels just right. Find a home for everything, and in the end, you'll love the results!