I have often thought about having wall-to-wall bookshelves and a library, but then there is the issue of trying to fill up the shelves thoughtfully. Careful curation of objects and books can add charm and personality to your space. Here are a few great ideas to mindfully decorate without cluttering up your bookshelves.
Stack Books Horizontally and Vertically
The secret to styling a bookshelf is to create areas of interest. Start by stacking your books horizontally and vertically to engage the eyes. If you plan on adding objects around the stacks of books, leave gaps. A few well-placed items or artwork give the bookshelf a flare of your personality and break up the visual cues.
Pro tip: Mix and match the colours of books in the stacks to add an eclectic flare, or if that isn’t your style, format the books with like colours for an organized look.
Artwork is a fabulous way to style your bookshelves like a pro with added visual interest. Create a bookshelf design moment by placing framed art and ornate objects amongst your books. Place taller artwork and objects on the top shelf for added drama. Try to layer different art and frames to create a relaxed multi-layered look.
Create Vignettes on the Shelves
To prevent over cluttering your shelves or having it look like a thrift store, try to create vignettes (curated style statements) on each shelf. Focus your efforts on creating cohesive vignettes one by one to not overwhelm yourself. Start by adding books vertically and horizontally, then consider adding complementary objects and artworks—be careful not to overfill the space and keep some blank space to visually break things up.
Hot tip: Arrange your vignette books and objects in different ways, changing up the colours, style, textures, heights and shapes. A great rule of thumb is to arrange in odd numbers.
Plants bring a lot of beauty, life and freshness into a home. When paired with a matching decor pot, they add vibrancy and colour to your shelves with little effort. Plants are ideal for creating height or adding a stunning trailing plant to cascade over a ledge. Check out fake plants or statement vases with twigs/dried grasses if you are worried about keeping live plants.
Bookends are not only art pieces but also functional to showcase books in various ways. Unique bookends can add a lot of style and texture to your vignettes. If you aren’t keen on bookends, using heavy potted plants to prop up books is a great alternative.
I hope these tips have given you an idea or two on how to style your bookshelves with purpose. If you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and carefully select your best pieces and books to display. My all-time favourite shelving units are from String Furniture.
Contact your local REALTOR® to find a great house to create your little library!
Even if you aren’t handy, that is okay, and it is still nice to have all these tools on hand for any break or project that might happen. The right tool in your toolbox could mean the difference between a big problem and fixing it temporarily and reducing it to a small one. Of course, feel free to call the professionals if the job is too big.
Owning these must have tools and being prepared to use them will save you time and money.
A hammer is the number one pick to have in your tool kit.
However, with the variety of hammers on the marketplace, make sure you are looking for the best multi-purpose hammer.
Choose one with a “claw” back for pulling out misplaced nails and a flat head for a smooth finish. A comfort handle is also lovely to prevent hand pain or vibrations. The best hammer weight is 16 ounces.
After purchasing the hammer, don’t forget to buy finishing and general utility nails!
2. Tape measure
A tape measure should be your second toolbox purchase. Measuring is essential for many jobs, including hanging picture frames, planning furniture, flooring purchases, etc.
Any tape measure will do, but remember that the broader (¾ inch) tape measures won’t collapse on themselves and will withstand long-term use.
A level is fundamental when moving to a new place to hang all those shelves, artwork and picture frames. These can be of value when building furniture to ensure they are straight and level.
A level is also great for ensuring your fridge and oven are straight, preventing things from rolling off. A two-foot-long level would be the best multi-purpose choice.
A flashlight is great for multiple reasons, whether the power has gone out or your cat has lost its favourite toy under the sofa. A flashlight is excellent, but even more helpful is a headlight. They are nice to have for small spaces and target light.
I also recommend keeping some spare batteries with the flashlight just in case or for other electronics.
5. Allen key set
The easily assembled furniture by Ikea popularized allen keys. They are also just great to have around. They are “key” for assembling or disassembling household devices, structures and furniture, which are often held together with hexagonal screws.
Think about purchasing a complete set of allen keys for the variety of sizes you may encounter. Trust me, they are instrumental to have around—you never know when you will need one in a pinch.
6. Screwdriver set or multi-bit screwdriver
Screwdrivers and screws come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.
A multi-bit screwdriver is excellent for space-saving, but they can be flimsy during specific projects. A set of screwdrivers will take up more space but are sturdier for many tough jobs.
Overall, they are fantastic for whatever handy jobs are thrown at you.
7. Utility knife
A good quality knife is an excellent addition to any home, especially for first-time homebuyers. It is perfect for opening and breaking down all those moving boxes. They are not only great for opening packages but also for cleaning up caulking and trimming carpets.
Make sure to grab a sturdy full-size utility knife for product longevity.
8. Duct tape
If you are from Canada, you will know that the Red Green Show swears by this stuff. Duct tape is excellent for adhering to almost any material and is incredible for fast fixes! It is perfect for fixing holey tarps, organizing or fastening power cords, patching hoses and even fixing a leaking tub. I have temporarily stopped a pesky pipe leak with a piece of gum and duct tape before.
9. Pliers set
A plier set would be ideal, but if you are looking for space-saving, I recommend needle nose pliers and linesman pliers.
Needle nose pliers are great for manipulating small objects or reaching that piece of paper that fell between the fridge and wall.
Linesman pliers are ideal for stripping electrical wires or tightening bolts in a pinch.
Invest in a good set or pairs of pliers for overall strength—cheap ones easily break.
10. Handsaw or hacksaw
A handsaw is excellent for smaller projects where only minimal sawing is necessary. A saw can help quickly cut pvc pipe or doweling. However, a power saw or jigsaw might be a better option if you are looking at sawing things more frequently.
11. Adjustable wrench / wrench set
Wrenches are a great set of tools to have. In my experience, they are great for plumbing, putting furniture together and mechanical work.
It would be beneficial to have a wrench set with long handles that are good for leverage, and short handles are great for tight spots.
An adjustable wrench is a friendly do-it-all tool, but there are limitations to what it can do. A wrench set would be the better choice.
Look into open crescent wrenches and closed ratchet wrenches for various needs.
12. Power Drill/Driver
Power tools might be intimidating, but owning a power drill makes life a little easier. Instead of turning a screw 100 times and stripping it with a regular driver, a power drill gets the job done in seconds. I have used my power drill more times than I can count, and it has been an excellent addition to my tool kit. A cordless option is best to avoid the limitations of cords.
While you don’t need to buy every single tool at once, I recommend purchasing these tools as problems arise, but it doesn’t hurt to go out and buy them all at once. As time goes on, you will find better tools for the job, but these are essential tools to cover various issues that will arise.
If you need a home to use all these tools on, contact your local REALTOR® today!