Bookshelf Arrangement: A Great Spring Spruce-Up! - MetroFamily Magazine
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Bookshelf Arrangement: A Great Spring Spruce-Up!

by Emery Clark

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

 Have you heard the news? It’s now officially Spring, and that can only mean one thing… It’s time to start spruuuuucing! (I said that in my best Oprah voice, see?) The sun is out, the blooming things are all blooming, and I don’t know about your place, but my house could use some serious freshening up. (As the saying goes, “Three young boys do not a fresh environment make.” Or something along those lines.)

My doors have been shut tight against the cold for most of the winter and the air in my house is starting to feel a little stale. Not only the air but the overall vibe in my home feels like it needs some fresh life breathed back into it around this time of year. My decor always starts to seem a bit flat after winter, like it’s an old lumpy pillow that needs some fluffing.

This year, I decided to start my ‘Great Spring Spruce-Up’ in our living room. We spend the majority of our time hanging out in this room, so it made the most sense to tackle it first. The south wall of our living room has two large bookshelves built into it on either side of the fireplace, which was a huge plus for us when we bought the house. In the years prior, all of our precious books had been stored out in our garage… in disintegrating cardboard boxes. Not ideal!

You don’t have to be a book lover to appreciate a good bookshelf, however. They are a great place to hold special mementos, family photos, and random knick knacks that you gather from the places you’ve wandered to in life. A piece of driftwood or a cool rock you stumbled upon somewhere can make great additions to any bookshelf display! Our bookshelves have become the home for a little bit of everything, which is just how I like them to be. 

When we moved in a few months ago, I had just thrown all of our books and things randomly up on the shelves in the middle of the great flurry of unpacking our house. It has remained that way ever since, a jumbled mix of words and whatnots, for the last few months. But now Spring has sprung! And the one thing I find myself wanting more of in my home these days is pops of COLOR. I want the inside to match the outside with all its beautiful color springing up from the ground. That gave me an idea for freshening up our shelves. Color grouping!

When I first looked at our books on the shelf, I really didn’t think I had much of any one color. But once I started pulling them all down and making piles, a rainbow started to emerge that I didn’t even know was there! I piled up all the blue books and green books and red books and yellow books and then arranged them all in height order on the shelves wherever I thought they’d fit best. I generally did the tallest books against the walls and tapered down to the shortest books in the middle to give it some balance, while stacking some books in piles horizontally here and there to break up the vertical pattern a bit. I had to keep stepping back a few feet and eyeballing where I thought things should go. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just keep making small adjustments until it feels right to you!

After the books were all sorted and arranged, all I had left to do was layer in some knick knacks. I scoured the rest of my house to see if there was anything in any of the other rooms that might work well with the new bookshelf arrangement, making sure to grab things that brought some more vibrant color into the mix. This time around, that included some things from my kids’ closets, like a Rubik's cube, a nesting doll and some Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots (I’ll take fun, bright colors from wherever I can find them!). The knick knacks will help break up the ‘squareness’ of all the books and give you some different shapes and heights to really pull everything together. 

Overall, I am really happy with my results. Something about grouping all of the colors together really made things feel fresh and new, like a bouquet of pretty flowers and it didn’t even cost me a penny! If you’re feeling like you could use a spruce-up, but don’t know where to start, go ahead and look to your books… and Happy Spring, y’all!


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