Filling a Bookcase

August 17, 2012

The other day, I saw the instagram above from Jenny Komenda. She recently moved to a new house, and one of the first things she did when it was time to unpack, was fill the bookshelves. She said, “Unpacking the books made this house come alive. Feeling much more settled today.”

I totally know that feeling! When we moved into La Cressonnière, which already housed a great collection of books, I still took time to unpack our own volumes (a couple of boxes full that we’d shipped), add them to the existing collection, and reorganize the shelves to reflect our family. It made me feel at home! Bookshelves — what they look like and what they house — can make such a statement and add so much to any living space.

Pottery Barn Kids asked me to write a few articles for their Design Studio (a fantastic resource, by the way) and for the first one, I wrote out my thoughts on bookshelves. My favorite shelf height, how I like to organize them. Stuff like that. Click here to read. And I hope you enjoy it!

What about you, Friends? Do you like filling your shelves? Or is it a task that makes you hesitate?

P.S. — In Colorado, we organized our books by color.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Damaris @Kitchen Corners August 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

We also just moved and we also just filled up our bookcases. My favorite was filling up the kids bookcase, they were so happy to see their books, and color coding my cookbooks on my special cookbook bookcase.


2 The New Diplomats Wife August 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

there’s definitely something about having books and personals on shelves (and clothes in the closet) that makes you feel “at home”. it’s also one of those things that if you don’t do right away, it won’t get done for months! looking forward to your new series.


3 Giulia August 17, 2012 at 9:21 am

I love bookshelves. My daughter and son have wonderful displays in their room and I am looking to build a small corner bookshelf in our living room – a reading nook really. I have bookcases in the basement, but I want to find a way to move them into the playroom/office now that the kids no longer need as much toy storage. I love the look of books, especially without the dust covers. My dream would be a dining room with 12 ceilings and a wall of bookcases right up to the ceiling – don’t books and dining just go well together?


4 Sandra August 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

The ONLY thing that I don’t like about my e-reader is that I no longer have the physical books around! We have a large bookshelf in our living room that the previous owners left. It was a bit ratty but we painted it out and it looks fine. Filled with books and other decorative items.

And the reading nook outside the girl’s bedroom – had those shelves made when we moved in. It was such a teeny tiny space that you couldn’t really use it for anything else BUT a reading nook.

I DO have to unpack the books and the kitchen when moving. And on the unpacking line of things, just got back from two weeks at a rustic cottage and had to unpack immediately! Think I might need some help??!!


5 Grace @ sense and simplicity August 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

I totally agree. We have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in our living room that we built-in and I love the vibe from all those classic leather spines. I prefer the shelves to be just books so there are no knick knacks mixed in – just hardcore books.


6 Shannon { A Mom's Year } August 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

Great article, Gabrielle! My love of bookshelves started when I was very small. My grandparents kept a special shelf, low to the ground, full of books just for us grandchildren. There were old Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children books and dozens of Golden Books with delicious illustrations. I would make a beeline for the shelf as soon as I walked in the door–after stopping for a Caramel Nip from the always-full candy dish!

It makes me smile every time we visit Great-Grandma now to see my own children settle in at the bookshelf with a good supply of Caramel Nips.


7 Kacy Faulconer August 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

One of my favorite posts of yours was about the consideration you and Ben give to every object (movie, book) you bring into your home. Last time I redid my shelves (by color, of course!) I thought a lot about this.


8 Caitlin August 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

This one speaks right to my soul – unpacking my books is hands-down my favorite part of moving into a new place. I so look forward to it every time. I still haven’t found one system that’s stolen my heart, but I do like organizing them by color, just for fun. :)


9 Megan - pretty things for parties August 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I loved that Pin – technically, I “liked” + “repinned”!

There may be a problem with the shared bedroom link, I tried to click but got an error. I’d love to see it!


10 Amanda August 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I love filling my bookcases! With books, framed photos, knickknacks, etc. I love your idea of hanging something on the back wall of the case; I’d never thought of that!


11 Nicole Robinson August 18, 2012 at 4:40 am

Wow, I just did a blog post yesterday about what my bookshelf says about me. I love filling my shelves. Since I like mostly nonfiction, my book collection is a time capsule for past hobbies and interests.


12 marialucyland October 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I love rustic-retro style bookcases like this one. And filling it with old books. Oldies but goldies!


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