- Your bookcases are too busy. You are headed the right direction with them- but they are still too crowded. So are Rebecca's- so I am going to address hers at the same time- her photo is below. People get these crazy ideas that bookcases are for storing all of their books. Sure- if you have them in a library. But when they are in your living room- they are to be pretty. Rattz- I can tell you incorporated a lot of decorative items- which is great- Rebecca- you need some of that- but still- too much stuff- both of you. Take everything off of them and only place items on them deliberately. Find storage in other less prominent areas of your home- or sell a bunch on half.com. I have a few rules that I try to use- no paperbacks allowed on display. No binders. Never have a full shelf filled with books more than one time on a bookcase- incorporate at least one thing decorative (photo frame, clock, vase, statue, etc.) on every shelf. Let's look to Martha for a good example- she rocks at this kind of thing: When I purchase photo albums, I purchase several matching albums at a time- 4-5- and have them all in black leather- so they can be out. (Compared to behind doors.) I used to have some fairly expensive MAUVE ones that I purchased through some scrapbook company in the early 90's. UGHHH! Whatever is cute today- forget it- go neutral and simple. Then- and only then, are they allowed on your bookcases. Check out the Pottery Barn example below. Yes- your home CAN look like a magazine. Put your paperbacks in baskets. The plant adds a LOT! Books look better in bunches. Bunch books of similar sizes. Lay some bunches horizontal, some vertical. Find some fun, and some invisible book ends- you will need them both. Visually heavy items need to be closer to the bottom of the bookcase. Use a good balance of larger items and smaller items. Rattz- don't put the matching glasses next to the charger- put one of them on the left side, break it up. Rattz- I think maybe you just need to eliminate some items. Becca- you need to eliminate a lot of books, and add decorative pieces. Try to copy the Martha photo or the Pottery Barn photo as an example of how to do it. Your look is more modern than Rattz's so yours should be even more clean looking. Too much color right now. Consider making a bunch of book covers. :) Include greenery. I like the use of the botanical pictures in the Ballard Designs ad below:
Back to Ratz's place- OK- so how about that fireplace mantle? I have written a LOT about fireplace mantles- so I won't go into it all- but you can study up here. Read all five posts :) In your case- because your fireplace is flanked by two busy bookcases, keep your mantle EXTRA simple. Give the eye a place to rest. Remember that this is your focal point of the room. Make it perfect. I would have one large piece of art, and one or two greenery items. (Your current arrangement is hung too high, and the vases are too small, and too far to the left. My three year old is hungry, and he keeps typing on my keyboard- so- more later!