The only time I’ll acknowledge the usefulness in my learning math is when I’m arranging books. Styling a shelf is a frustrating yet rewarding process for a perfectionist like yours truly. So I’ve listed a few of the guidelines I like to follow in my methodical madness.
The Holy Trinity: When in doubt, group in threes. It lends to a more balanced, intentional appearance. The same rule can go for colors. Obviously with books things will get pretty varied in color, so keep your accent items neutral. Otherwise, stick to a palette of 3 colors. A little trick I like is to turn the books spine-backward. This is perfect for when you want your sacred collection of Harry Potter books to get the devotion they deserve without distracting from the rest of the shelf.
Stay symmetrical: What you do in one space, reflect in the opposing space. Simply put, if you fill an area to the left with larger items, do the same in the area to its right.
Less is more: This one seems obvious, but isn’t as instinctive when you’re all up in there. When you’re laser-focused on arranging a small space, you can lose sight of what the overall effect will be. Take a step back, literally, and regain perspective.
All about angles: The *shelfie* kind. Think in triangles; go wider on the bottom, narrower toward the top. Group smaller objects around a larger or taller object so that it all looks cohesive rather than cluttered.
Show & Tell: Get crafty and use items that you already own to showcase what you love. Old notebooks, jars, candle tins, and frames are perfect around-the-house items that can be organized and arranged for a finishing touch. The pressed flowers I have on my shelf were caught at a Brand New concert, and I would sooner throw out my savings account than I would those precious petals. So I pressed them into a glass-backed frame, and now it’s my favorite piece on my bookshelf.