That was more or less the question I was asked recently by someone who had just read this post about decorating above the cabinets.
I couldn’t help but dig in. :-)
I don’t often go into too much depth responding in a post. I have a design service for these types of questions, but well, I couldn’t resist this one.
She had a beautiful living room. Very nicely done and complete, except…..
….for the overbearing dark bookcase behind the sofa.
It was bothering her, mainly because she felt it was too short and had googled around for help about what to do when your cabinets need some decorating on top.
When I get questions like this, I try to answer them directly and not veer too much off topic. 9 times out of 10, people just want a little suggestion, not a complete redirect. But….since she asked….well, I wanted to share some insight.
Decorating Advice For Her Cabinet
I first suggested some ginger jars stacked up there along with some white objects within the bookcase to lighten it up. After that, I received this question.
“Great idea. Thank you! I didn't realize it was so "dark" in the shelves until I took that picture - yikes! Should the jars almost reach the ceiling? I am including another picture of more of the living room - wondering if I should do more of the blue/white like I have on the mantel, or would you still recommend all white on top? I may be addicted to your site!”
"You could mix. Very pretty room!"
Then she added this.
"Sorry for all of my questions… if this were a living room you were asked to “fix” would you suggest getting a different bookcase that was taller and lighter in color, perhaps antiqued grey oak?"
Here was my answer.
"Probably. I think it's almost too much bookshelf for the room. Something more narrow and taller actually might be good to give the room some height. I think it feels a little bulky and wide to me. If it was half that width, then you could do some art on each side, maybe 2 on each side, stacked vertically. It's almost a little crowded, I think."
"Anywhere around a 5' width should be good. I just feel like the bookcase and the sofa are really too much the same length and you would benefit from the variation. Also, you can see that the way the items are grouped (in my diagram) makes for an even wider visual there, without taking up bulk. Maybe something like this piece?"
Do you have a design question or something you need “fixed”? Here’s my service for a Q&A that’ll get my attention for your specific needs.
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