Help me accessorize the living room!
July 1, 2013 in Design Dilemma
First, I need advice on the bookcases. What do I do with the top shelf? It is 14 inches high, the other shelves are about 11 inches high. Are the fake plants okay? Should i fill the second shelf with books on both sides, or is that too matchy-matchy? Currently the books are on the second and third shelf.

Can you suggest better placement? I have lots more books, and lots of framed family photos that I could add. Or i could take away or replace items. Please shop for me!

Second, can you suggest a transitional coffee table or drink/side table? Hubby doesn't want any coffee table at all, thinks they are in the way, cluttered.

Thanks in advance.
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Congratulations - you have not over-cluttered! You also seem to have a good awareness that if you have one main centered thing on a shelf, the adjoining shelf

Personally, not a fan of fake plants. Also, yours look too tall for the shelves.

Put your plate on the bottom left on a stand & move to the top shelf. Move the art piece beside it to the other top shelf (if it will fit). If not, is the basket on bottom right attractive?, or do you have any other nice plates you can display on top right? A row of books with some small mirrors or one larger mirror propped in front would look nice too.

Can you move left spotlight to point lower? If not, swap the nicer books from right shelf here (too much glare as-is).

Consider your nicest thing/s & put them on shelves 4 & 5 (above the middle where the light is strongest). The clear glass is lost with the white background, so I'd either highlight it by moving it to the lighted shelf, or take it away.

A shelf of 1/2 family pictures & 1/2 books on either side would be nice.

Smaller things, like your pots on shelf 4, left, could be displayed on top of books (I think they need to be on separate shelves, or just elevate one & leave one lower - in a asymetric display.

Like your viney-looking pot or art piece on the right! It could go on top shelf if you have a couple of books that are wide enough to go under it.

You're on the right track! Hit some estate sales & see what other goodies you find.
[houzz=Lani Zervas]
[houzz=Willamette River Home]

If you can adjust heights, you've got even more options:
[houzz=Family Room Built-Ins]

three photos mounted in a single frame
[houzz=My Houzz: An Art-Filled Austin Home Has Something to Add]

good luck - let us know how it turns out!
1 Like   July 1, 2013 at 2:58PM
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If you have a lot of books, I would fill them up with books. Decorative items should be used sparingly unless you use the entire bookshelf for them (otherwise it looks like the books were an afterthought - personal view).

I usually don't like sectionals, but yours is beautiful!
1 Like   July 1, 2013 at 4:49PM
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Thank you. Very helpful. Yes, I actually can adjust these shelves, but I'm afraid it will just look sloppy and not at all like the picture you linked.... But since the large plate tilted on a plate stand is too big for the top shelf, I just may have to try it.

I don't mind fake plants since they cannot be inspected closely, but these are just space fillers...
0 Likes   July 1, 2013 at 5:13PM
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The bookcase looks perfect, the only thing that seem to be out of place is the sectional sofa, that area is not really a good home for it ,is there a way that you could make some adjustments with it ?

If not you could take the sofa out of that wall and have your TV in that area,just like in this picture.

Willamette River Home

Rosewood Coffee Table
1 Like   July 1, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Jill Mintz Fine Art
This room is stunning, uncluttered and clean. You could always do nesting tables...lucite if your not opposed to a modern touch, they're not expensive. I don't think the mirror and sconces do anything for the room. A great piece of art would really make the room spectacular. Even a subtle piece. Happy to make suggestions if you like the idea.
0 Likes   July 3, 2013 at 6:26PM
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The main problem with your fake plants is they're too tall for the space. Adjust your shelves so there is space above the objects in them. Also don't arrange things so symmetrically. Asymmetry is more interesting and guides the eye from one object to another. The key is balance.

Here are two ideabooks about styling shelves: Ideabook: How to Arrange Shelves with Style
Ideabook: 11 Styling Tips for Shelves You'll Love
1 Like   July 3, 2013 at 6:51PM
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Yes, Jill Mintz, I would love suggestions for different (wider?) sconces. The mirror is just a place holder for a future piece of art work. There is a Judy Pfaff piece in the attached dining room, can be seen from this room too.
0 Likes   July 4, 2013 at 5:48AM
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Dar Eckert
You have done well at limiting items on the shelves. Use the plants for now but look for items for the top shelves on your vacation or flea markets. Don't get matching items.
0 Likes   July 4, 2013 at 6:18AM
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Jill Mintz Fine Art
I would recommend this piece. It's stunning in person, I sold one to a client in South Hampton, they couldn't be happier. He's an established artist meaning recognized and represented in museums and major collections. If it's not in your price range I have younger/ emerging artists I would be happy to suggest.
1 Like   July 4, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Jill Mintz Fine Art
It's actually a large horizontal piece but is uploading an a square format.
0 Likes   July 4, 2013 at 10:36PM
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It's a Beautiful World!
Cohensa, i am happy your are planning to replace the mirror with art and make it the focal point of your room. You can check out our page for more art ideas... Raisa
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 1:15AM
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I am also not a big fan of sectionals but I love yours! I think it's because it has custom details...rolled arms, nailhead trim. It really is lovely. In my previous home, I had bookcases similar to this and I painted the backs of them in an accent color (soft coral). It really made a difference. In my current home, I did the back of the bookcases in my husband's office in a soft butter yellow against walnut. I'm about to wallpaper the backs of the family room bookcases in butter yellow grass cloth. I have also mirrored the backs of bookcases. You have lots of options. Good luck!
1 Like   July 5, 2013 at 1:32AM
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