Today's post is a continuation of Cara's questions. She also sent photos of these bookshelves and asked:
Do you like the arrangement of frames, books, and nicknacks on the media stand? If not, what do you suggest?
Let me say that I have seen much worse in display jobs. I can tell that you did try to make it more of a display area rather than just a book storage- which I appreciate. Let me try to explain to you where you can improve.
I would say that your biggest mistake here is that you have two things, something on the right, and something on the left, something on the right and something on the left on EVERY SHELF. Yes- that is where you went wrong.
You only have three shelves on each side. Make it so on one side you have two items, one item three items, and then do it differently on the other side, with, say, one item, three items, two items. Remember that your shelves are most likely adjustable. You don't have to have them all symmetrical.
I also didn't notice a color theme in there. Sometimes this is a good way to pull it together. Notice the repetition of gold in the photo above? It brings the look into the room decor in a stronger way.
See the plants in the look above? I would have at least two plants in your area. Plants make a display work on so many levels. I love bringing in a natural element, and nothing has great texture like a plant. They also bring life to an area. Even if they are just a good, fake succulent. Also notice the great variety above- I would say that you have too many photo frames.
A different way altogether to do it, that I think would be very easy for someone that doesn't consider themselves a great decorator, yet looks very professional- is to throw out everything I've said so far and just do a bunch a cream vases, like in the photo above. I also love the idea of pulling them out to set a beautiful table from time to time. The repetition with variation is a terrific look. (With just a pop of color in this example.)
Same thing above- Repetition with variation. I can picture this with a bunch of green glassware, or wedgewood plates, or copper containers, or vintage gameboards, or gold pottery, or wood boxes. repetition in theme, yet all different items.
Displaying an area, whether it be a bookcase, curio, hutch, etc. can really be challenging if you don't have a natural sense of scale and balance. If you put yourself in this category- invite a friend over who is a photographer, or or graphic designer, or someone that you think might have that natural sense. I also like to draw out what I want on paper- and then look for things that fit into it- (sometimes requires shopping) instead of having a bunch of items and trying to fit them all in... does that make sense? (Or hire an interior designer for an hour or two!)
Good luck, and, like I said, I have seem much worse- check out some worse ones here. ;-)