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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bookcase displays

Q: I have a built in bookcase in my open combination living room and dining room. I want it to look like the magazine photos and display my favorite collections of old books and tea sets, but it just never seems to come together for me. What should I do?

A: I suggest that you only display items that are worthy of this prime real estate and fit the time period you are recreating. Your primary focus is creating a period piece using antique items and setting a scene or mood of a cozy English cottage. So keep the pieces that best go with that theme. This bookcase is not for storage - it's the major focal point in your house, so it's got to be fun and interesting to look at.

Let's build this bookcase from the bottom up, since there is no need to put small delicate items on the bottom, we'll use books and larger pieces here. We'll do a reverse mirror effect on the next level, still using books and larger display items. Try to vary the heights of objects on each shelf.

Now that we are at viewing height, we can bring in your delicate tea sets, giving the best pieces their own shelf. Then you can do a mix of books, tea pots, plates and other favorite objects. Finally, we'll weed out the baskets at the top and mix them with your glass cake stands and pitchers.

While this project is still evolving, you've got the framework of your new bookcase, displaying your favorite items in an interesting and pleasing way.

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