For an OCD type-A girl like myself, bookcases are a love affair written in the stars. For starters, it’s a way to give every THING a home. And there’s nothing more annoying than things without a home. That leads to piles. And clutter. And that is just a gateway drug to chaos. If you don’t want to end up staring on an episode of hoarders, you really need to take advantage of the shelves in your home.

First: Figure out what you want to display. This means your good looking books (sorry, get an iPad if you actually want toΒ read) and a variety of those pesky things you have accumulated.

Second: Make piles according to color. Depending on the shelf space, I like to go with grayscales / neutrals and color in separate spaces. But for a smaller space, they can all live together.

Third: Start making vignettes on the shelf by altering height and position of the books. In connecting spaces you can place one of the objects to tie the color together. The spine of the book generally has more than one color, so the object becomes an important underscore for the section.

Living room built-ins with all colors used.
Living room built-ins using only black and white.
Kids playroom using books and toys.
Kids playroom built-ins using ROYGBV colors only.
Kids playroom built-ins using only grayscale and neutrals.
Study built-ins using wedding and family photographs with coordinating objects.
Kids playroom art unit using containers and supplies.