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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Bookshelf display and inspiration

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Most recently, I had some shelves put in to my library at home. They are the most gorgeous lacquered shelves and I adore them. However, they are sitting empty and I am thinking about how to display and organize my books and accessories.

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Karl Lagerfeld among his enormous - and enviable - collection of books.

1 Karl Lagerfeld among his enormous - and enviable - collection of books.

Books displayed like artwork.

2 Books displayed like artwork.

I have been perusing books, old tear sheets and back issues of Martha Stewart Living magazines for some inspiration and am thinking about how I want to present my things. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld’s quote, “Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books...” rings in my ears. While many of my books are in my office (displayed by color), there are quite a few more at home that I like to have around to help spark ideas.

Here is what I have found so far. Enjoy.

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Hanging boxes filled with books, magazines or catalogs of like-colored spines makes for such a chic and serene display.

1 Hanging boxes filled with books, magazines or catalogs of like-colored spines makes for such a chic and serene display.

Take a day off and sort through your stuff - with a focused color palette of boxes and magazine holders it's easy to identify what you're looking for.  I practice a similar approach to organizing around the Decorating and Home departments at MSL.

2 Take a day off and sort through your stuff - with a focused color palette of boxes and magazine holders it's easy to identify what you're looking for. I practice a similar approach to organizing around the Decorating and Home departments at MSL.

This media cabinet executes its job perfectly by camouflaging the wires of the TV, keep DVDs, home movies and photos accessible (via a chic row of drawers below), and flanking itself with a library of home-keeping reference books.

3 This media cabinet executes its job perfectly by camouflaging the wires of the TV, keep DVDs, home movies and photos accessible (via a chic row of drawers below), and flanking itself with a library of home-keeping reference books.

I find inspiration in the robin's egg blue backdrop and the whimsical accessories surrounding this children's bookcase. The angled top-shelf is also a subtle but brilliant idea for displaying picture books on shorter units.

4 I find inspiration in the robin's egg blue backdrop and the whimsical accessories surrounding this children's bookcase. The angled top-shelf is also a subtle but brilliant idea for displaying picture books on shorter units.

It was incredibly easy to update an old bookshelf by replacing the dusty, drab shelves with new pieces of dark wood. The result was clean, classic lines and a bookcase that nearly dissolves into the wall. This study beautifully demonstrates the hidden possibilities of a small space.

5 It was incredibly easy to update an old bookshelf by replacing the dusty, drab shelves with new pieces of dark wood. The result was clean, classic lines and a bookcase that nearly dissolves into the wall. This study beautifully demonstrates the hidden possibilities of a small space.

I love these three stand-alone cabinets with crown molding.  A warm shade of gray paint helps them blend into the space, giving them a built-in look that allows a collection of antique urns and photos stand out among the books.

6 I love these three stand-alone cabinets with crown molding. A warm shade of gray paint helps them blend into the space, giving them a built-in look that allows a collection of antique urns and photos stand out among the books.

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Comments (1)

  • Kevin, such a dilemma. I love the way you displayed your books in your office. The color block was so interesting and made a great impact. Also a very stream lined look. You always come up with the most unique and beautiful ideas. You need to come visit with me in Kuwait and help me decorate me abode!

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