Smart Design With Suzette: Bookcases

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Smart Design with Suzette

If you are like me, I absolutely love bookcases in a home. I dream of having a custom bookcase built around a fireplace or a library dedicated to relaxed reading.

Most people think they need to fill bookcases with only books, and as time progresses, they end up asking me for advice. More than one client has asked me to handle an out-of-control bookcase.

It’s really quite easy to declutter, organize and decorate your bookcase if you have a little bit of time and a step-by-step guide to help you. Here are my guidelines to do just that.

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First, edit your books. Completely empty your shelves and get rid of any books that no longer interest you. I suggest donating books to your local library. While your bookcase is empty, paint or wallpaper the back wall to bring in an accent color.

Remove dust jackets if they don’t hold value. Sort books by size and subject. The current trend is to sort by color. Ah, color. If you’ve taken the original dust jackets off, consider adding new, solid-colored jackets. This is another way to add interest to your bookcase.

Note, if you have painted a medium to dark color on the back wall of the bookcase, you can add white dust jackets to add contrast.

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Start adding back items. Stack some books horizontally and others vertically. Varying book display heights will bring visual balance.

Fill unused spaces with attractive boxes, ceramics and artwork. Bring in some family photos for added personality.

Finally, add reflective pieces that will bounce light around the room. Metallics and mirrored objects are perfect for this. Place some flowers or greenery – and that’s all there is to it!

Don’t forget lighting. Recessed lighting directed on the shelving will make your bookcase stand out as a design element and focal point in your room. If you’re into modern book shelving, the market is saturated with artistic designs.

There is a plethora of modern, creative options that can be found locally and on-line. Enjoy these creative alternatives!

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Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website