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Travel mementos, books and objects d'art all share one thing: All need a place to be displayed. If proper shelving is available, all these items can be quite decorative.
Of course, the amount of wall space available and the amount of actual shelf space needed must be considered. Planning a library, for example, involves a little estimating.
Figure, for example, eight to 10 hardbound books per running foot of shelf. Paperbacks will take much less room, about one-half to two-thirds of the space needed by hardcovers. Remember to allow space for books that might be added later to the collection.
For a decorator look, the shelves should be interspersed with decorative accessories placed among and between groups of books. Books also are more attractive if some are standing up while others are positioned flat on the hard cover. Those that are flat might look better if some accessory is placed on top of them.
Unless the books or art pieces are all quite uniform, it is better to stagger the shelves so the spaces between them are asymmetrical. This gives a more interesting look than having every shelf across the wall at the same level.
Some spaces may be filled by placing a picture on the wall instead of books or other art, or this same picture might be placed above the art or books if space permits. Here again, the picture brings creativity and interest to the wall.
An occasional green plant (either real or silk) will certainly enhance any wall shelving. It will not only bring a calming color to the wall but will make the shelving feel warmer. Framed family pictures or pictures of the dog interspersed among the books is another wall warmer that works well in any wall shelving.
Whether the shelving is built from the floor up, from the wall out or suspended down the ceiling, it will afford great storage and practical decor.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers.