Organizing books can be very personal. Really the person who’s books they are needs to be part of the organizing. Now some of you may be saying to yourself- “yeah, of course who else would do it?”. Well as an Interior Designer, I am asked very frequently to reorganize peoples built-ins to look really Fab. This is tough if the person is really into books. Which have they read, which are in cue to be read, does this person need them by subject or author? This is very important to most people, and is very different to how the book shelves will look best. They look best if arranged by color:
When they are arranged by color there is a visual calm that's achieved. Otherwise they seem chaotic and visually cluttered:
If you need your books to be by topic, author, or been read or not, then making smaller collections of those categories and separating them with some interesting objects is a great way to visually organize them:
or spread the arranging to other areas of the room as well, like the mantle:
Or the coffee table or console/hall table:
When people visit your home they are unconsciously looking for personality cues on the people who live there. Who are they, what are they passionate about, where have they traveled? By giving them those cues (books,accessories,art) your home instantly has more character, depth and warmth, not to mention instant conversation topics. Without these things your home resembles a furniture showroom void of all human touches.
I am also (very often) asked to shop for all accessories, picture frames, art and books for a home owner that currently does not own anything. This can be interesting, I am essentially creating the personality of the client, which people will see and adopt as the client’s identity. Usually by this point in a project, I have a very detailed idea of who these people are so I’m not pulling personality out of thin air.
There is the rare client who makes me wish there were more books on garden variety sociopaths – that way I could help them portray their true personalities to their visitors.