Decorating Built In Shelves

Finding Bliss
Decorating Built In Shelves 
|| by Annie Murlowski,,||

The Denver housing market has been booming for the last year and if you are lucky enough to snatch up a house you'll want to start making it your own and adding your own personal touches to the space. With many homes built-in shelving offers a decorating challenge that must be addressed with creativity - especially if the shelving was designed for electronics and tv's that are no longer a part of most homes.

Adding something more exciting than a row of books or DVDs is a fun way to show off your personality in your home decor.  As you start planning out the best way to decorate your shelving, try these tips from professional interior designers and see if their recommendations can inspire your design.

"To create an element of the unexpected, I always like to remove a shelf. Size is important; balance is what we're looking for." says Kirk Nix of KNA Design firm. "By varying the shelf space, I can float a piece of art or for an even more unique addition, a lamp. Size is important; balance is what we're looking for.” Tatiana-Machado-Rosas-1 Photo courtesy of Jackson Design and Remodeling.

Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling suggests following the "Rule of Three" when starting a decorating project. This rule helps create a natural looking space and prevents symmetrical spaces that may look stale. Notice how in the photo below the combination of 3 in the cubbies, baskets and throw pillows help create a natural and clean look.

rule-of-three Photo courtesy of Jackson Design and Remodeling.

When starting your design project, look first to what items you already own that may share the color or theme you'd like to display.  You may be surprised to learn that you already have much of what you need on hand to decorate.

Once you decide what holes you need to fill in, you may want to start at thrift stores and discount shops like Ross or Marshalls. These stores are often full of the perfect items to round out your shelving display. If you want a singular color, try picking items you like and spray painting them all to the color you'd like to display.

Interior Designer Marcus Mohon recommends examining how the shelves fit into the context of the room before determining their design. For a room with a lot of colors and textures, sticking with a single type of object (like a collection of silver) will help the room look clean. If the rest of the room is clean-lined Mohon suggests adding a combination of items like books, art and other objects.


Photo courtesy of Marcus Mohon.

When you turn to books or DVD's, consider aligning them in a way that you might not expect to see on a shelf. By flipping books or DVD's horizontally you create a natural bookend. If using hardbacked books you may want to remove the jackets to create a more library styled look. Without a jacket even a brand new book can make any bibliophiles collection look antique and intentional.

 Photo courtesy of Marcus Mohon.

Are there any other tips and tricks you would add to this list? What have been your experience decorating your home?

Follow Annie on for more design tips or decor decor projects like this one.