Makeover: Built-in Bookshelf

Today's makeover was with one of my book-lovers. Judging from the response I got to a question asked last week on Facebook, I know I have quite a few. Today's makeover was a quick one and it shows that you don't have to do much to make a big difference.

Before:

Bookshelf Before

Though it doesn't look like it, the client did already have these books fairly separated into categories so we didn't need to do much sorting. We were also short on time and - with a small child in the house - short on space to spread. So here, I employed my trick to alleviate those minor inconveniences.

Instead of pulling everything off of the shelves for a traditional sort, purge and put back, we started at the top and touched every. single. book. deciding if it would stay or go. From there, I rearranged the books to make it a little more visually appealing. This shelf is built in next to the fireplace in the living room so it needed to have both form and function.

After:

Bookshelf AfterAs you may notice, few books were purged from the shelves. This is perfectly OK as long as what you have fits within the space you have. The biggest change I made to make things look better was arranging everyone by height and pulling each book to the same distance from the front edge of the shelf. This immediately gives a cleaner look.

You may also notice that on the top row there are books hidden behind the others. That was our "compromise." Those are holiday children's books. Normally, I'd recommend those live with the respective decorations. However, this client's decorations are packed away in the attic and a pain in the rear to get to just for a couple of little people books. Instead, as each holiday rolls around, my client will put each set of holiday books into the decorations box after the holiday has passed. (If she decides to keep them until the next year.)

So as you can see, just a little tweaking goes a long way.

Total time: 1 1/2 hours.

How are your bookshelves looking today? Perhaps they could use a quick tweak too?