Mixing, Matching and Coordinating Furniture: Tips for Amateur Designers

You can buy a fully coordinated furniture set, and for some people, they love nothing better. However, I like to mix and match things. Hi. My name is Connie, and I love the challenge of pairing different types of furniture together. I like mixing different woods, different sizes, different time periods and different patterns together. It is a bit of a skill and art, and I want to share tips and ideas with others. If you need furniture ideas, you have come to the right place. I invite you to grab a cup of tea and a snack, get comfortable and start reading. I hope you leave this blog inspired.

The Bibliophile's Dream: things to consider when having your custom bookcase designed

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If you own a lot of books—a couple of thousand or more—you'll be familiar with the difficulties inherent in storing them all. They need to be accessible, properly arranged and well-protected, all while using the space you've got as efficiently as possible; you probably don't have the luxury of your own private library wing, after all! Custom designed bookcases can be a godsend for the dedicated bibliophile, but it's important to get it right at the design stages. Read on for ten top tips that will help you end up with the perfect bookcase storage solution.

  1. Have a look around the room or rooms you'll be having kitted out with new shelves. Where's the hidden space? Is there room for an extra sneaky shelf or two above the doorframe, or in front of the radiator? Use your custom furniture to get the most out of every inch you have available to you.  
  2. The most important thing of all is going to be measuring your new library. If the company making your bookcases offers a measuring service, it's well worth taking them up on it; accurate measurements are key. If they don't, be sure to have someone help you as you measure your walls and check everything twice before you send the numbers over.  
  3. Make sure you have a good idea of how many books you really own. Many people drastically over- or under-estimate things like collection sizes, so it's important to put a bit of effort into making sure your 'rough guess' is at least mostly accurate. One good way to do this is to measure your existing shelves, count the books on one shelf, one by one, and multiply that number by how many shelves you've filled to get a total. It won't be perfect, but it will be pretty close. This will help the people making your new bookcases to draw up the perfect design.  
  4. Don't forget to leave room in the finished design for more books. There's no point investing in a way to store a growing collection without making sure there's room for that collection to grow, after all.  
  5. Find out whether or not the room you're having the shelves built for has ever had problems with damp. Damp can kill books, but the problem is surmountable: you just need to ensure that all your bookshelves have proper backs (so none of your books are resting against the wall itself) and that there's a built-in gap behind the case to let air circulate. Make sure you talk to your carpenters about this before they start work, as they'll need to know about the problem in advance.  

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13 June 2016