Bookshelves add visual interest, texture and color to a space. They immediately create depth and serve as a platform for your home to express your story through favorite titles, collections, art or a combination of all.
I especially love bookshelf layouts that are unexpected, like the one below surrounding a grand arched window. Bookshelves encasing a room opening are timeless, evoking an intimate feeling in one space, while framing the entrance to the next room.
As the two examples display below, bookshelves may double the function of a space. Perhaps a room serves as both a study and a guest room, as one photo suggests. One may imagine this bed a Murphy-style bed folding back into the wall, transporting the room to its singular function of study. If the bed remains stationary, one imagines it resides well with a desk or reading chairs opposite it.
I’m always drawn to the idea of a dining room that also serves as a library or office. A dining room experiences elevated use this way and conversely delivers a unique dining experience.
Photo Credit: Instagram @markdsikes_interiors
Photo Credit: left, Instagram @dominomag; right, @gregoriouspineo
Niches may provide clever storage or create the illusion of additional square footage to an otherwise small space. For instance, a niche can be created in front of a window by adding a ledge to house a window seat or floating settee, as photographed here.
A bed and bookshelves built into a niche enhances the size of a bedroom challenged by little floor space.
I adore the secret bar designed into an existing closet. Not only does it create unexpected whimsy, but it solves this home owner’s need without taking up unnecessary space. Years ago, I placed a desk inside a similar small closet. A free-standing desk in the tight space would have proved cumbersome, and the owners loved that their messy workspace could disappear with the mere slide of a door.
Photo Credit: Instagram @collins_interiors
Photo Credit: left, Instagram @milesredd; right, @mcgrath2
The reflective quality of mirrors adhered to walls or the back of bookshelves adds light, opens up small spaces and brings drama to large ones. Antiqued glass flanking this fireplace below delivers instant patina and character to this living room. The position and dramatic height of the glass creates the illusion of two additional windows in the space. The reflection of the mirror on the right tricks the eye to briefly believe there is a room beyond the one we see, hence expanding the space effortlessly.
Photo Credit: Instagram @beataheuman
Paint, wallpaper or any treatment of the ceiling enhances the architectural character of a space. For years, the ceiling was rarely addressed in design. Often times, especially with a lower ceiling, the solution was to paint it away. I love this room with the high gloss persimmon ceiling. The reflective quality gives the illusion of height and the eye is immediately drawn upward. Yet, the rich wood of the secretary anchors the space to achieve balance.
Bold shapes painted on a hallway ceiling like the example below add instant drama to an otherwise white corridor. Notice the large scale of the black ceiling shapes in contrast to the small black tile squares on the floor. If they were similar in scale, the space would become static and the shapes would compete with each other instead of working harmoniously.
The blue lacquered entry transports this confining elevator entrance into a show stopping jewel box. By painting the ceiling, one enters the space and feels enveloped by rich color and style.
Photo Credit: Instagram @williamwaldronphoto
Photo Credit: left, Instagram @fabriziocasiraghi; right, @victoriahaganinteriors
Partitions and wall appliqué like molding add layers of interest and define spaces. Glass door partitions help define this small entry. The moveable transparent wall provides boundaries and allows the marble tile to transition easily to the adjacent hardwood floor.
Rustic wood beams on the kitchen ceiling pictured below provide stark contrast when paired with the smooth marble counters and classical molding appliqué surrounding the sconce.
Architectural embellishments ultimately add character, texture and interest to your home. If you’re considering enhance your space, keep these tips in mind and realize the added value they can bring to your home.
Photo Credit: Instagram @alexandraraedesign
Photo Credit: Instagram @crystalsinclairdesigns