Accessorizing bookshelves with natural elements

At the end of this week we’re going to be accessorizing the built-in bookshelves that we designed for our client, Eva Chen. Working in the fashion industry for so many years, Eva has accumulated quite a collection of large coffee table books. She also has a fair amount of “real” books as well and it’s important to her husband that these be part of the living room bookshelves too. When accessorizing a very large bookshelf unit like this, it often makes sense to come up with a theme–whether it be a specific color palette or a type of object. For Eva’s shelves, we’ve put together a collection of organic, natural-feeling objects that will help give the large number of shelves some continuity while also staying true to the general feel of the apartment and the tastes of the couple who live there. Below is a lovely  built-in where the designers used a large collection of coral to break up the all neutral-colored books. This is a lovely way to add a natural feel to bookcases, especially in a beach environment.
OrganicBookshelvesLittle pieces of artwork, a collection of white ceramic vases, and a few other black and white objects keep these bookshelves from looking cluttered, below. Love the chic brass library lights! VictoriaHaganBookshelvesWhen accessorizing a large built-in like Eva’s, we almost always do a sketch ahead of time so we can figure out exactly what we need to bring accessory-wise and so we can quickly put it all together on site. Eva is a new mom, so it was important that there be plenty of storage for toys, etc; baskets from West Elm line the bottom shelves. bookshelves_sketchAccessorizing bookshelves this large can get pricey (and if you put too much on the shelves, it will also look cluttered!). We decided to limit the shelves for objects and decorative items to the 6 shelves on either side of the television. The four shelves above the TV will be reserved for non-coffee table books. Giving the reading books their own little section will help the entire unit look more uniform. While more often than not we purchase accessories at antique stores and flea markets, we wanted to see what we could pull together using only online, highly affordable sources. The results (we think) were pretty great! Check out some of the natural elements we’ll be using on Eva’s bookshelves, below:

1. bookends, 2. set on stands


3. bone china vases, 4. twig sculpture, 5. marble carved shell , 6. coral on glass base


7. wire and cane bowl, 8. fish scale wood frame


9. thai striped vases, 10. porcelain vase set


11. geo metal frame, 12.angled , 13. brass cage


OrganicFeelBookshelves6Stay tuned for “after” photos of the finished shelves!

  • Alana Bentham

    Accessorizing a bookshelf can seem a little difficult and frustrating. Usually when I am helping a client decorate a bookshelf, This is a really cool bookshelf! I love it!