If you are looking to style a bookcase, decorate an entertainment center, or are having trouble blending elements in your decor, read on to see this easy way to style and beautify this focal point in your home.
I painted this oak entertainment center a few months ago, intending to use it as an office command center. We have an ink jet and laser jet printer so it seemed like it would be a good fit, plus it could hold all the office-y things I don’t really have a place for in my new house.
This thing is a beast, in every sense of the word. It is big, heavy, and was pretty tedious to paint. It was a triumphant day when I could finally ask my husband and stepson to bring it in. Then I immediately put the printers on there in the hopes that they, along with the conglomerate of boxes and cables known as our network and wifi, would be magically transformed and connected, putting the ‘command’ in office command center.
Sadly, it was not meant to be. We began by buying new cables for our router and wifi, but the power cords wouldn’t reach, resulting in a hideous power strip dangling precariously 3 feet off the ground. Nothing was connecting and moving this land mass to another wall in the office was out of the question.
The printer and cable conglomerate before.
I decided to go ahead and list it for sale, much to my husband’s disbelief, because I told him I wasn’t really invested in it due to its size. I took a few snapshots of it in bad lighting and with a few old fabric bins thrown on the shelf that had been housing some office supplies in the garage since we’d moved. 😬 Unsurprisingly, it didn’t sell. I decided to “stage” it, and this post was born.
Go for a cohesive look
You really want all the elements to come together, so gather the pieces you want to use, or whatever you might have on hand, are considering donating, or you’re tired of looking at. Stay with me here, because you can always reuse decor items by painting them! The little jewelry box used to be yellow and the IKEA plant holder was lime green. Thanks to the magic of spray paint and acrylic paint, both found new life in a navy and gold living room.
I love bookshelves where the books are sorted by color. It’s so visually soothing. Most men would agree that sorting books by color is like nails on a chalkboard inside their brain. Okay, maybe only my husband cannot handle me sorting his books by color. For my own pleasure, I grabbed some navy blue books off the shelf and put them on here. Aaaahhhhh.
Use different textures
I also love the phrase “different textures.” I feel so professional saying that. Notice the different textures of the elements. (Waves a Vanna White hand across the cabinet) if I were going to use this bookshelf in my loft aka playroom, I would totally want to put cute pillows for storage on those bottoms shelves, or blankets, or some other texture-ful objects… so that my kids could pull them out every day and leave them scattered on the floor. This is an imaginary scenario, though, and in real life there is only one room that matters when it comes to OCD cleanliness, but that is another post for another day.
An easy way to incorporate different, kid-friendly textures is by using woven baskets, fabric bins, and fake plants that cannot be killed through the process sleep deprivation due to newborn eat/wake cycles. I do have some large glass jars up there with crayons and thread spools, but both are out of reach and the former is only used with supervision when coloring.
I have two plants on my shelves and I placed them opposite of each other for balance. The more you balance out your bookshelves, the less chaotic it will look, which will give your eyes a chance to take everything in and not cause one item or shelf to draw the eyes away or receive all the focus. If you’re going to put a tv in there, you might as well enjoy the view around it.
In this day and age, less is more has never been a truer statement, but it can feel impossible to keep back the tide of “stuff” in our homes. You can fill the space without filling the space. In other words, I have two objects on the above shelves that fill the space without it being crammed to fill every inch with books, papers, etc.
Add elements you love
Most important is that you are adding the elements that bring you joy. You will find that having items that uplift you will help you to feel better and bring a higher, happier energy into your space.
If you are having trouble figuring out what to add, start with your favorite piece and choose similar elements from there, or find items that will give it a funky, eclectic look, depending on your style. A Pinterest board can be helpful in pulling your desired look together. Search bookcase styling or entertainment center styling to get ideas. Happy styling!