Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Jodi Durr

Jodi is the creative blogger at Meaningful Mama. For Jodi, blogging began as a desire to make her own parenting experience more meaningful and intentional, with the hope to inspire others on their own journey. Her blog includes crafts, parenting tips, recipes, cakes, parties, and holiday ideas. The heart of her blog is a character development series she created to work on capturing the hearts of her children.

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  • My bookshelf was definitely in need of a makeover; it was functional but not very aesthetically pleasing. When you have small kids, sometimes you do what you can to make it work. However, there's a way to make your bookshelf work for your family and design it with intention and beauty.
  • bookshelf decorating
    Photo: Meaningful Mama
  • Add a Touch of Whimsy

    There are a lot of options out there for adding whimsy (animal-shaped bookends, a silly statue, or a trinket that reminds you of childhood). In your search, you will come across a piece that just speaks to you, just like these giant jacks spoke to me. Everyone is going to have something different that will jump out to them, and that's what makes design so fabulous—it reflects your unique personality.

    Add at Least One Awesome, Decorative Piece You Love

    These awesome bowls reflected a main color in the room's decor and the style in my heart. Again, this will be personal, and you need to pick out a piece that speaks to your own style.
  • bookshelf decorating
    Photo: Meaningful Mama
  • Add Personal Touches

    Pictures are a way to add personal touches to design. Everyone loves to look at family photos. I had my children's names, the meanings of their names, and a quote of scripture framed. Travel souvenirs also tell a story. Are you outdoorsy? Add natural elements. Do you love animals? Add an animal picture or sculpture. You want your bookshelf to tell a story about you.

    Alternate Stacking Books Vertically and Horizontally

    This simple technique creates variety and different lines, which adds interest.
  • bookshelf decorating
    Photo: Meaningful Mama
  • Organize Books According to Genre

    Do you love looking through the bookshelf when you go to someone's home? I think the books people choose will tell you a lot about them. If you want to know which topics would be fun to bring up in conversation, casually scan their bookshelf. Organizing books by genre helps you as you go back to try and find what you need.

    Hide Clutter

    Find attractive containers, bowls, boxes, or baskets to hide anything that might make the bookshelf appear cluttered or busy. It's a great way to organize magazines and paperback books, too.
  • bookshelf decorating
    Photo: Meaningful Mama
  • Bring in Pops of Color

    Books will bring in some pops of color, but use décor and pictures to accent the colors found in your room.

    Keep Children's Things Accessible

    I have small children. Part of the issue with my unorganized bookshelf was their stuff. I rearranged things so that I had more of their belongings in their designated areas around the room. However, I still wanted them to have things available on these shelves. When you have kids, keep their belongings at their level.
  • bookshelf decorating
    Photo: Meaningful Mama
  • Organize Kid Things

    Use boxes, baskets, or containers to organize children's items. Make sure things are set up for their success when it's time for kids to clean up the area. Limit the amount of toys in spaces you want to stay looking clean. 
  • bookshelf decorating
    Photo: Meaningful Mama
  • Mimic Colors and Design

    You want the bookshelf to become an accent to the rest of the room. This might mean using book covers to duplicate colors. It might be found in the pieces you decorate with. I used these two Wayfair coral bowls in different areas of the room. It gives a cohesive look when you replicate the color and style found elsewhere.

    Here are some more tips:

    1. Combine books and decor. For a cohesive look, intermingle books and décor. You can set decorative items on top of books or use your décor as bookends.
    2. Keep it simple. Sometimes less is more. Clean out and give things away that don't inspire you. You don't need a bunch of books that you will never read. It can look cluttered if you don't learn to edit. This is true in limiting the amount of color, too.
    3. Accent the bookshelf's back panel. I'm still considering adding more brightness and flair to my bookshelves with this tip. Use wallpaper, paint, or fabric to give punches of color and add your own personal style to the bookcase.
    4. Forget the books. Bookshelves don't need to be used just for books. Eliminate them completely and make it a picture gallery of family portaits or artwork. Add ceramics, sculptures, vases, and other art pieces to make it an artsy display..
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