7 Steps To Eye-Catching Bookshelves

Most bloggers who give tips on how to style bookshelves don’t take into account that some of us actually read!

Tips for great looking bookshelves usually want you to leave tons of space for the eye to rest and art pieces to shine, but I have a lot of books and can’t possibly leave that much open space without having to throw away hundreds of books.

I think some of the shelves that you see out there are more IG ready than practical. Good news is that it is possible to have a nice looking bookshelf without compromising your library or having it look cluttered.

Here are 7 simple steps that will help you crete an eye-catching bookshelf:
1) Group some books by color – You might not want to color coordinate all your books, but you could benefit from grouping some books by color. In the bookshelf above, for example, orange, red and blue books have been placed together while the other books are mix-matched. This gives the eye some focal points without making your books look too staged.
2) Add plants – Plants add color and an organic look to wherever you place them. Of course, by now you know how much I love plants. They make any space look better, and this includes a bookshelf that runs the risk of looking predictable. Ideally, you would have a hanging plant that can work as a green waterfall eye catcher  [TREND ALERT: a new hashtag has been born: #waterfalleyecatcher]. Look at the photo above, for example, that simple and thin plant brings the bookshelf to life.

3) Get cute bookends – I have been collecting bookends for a long time. I get them at estate sales or thrift stores. There are so many beautiful options available for cheap! Any bookshelf needs bookends so why not get cute ones? Keep an eye for them on your next trip to a vintage filled store.

4) Leave open space for art – This is more of a personal preference but I like when bookshelves have an open space for art or larger vintage pieces. It helps to calm down the cluttered look that many books place together can create. This space doesn’t have to be in the middle of the bookshelf but anywhere you see it fit.


5) Stack books vertically and horizontally
– I like to have some books placed horizontally in between the vertical books for practical and non-practical reasons. The practical reason is that it helps keeping the vertical books in place, the non-practical reason is that they look good, obviously. It is an easy way of adding new lines to the bookshelf.

6) Add fun decorations – You need to decorate your bookshelf with cute ornaments. You can add small pieces of art in front of the books, or beautiful vintage finds, anything that looks good and fun.

7) Place shelves at different heights – I like to have the higher books at the bottom of the shelf, while the smaller books go on the top shelves, that is why my bottom shelves are generally higher than my top shelves. I also like the idea of having different random heights for the shelves, like in the bookshelf above from my friend Yassi, who is my bookshelf guru.
You don’t have to follow all 7 steps for perfect bookshelves, but some of these steps might give you ideas of what to do to improve the bookshelves you already have. It is not that hard to make them look good, actually. Sometimes it just needs rearranging, that is all.

Hope you like all or some of these tips! Have a wonderful day!

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The Advantages Of Living In A Small Home


Before I dive into the specifics of this post, I wanted to say hi to all newcomers. There are a lot of new readers coming to this blog every day so I wanted to say thank you for stopping by and deciding to stay.

This blog has a lot of Design and DIY projects, but it also has posts about life and thoughts on women’s issues. My about page explains why I write about all these things, but, in a nutshell, I am interested in two many topics to keep this blog contained to only one of them. The good news is that this corner of the cyber world was born to express creativity and crafty projects, so Design and DIY are part of the weekly scheduled posts. OK, now I am starting to go down to Boring lane, so let’s skip the formalities and talk about my wonderful and cozy 900 sq ft home.

I have two children (3 and 5 years old) and a sexy husband (not a lot of brains, though… and, yes, in case you are new here and wondering about my sense of humor, that was a joke).

We live in a small house in LA. Good news is that our yard is BIG! And when I shout BIG, I mean big for LA standards… our lot is 7,500 sq ft. Kids are outside a lot, which makes the house feel bigger, but we still live in a tiny, comfy, charming, 2 bedroom, 900 sq ft little house.

It has 2 bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen and a living room – no open plan. When we bought the house 5 years ago, it was in disarray. We have been building it up slowly to our family standards.

Lately,  many of our friends have been asking about our plans to expand the house. Our kids are getting bigger and we are outgrowing our space. Us, on the other hand, are not that worried. On the contrary, I really, really, really LOVE the size of our home because of the amazing intimacy it creates, something I never anticipated before having children.


There is a lot of family charm happening in a 900 sq ft house. I always know what my kids are up to, which helps me in keeping a safe environment (and nope, I am not an helicopter mom… am I?), but it also encourages constant social interaction. Just sharing the bathroom in the morning requires plenty of communication and compromise. (BTW, do any of your young children asks for privacy when going to the bathroom? “I nid pivacy, momma,” Max says, making me LOL because, seriously Max, you are only 3 years old and still need me to wipe your butt.)

There are other obvious practical advantages to a small home like faster cleaning, less energy usage, or less furniture expenses, but none of them matter to me as much as the unexpected closeness that this small space has brought to our little family. At night, I hear my kids having bad dreams and I can rescue them; in the daytime, I know if they are painting our new sofa or drowning my iPhone in the toilet (yes, that has happened- silence is the best predictor of these behaviors.) Also, because the space is  limited, we live a decluttered life. Limited amount of clothes and toys, for example.  And our piano has taken a predominant role in our lives. Kids are always playing music because the piano is very present, readily available, and constantly in our path. You are always “encountering” the piano… am I making any sense in here?

I guess what I want to say is that when you live in a small space, all pieces of furniture and décor have an important role in your daily life. They can’t be ignored.

As you can see, expanding our home is not a top priority, although it would be nice to do it in a couple of years, when kids are a little bit older and demand their geographical independence, but, for now, we are staying as is. What do you think? Do you have a big or small house? and, if you do live in a small house, what do you like or don’t like about it?

Here is the Winter tour of our home, in case you care to see, and thanks for stopping by!

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My Bold Hues First Edition

One of the highlights of this January 2017 has been to look at the great images showing up in the #myboldhues IG feed.

When we started this hashtag a couple of weeks ago, I never thought I would get so much inspiration from this humble feed.

Looking back, I was worried to see if anybody would even care to post something! Well, fear not, because a lot of people used the tag. Choosing my favorites was a hard decision but here are my top 5:

@claire_brody

Claire Brody’s style always has my heart. I have a thing for vintage portraits. (you don’t believe me? Well, here and here is the proof.) The way she hang them in here is a great idea for a display. Also, the lamp, flower vase, and cabinet go so perfect together. I love everything that is happening here.

@coppercorners

Mary from @coppercorners hand painted this wall. With that talent there is no need for wallpaper anymore. The combination of pink and black, plus all those paintings on the shelf, look perfect.

@suburbanbees

I have been looking for a green velvet couch for a while so you can understand how as soon as I saw this photo by suburban bees, I filed it into my favorites. That green sofa makes this room perfect.

@swoonworthyblog

What an eclectic mix you can find in this photo! That wonderful wallpaper, the print, and that incredible table setting. I love it all. Kimberly is a master at combining different styles and making them look cohesive. Love this room.

@thenewsaintly

The blue in here makes this place peaceful and strong. The addition of yellows and greens are a wonderful touch. Love what @thenewsaintly did in her living room. Look at all the decoration details!

Ok, that was the first round-up of this wonderful hashtag. Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t forget to keep on tagging your photos. #MYBOLDHUES feed is a place where people can share spaces, projects, and moments that are full of color.

We will be featuring our favorite posts on the last Wednesday of each month so, please, tag along to participate!

Now, for inspiration, go and take a look at the images featured by my partners in color crime:

Ariel from PMQ for Two, Jess from Domicile37, Cate from Style Mutt Home, Karen from Copper Dot Interiors, Angela from Blue i Style, and Emy From Semi-Gloss Designs

 

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The Three Words That Define My Personal Interior Design Style

(If you are here to see the progress of the outdoor painting I promised to make a couple of weeks ago, you will have to come back next week. Sorry. It has been raining a lot in LA, so creating an outdoor painting has been out of the question)

Lately, I have been looking into defining my design style more clearly.

In 2016 I decorated and re-decorated my home choosing pieces and colors that pleased me, but feeling a lack of focus on my style. My biggest problem is that I like everything. If you look at my Pinterest page, you will see a lot of good images that could fall in a zillion different design categories. Emily Henderson has a style quiz on her website that is supposed to help you clarify your style dilemma. I took it and got “modern” – a person that likes no color, straight lines, and minimalism. Say what????? That is the exact opposite of my style. I retook it and got contemporary glam… glam?? I don’t think that is my main feature.

Then I found this post from Swoon Worthy. It gives you ideas about how to use Pinterest to define your personal style. I got to work on it right away. I pinned images that I absolutely LOVE to a secret board. It was difficult because it is hard for me to LOVE an image totally and completely, so I asked myself, would I live there? That exercise worked. Here are some of the images I chose:

The Apartment
Fixa & Dona

Within no time I had plenty of images in my secret board so I started looking for patterns. This is what I found: color ( LOTS of it), tiles, plants,vintage pieces, eclectic oil paintings, edgy motifs, wicker, velvet, wood, and brass. All those elements show up in my images a lot.

The art and color on this photo, for example:

Element Of Style

The wallpaper and shelves’ color on this one:

Hus & Hem

Tiles and green on this one:

My Domaine

Colorful wallpaper on this one:

@meghanmcneer

Plants and bright pink on this one:

@mcblakewich

Velvet, brass, pastels, and mid-century furniture on this one:

Style by Emily HendersonStyle by Emily Henderson

After doing this exercise, I had to come up with words that describe my style. Here is what came to mind: bold, vibrant, mid-century, family friendly, bright, vintage, cheerful, eclectic, edgy, and bohemian. Now, I just had to choose three words to define my interior design style this year, because who knows what I will be into in 2018.

@justinablakeneyhome
Revista Ad Spain

Revista AD SpainRevista AD Spain Apartment Therapy @shophesby

Now, about choosing the three words that define my style. From the list I wrote above, a lot of words can be clustered into one, for example, bohemian style tends to be bright, cheerful, and vibrant. Eclectic is a word that is used by every other designer to define their style, so I didn’t want to use that one…

Revista AD Spain Revista AD Spain Anthropologie

Finally, after some thought, I chose my final three words: Mid-century Vintage Boho style! Is that a thing? YES!

This year, every time I take a design decision, I will ask myself if that decision falls in the Mid-Century Vintage Boho style vibe. If yes, I will go for it, if not, I will throw it out.

Just thinking about this has decluttered my brain and given me new focus.  I hope it works out!

And remember to visit this post from Swoon Worthy to read more details about” how use Pinterest to define your personal style”. It worked for me!

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5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With Plants

 5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With PlantsI am a plant lover because they are a sure (and easy) way of decorating a room and making it look gorgeous. You can’t go wrong with plants, not matter how many, which kind, or where from, unless you steal one from the Botanic Gardens, which I wouldn’t recommend anyway for obvious reasons.

(If you call yourself a plant killer, I want to assure you, you are not. You are simply a careless person that would rather hang out with friends or watch GOT instead of watering an alive being. I totally get it because I used to be that way, so I have one and only advice for you: water that plant once a week. No matter which kind, let’s start with small steps and water that plant every Sunday… not too much water, not too little. Set the alarm. See how it goes – it is a miracle- the plant will survive. You can worry about over or under watering it later, after you have developed feelings for the plant and decide you want to keep it in spite of friends and GOT).

Ok, enough rambling.

5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With Plants

Here are 5 tips to decorate your home with plants.

1) The first one (and a no brainer) is to buy plants that are easy to care for. Which ones are those, you might ask. Well, a short list of very easy to care plants include: ZZ plants, english ivy, snake plants, spider plants, fiddle leaf figs etc, etc.

For more on fiddle leaf figs, go here!

For this post, I used: wire vine, succulents (duh!), philodendron silver, and kangaroo paw fern. Here they are:

wire vinesucculentsphilodendron silverkangaroo paw fernThe wire vine has an unusual look that I am attracted to. A certain messiness and magic. The succulents are an obvious choice. They are easy to care for because they will survive a long time with no water, but they won’t thrive if they are dry. Make sure to follow the advice I gave you two paragraphs ago and water them every week no matter what.  The philodendron silver has been a wonderful discovery. It refuses to die. I have one in a small container in my kitchen and it keeps on growing even when I over water it. Finally, the Kangaroo Paw Fern is elegant and durable, like a lot of ferns. I would recommend any of the plants above for a nice new friend.

2) Be creative when choosing containers.

Anything that could fit a plant can be considered a potential vessel. I found this bird cage (see photo below) at a flea market. I also had an orange hanging lamp that was perfect for a plant but George broke it right before taking the photos for this post, so there you go, something didn’t want you to see that awesome lamp, but you get the idea. Cool containers can make a big difference for your plant set-up.

For inspiration, look at these cute pottery from Frances Palmer!

5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With Plants
3) Mismatch your containers.

Something else I like to do is using different type of containers that don’t necessarily go together 100%. This white and blue modern container is not the obvious choice for that boho hanger, but I thought, “what the heck,” I am going to be wild and unpredictable today so I will mesh together an hexagonal white planter, with a boho hanger, and a vintage bird cage like they were born from the same mother. I am 37 years old and I can cry if I want to. 5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With Plants4) Paint the pot. 

I didn’t like how the small white ceramic pot looked inside the bird cage so I painted it purple (see below). I like colorful pots but I couldn’t find the right color and size for the cage, so I painted a small ceramic pot purple. I like it. 5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With Plants5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With Plants

5) Use beautiful hangers.

Macrame hangers are in style now. You can find them just about everywhere. The one in the photo below was a flea market find before macrame was the new “it” thing. Well, now, 10 years later, the hanger has been put to good use. I like how it adds color to the mix and a little bit of a boho accent.

5 Creative (And Easy) Ways Of Decorating Your Home With PlantsTo recap:

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Let me know if this post was useful. Thanks for stopping by!

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