Arranging books by color turns shelves into works of art.
IN THIS COZY LIVING ROOM, a leather chair with plenty of tales of its own to tell creates the perfect reading nook. It’s accompanied by fleamarket finds and family treasures, but the focal point is the shelving. Plain white shelves are made eye-catching using a simple trick: Herd all the books of the same hue together, and suddenly, there’s a color-block effect. In our “Q & A,” designer Mindy Laven gives some ideas on how to organize shelves. She also shares, “When freshening shelves, I take everything off and start from scratch. A clean palette is always the best inspiration.” Once you have the clean slate to start, arrange books by color. Then add some conversation starters. Your shelf displays might include flea-market finds and mementos from a recent trip or reference special memories. “Last summer I pulled out a handful of shells and sand dollars that my daughters and I had collected in Hilton Head years ago,” says Mindy. “I poured a little sand in the bottom of a silver bowl and placed them on top. Every time I walked by, I was reminded of that sweet time of life when my girls were young and time seemed to stand still. Cost: nothing. Value: priceless!”