Books Make you Smarter


8:32 am – Before we go too much further this am, a quick update from our Instagram post this morning where we featured the Santorini photo.  There is a lot of interest in going back to our recent post.  Many of you have already seen this, but for our new followers this am…here is the link.

Grease is the Word…

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Perhaps, but only if you can actually find them and read them.  For years, a certain person in our family who I will not mention but we all know who she is, convinced herself that the more books you could acquire the smarter you would at least look to your friends.  She housed hers on those spur of the moment bookcases you buy that have cardboard contact paper backs.  They really won’t hold the weight of books unless you anchor them to each other and anchor to the wall.  They come in all sorts of “natural wood” finishes.  Are you getting the picture yet?  We’ve all had a turn at moving her “library” and praying she will catch on to ebooks.  However, as God always reminds me when I am being a tad too critical, I do like it when shelves can really be used. Let’s take a look at the difference between a workhorse and a filly.

The Ultimate Filly


Before we go to much further, and I get a scathe of hate email, let’s look at the work of Emily Henderson.  Mine and America’s darling.  If she wants to have perfectly styled bookcases she can.  Why…because I know she has a story and deep attachment to almost everything in the custom designed unit.  I’ve heard her agonize on posts about when it’s time to part with something she has used in her own home.  She gets a pass every time.


The Obvious Fillies


The one above is clean, crisp and gets a nod for the baskets that are corralling all the magazines. The art lighting is fantastic. I am also impressed that this person only reads books with white covers.  I admit I have a small stack of white books elevating an art piece we own.


This one, I hope, is in an otherwise all white beach vacation home and the owner is drinking a raspberry martini right now.  (why is the flavor raspberry blue?)


Ah, I am assuming that the books with spines towards the back are a new design trend I missed, or all of a too telling subject matter of the owner’s alter ego.


This last filly really wants to run with the big boys.   Having used a drafting board early in my career,  the feel of this space is comforting.  This room should be a public room in a chic boutique hotel because if it is in a home, I can’t help but think some precious hours were wasted wrapping all these books.

There is nothing wrong with using a styled bookcase in your decor.  I like all of these for the reasons stated.  We get so many calls to come and “stage” clients bookcases.  Makes me wonder if perhaps we could do better actually using all this glorious space in another way. Let’s keep looking at the way we approach a “use it” concept.



Open shelves in a kitchen, especially near a dining area, offer major function and can look so inviting.  Can you not see the owner of this home grabbing one of these pitchers to put the flowers in her husband you just brought her?  Stack those plates and use them everyday. Not only do they look great but by using them often you won’t have to dust them.


Here’s another wonderful example of having things you use accessible. This person obviously entertains and sets a pretty rad table.  Just picture the colors of food mixed in with this neutral pallet. Note:  Unless you entertain everyday this one might need a bit more dusting.  But hey, white shows very little and there is always my “dish towel wipe off as you go” method.  All good.

Simple modern .jpg

Ikea hack - Expedit .jpeg

The two above get an A+ in my book.  The top one looks like it lives in a charming lake house and a late morning breakfast is the main meal.  The one on the bottom is an Ikea Expedit . This homeowner is serious about having just the right about of the things he loves and uses often.  The mix of black and white (our signature colors) makes this otherwise mass marketed product a custom feature in the decor. To get this much function out of traditional cabinetry would cost so much more.  And that plywood door that has been added is just too cool.  Wonder what is behind it?!

Bet to Show



Cabinets with glass doors can also be lovingly used instead of staged.  I would hyper ventilate being responsible for so many towels but could see bath products mixed in here too.

The Finish Line


Our mantra with our clients remains there is always a way to make your home perfect for you…your LBD.  Collections and heirlooms that are important to you are important to us.  We are still going to encourage you to grab that tea pot off the shelf and steep a cup.  Whether you do it or not is up to you!

Have you missed a few posts?

Here’s one where we gave our 50/50 view of open shelving if you want to catch up.

Open Shelves…Yeah or Neah?

Thank you, as always, for spending a few minutes of your day with us.

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