How Real People Do Bookshelf Styling

When I see styled bookshelves in blogs and design magazines, the first thing that comes to mind is how fake they look. Almost everybody I know has a lot more books and knick-knacks than a styled bookshelf can afford, so, what do we do with the “extra” stuff? For real people, design has to beautiful and practical.

My friends Yassi and Daniela have very excellent taste. Their apartment in West Hollywood is always beautiful, tidy and comfy. They have hundreds of books and beautiful pieces. Last year, they updated their bookshelves. Here is the result. Answers by Yassi.

What is your decorating style?

I’m not sure i have a “style” but i guess would say it’s Eclectic Mid-Century Modern. I like clean lines and muted colors (with an occasional pop of color), not too many embellishments. I’m not a fan of gilded mirrors or crystal vases or antique frames but that being said, I love the idea of mixing modern and old hand crafted items with history behind them. (i.e. my dream house would be filled with mid-century furniture but with old antique Persian rugs, hand made pottery, and textiles).

How did you decide to style your bookshelf?

I’ve ALWAYS loved rooms with bookshelves. The rooms in houses with walls or shelves of books are always my favorite spaces in peoples homes (besides the kitchen) and my ideal “me” space would be to have a room with built in shelves filled with books and keepsakes. I want to one day get a custom Vitsoe shelving system in our house, but they don’t come cheap so the current Elfa system from the Container Store was a less costly compromise until i can get my hands on my dream Vitsoe! do you like the most about your bookshelf?

It makes me so happy to just look at it. It sounds silly but looking at my books and all the little sentimental pieces we have collected over the years really makes me happy. Each book and each item on there represents a specific time or place or person in our lives and it really does make our house a home.

What do you like the least about your bookshelf?

I regret not making the shelf a little longer and extending it to the left – thats the plan for later in the year, to get rid of the cd racks that are mounted next to it and extend the Elfa . is there in your bookshelf and how did you pick what to put on them? Any favorite item?

Books and stuff we have collected or people have given us over the years (my brothers candle holders, his vases, A big print from my cousin Ladan, items from Iran, Brazil or Mexico travels, etc….) there is no favorite item.  If we find something sentimental or someone gives us a gift or comes back from a trip with a small enough souvenir, then it finds itself somewhere up there.

Any advice on styling your bookshelf?

Not really – each person has their own way of expressing themselves and decorating and taste is unique. I would say that over cluttering should be avoided and that there has to be some sort of symmetry and harmony of themes when it comes to book organizing. I’m not a fan of color coding my books by spine color – it may look nicer on peoples Instagram posts but i’ve always felt like it would be impossible to organize the books by subject or author, which to me is key. I’ve arranged my books by subject, size and by date I read them – in that order. styling2 styling

Thanks, Yassi and Daniela! This wedding announcement photo was taken by Yassi’s brother Kacy Jahanbini, who is one of the best photographers I know.


Also, a post about how to take better interior photography, Lindsey Hampton gorgeous ceramics, and a beautiful country house in Costa Rica. 

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Snooping On Etsy: Beautiful Sconces

Who wouldn’t want nice sconces in their home? I know I would, so I headed to Etsy to research what they got in this department. As always, Etsy didn’t dissapoint. There are so many beautiful alternatives from modern minimalist brass to antique colorful options. Ideally, I will get a black variety for our master bedroom, to position on each side of the bed.

In this search, I only looked for electric options but there are also plenty of different sconces for candles, which I think are also charming and beautiful.

The nice perk about most Etsy products is that they come in many varieties and can be individualized by sending a request to an Easy owner. If you see something you like, but it doesn’t perfectly fit 100% what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to contact the shop and see what they can do for you.

Here are my final choices, of all colors, styles and prices. Let me know what do you think.


Also, a list of beautiful light fixtures, gorgeous woven wall hangings, and, hanging rattan chairs. Gwendolyn Wall Sconce – $209 – Worleys Royal Sconce – $399 – Worleys Sconce – $179 – Worleys Walnut and Brass Wall Lamp – $105 – Pendant Edison Lamp – $188 -Fernweh Sputnik Wall Sconce –  $289 – Nautical Sconce – $135 – Boxwood Lights Plug In Wall Sconce – $99 – BoxWood Angle Pendant – $145 – Gagan Pair Of French Vintage Wall Lights -$155.50 – Label Wine Bottle Sconce – $68 – Linden – $200 – Park Studio – $250 – Park Studio Wall Sconce Modern Lighting White And Brass – $59 – Pair French Art Nouveau Wall Sconces – $167.75 – Daisy Roots Green Glass Wall Sconce, 1930’s – $299 – I Like Style Glass Wall Sconce – $102.74 –  Light With Wall Sconce With Brass Lampholder – $67.59 – Spark And Wall Sconce With White Ceramic Lamp Holder – $64.65 – Spark And Sconce With Black Bakelite Lamp Holder – $64.65 – Spark And Bell Myrtle – $155 – Triple Seven Frank – $160 – Triple Seven Newt – $98 – Triple Seven Modern Brass Light – $190 – Triple Seven Double Glass Globe – $99 – Pepe And Wall Sconce Vanity Gold Brass – $109 – Illuminate Brass Wall Sconce Light – $40 – Wall Sconce – $104 – Tasso White Wall Sconce – $21 – Patty Mora Vintage

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Before & After Campaign Dresser And A Trick To Help You Drill had to drill 128 wholes to finish this dresser in the photo above. 128 wholes that needed to be perfectly straight. Not an easy task.

Here is how the dresser looked like before: is how it looks now: better, don’t you think?

I wanted to go for a campaign dresser look. I added flat corners and pulls. Sprayed them gold and attached them to the dresser. I started drilling, I failed miserably. I couldn’t do a straight hole! If you don’t master a straight hole, the brackets end up crooked, so I needed to figure this out. Interesting how DIY bloggers mention drilling like it is the easiest thing to do when it is NOT. But it is not the hardest neither, once you learned this one trick that George mentioned:


To do this,

  1. First, look at the drill from above and make sure it is not tilted to the right or left. It needs to look like this:

2. Now, look from the side and make sure the same is true. Your drill needs to be perfectly straight. Not tilted to the bottom or up, so, don’t do this: 3. After making sure Step 1 and Step 2 are in place, apply force when drilling and you are done.

So there, now you know all the secrets to have a wonderful DIY life.


Also, a post on how to paint your walls, three beautiful flower arrangements, and a lavender wreath DIY.


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Casa Simple – A Lesson On Unpretentious Design simple AD1Sometimes, you see homes in Design Magazines that catch your attention immediately. This happened to me with Casa Simple – AD Spain. The serene and unpretentious interior caught me eye. Its big ceilings, colorful floors, minimalist and purposeful design made me giggle. There are so many good ideas in this place, let’s take a look. simple AD2The tall windows are a definite yes. Also, the white walls. In general, I like more color in my house, but the gorgeous floors make up for it. I want those tiles in my kitchen! simple simple AD4 simple AD5The simplicity of the ceiling bulbs is perfect. The lines created by the cords fill up the space effortlessly. A reminder that unassuming decisions can be very sophisticated.

The art is kept to a minimum, not my normal cup of tea, but here it works. The positions of the plates on the wall are asymmetrical but perfectly balance. Honest decor that has light as its main component. simple AD6 simple AD7 simple AD8 simple simple AD10 This home has wonderful curated furniture. Look at that deco dresser, for example, or the Eames chair, or the Manises lamp… and that floor again. simple AD11 simple AD12 simple simple simple AD15 simple AD18] simple AD17 simple simple AD19 simple AD20 simple AD21 simple AD22This vintage shower surprised me. The idea of leaving the copper pipes out in the open is a great simple AD23 simple AD24 simple AD25 simple AD26 simple AD27

So, what did you think? are there any homes that inspire you? A house that you fell in love with? I would love to hear and see.


Also, some posts about beautiful homes in the Balearic islands, white floors, and, Eames chairs.

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What I See A Lot On Pinterest – Colorful Sofas

Lately, I am not a fan of neutral sofas. Every single interior photo that I am pinning has a colorful couch to go with it. A pop of color like that catches my attention, excites me, and makes me very, very happy. I am not somebody to shy away from color, but I know a lot of people out there do. Even if you don’t like a colorful home, you can have a vibrant sofa surrounded with neutral colors. Now, if you like color, you could have the sofa surrounded by even more color, which is the way I would go.

Colorful sofas are a big trend today. They can bring a room back to life. They are also a risky proposition. It is hard to commit to a vibrant couch for years to come because you always have to decorate around it, but, remember, sometimes challenges can surge creativity.

In my opinion, radiant pieces of furniture are an asset you don’t want to shy away from. Why take the easy route? Get that colorful piece that will be a topic of conversation instead of the neutral couch that won’t. Just saying, let’s get out of our comfort zone!

I know I will when I have enough energy (and money) to tackle my next decoration project. I am thinking of the dining room or my bedroom… We will see.

Here are some photos of colorful sofas that have grabbed my attention lately. Do you like any of them? Any color preference? Would love to hear.


Also, a post on light fixtures for your home, the best selection of hanging rattan chairs, and choosing the right color for your the exterior of your house.


Photo above from Anna Elizabeth Events The Glitter & Home Happy Big Da Delicadeza On A Tin Erika Sheer Paint French Rue Brit + My Moss

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