Decorating

Analysis of a Well Styled Bookcase

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

I truly love to see bookcases in homes because they are the perfect solution for adding storage and style to your surroundings.  Books and collectibles on display add warmth and personality to any space, whether it’s a living or dining area, bedroom or home office.  To any visitor, a bookcase will communicate what you read, what you collect, and what you love.  Bookcases are a window into your passions and pursuits, and an opportunity for you to put your most favorite things on display. 

The challenge for most people is how to style a bookcase well.  How do you maximize both utility and aesthetic appeal, but also avoid monotony and clutter?   Styling a bookcase is an art, but a job easily tackled if you study those done right.    

Analysis of a well styled bookcase:

It Starts at the Back.  Simple inexpensive bookcases become stunners when their backs are dressed up with paint, fabric or wallpaper.  Eddie’s Billy Bookcase was brought to life with a pattern that accentuates the balanced display of books and collectibles. 

eddie ross billy bookcase styling for womans day

via Eddie Ross

When styled against a backdrop of robin’s egg blue, this collection from the home of model Coco Rochas has visual appeal, and showcases a love of books, antique coffeepots, vases, and glass bottles.     

vogue bookcase

via Vogue

 

Think in Layers.  Here is a shelf masterfully styled by Emily Henderson.  Notice the balance achieved between the books alternating in placement from left to right with the ceramics poised on the opposite side.  The middle shelf repeats the books plus ceramics combination, and also provides the opportunity to display smaller collectibles.  Different heights and textures also add to the appeal. 

emily henderson hgtv

via HGTV

 

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Wine Barrels in Home Decor

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I’ve had wine barrels on the brain ever since we began our plan to spruce up the upper patio.  They’re easy to get here in wine country, and they make the easiest and cheapest planters.  Just about everyone I know locally has a wine barrel for a planter, and I grow tomatoes in mine every year. 

Last week, I made a quick trip to my favorite source for wine barrels.  I had a few projects in mind, one coming up later this week!  A short time ago, they were only $10 bucks, but apparently they’re in high demand abroad hence the price increase.  But still, at $20 dollars for a half barrel, that’s a good price considering the amount of hours that go into the making of one single barrel (see below), and the many uses for the staves (the strips of wood bent to form a barrel).    

wine barrels

Rustic and reclaimed wood is all the rage in home décor.  We’ve seen tree stumps show up as endtables and pallets reinvented in all sorts of ways in interior design over the past few years.  Wine barrels are getting their fair share of reuse too. 

When used as just the right accent in unexpected ways, wine barrels are a fantastic source of reusing real French or American oak.  I love the pairing of natural wood tones with casual furnishings, they always work well together.  I also love seeing products made from reclaimed wood placed in formal settings or in contemporary spaces ~ they have a way of keeping the space from feeling too predictable.  When juxtaposed against anything modern and glossy, reclaimed wood can take center stage.

New wine barrels have a shelf life of 3 to 6 years for aging wine, depending on which vintner you ask.  Most become planters, yet others get turned into some amazing accessories.  I was excited to see so many creative uses for a used wine barrel when I went looking around the web. 

VivaTerra sells several products made out of barrels, like this beautiful stave bread bowl ($95)

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