23 May

Talking shelves

I am a big fan of shelves slash bookcases firstly because they add instant personality to a room and secondly because they add those all-important layers. There are a zillion different ways to go with shelves, I for one have a problem spending money on them because I would rather splash my cash on the things that adorn them. Art, ceramics, vessels that kind of stuff, books, magazines. If your room feels like its lacking in personality or needs helping out may I suggest a shelf. Take our bedroom (I know I haven’t shown you it properly yet) just waiting on the door handles which arrive Friday but that room really came together when I started adding the odd shelf. Under a huge painting we hung a super low shelf which looks uber sweet, and then on the side wall skinny skinny shelves that can only take books or mags facing out. It adds interest, why because when you enter the room the eye is immediately tantalised because it doesn’t know quite where to look.

I say this a lot (forgive me) but the number one most transformative thing you can do to shelves or bookcases (or anything boring) is paint them out the same colour as your walls. The reason – because whatever you put on those shelves will immediately feel more expensive, promise you – just wait for the images! Sometimes I box out shelves from Ikea or a DIY store in MDF to fatten them and make them feel more gallery esq, sometimes I am impatient like with our bedroom which has taken ages to sort, and just paint the laminate. This only really works if you’re not moving the stuff around much as it chips off – but I tell you it’s the painting it out that is the game changer!

Some images below, taken from my latest book Decorating with Style to inspire! The first three are from Shaun Clarkson’s beautiful home in London.

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

YardleyStreet007_0099See what I mean about painting out – even tomato ketchup bottles look cool.

Below an image of Gem’s pad and our fattening up trick. MDF is glued around the shelf making it supper chunky and then painted out the same colour as the walls in eggshell.

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This sounds very Martha Stewart ish   I know considering its only 5.58 am but I’m about to whip up some banana muffins (gluten free, not quite sugar free maple syrup is involved) then pick big branches of lilac from the garden and scatter around the house. We have the oldest most beautiful lilac tree (the only thing we kept in the garden when we moved in).  The blooms are something you just don’t see in the flower markets – fat headed and so so big – they die within a day but the scent is intoxicating!

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