The bookcase: the forgotten piece of furniture used all too often as a storage unit or “catch-all”.

Ah, the bookcase. This neglected piece of furniture is found everywhere in houses: bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms. They are very versatile. Yes, you put your books on them but people also put their magazines, extra sets of keys, lanyards, receipts, old chewing gum etc. Inevitably they start to look like a giant mess full of nonsense and not pieces of furniture that have been incorporated into the room. A little bit of love and time is all it takes to turn these beasts into interesting and attractive shelves that people will flock to and ask questions about.

Below are two examples of bookcases we recently designed/reorganized. The first one is from our client’s den and it housed, well, books. The books weren’t the issue so much as the lack of cohesion, organization and visual interest. For this bookcase we grouped the books according to subject matter. The three shelves at the top represent the client in that one grouping has to do with being a parent, another to do with her career and the other her more creative side. Prior to beginning the reorganization we asked her to pick items from her house she would like showcased and to be displayed. The result you see has personal items mixed with books (magine!) and the best part about this is that the bookcase is an off-the-shelf, standard bookcase from a big box store. What was once an uninteresting and dare I say boring bookcase is now attractive piece of furniture that has added, not detracted, from the interest and quality of her den.

The second desk/bookcase is a behemoth show piece. Something this grand requires items in its shelves items that are equally as grand. This client has an amazing assortment of books, as shown, and we had the luxury of picking and choosing which ones we wanted and by virtue of this were able to work the shelves into the design of the room. The accent colours for the room are blue and gold. Voila! The bookcase has now added to the design of the room.

Similar to the other bookcase, the items in these shelves were each handpicked by the client. Each of them means something to her and items she wants to see and appreciate regularly. Although one shelf is entirely blue and gold (save the orange elephant!) the other shelves are a mix and complement the design equally as well. A few books turned the opposite way add visual interest as do the collectible pieces of Jasperware and each and every other item.

Bookcases are your friends and no, not because they are great storage units but because they are versatile and add character to a room. If you insist on using them as storage purchase stylish storage boxes for these items. Again, versatile and functional. Happy organizing!

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