Monthly Archives: June 2020

  • How to decorate a bookshelf

    While the traditional purpose of bookshelves is to store your favourite books and present them to guests, they can also be utilised to add extra colour and vibrancy to your home.

    Whether it’s down to not being a heavy reader or simply wanting to prioritise decoration over storage, you may not even want to include books on your bookshelf. In this guide, we look at how you can decorate your bookshelves and alternative items you can display on them to accentuate your home.

    Parisian bookcase Our new Parisian bookcase

    How to decorate a bookcase in a living room

    A bookcase is one of several primary pieces of furniture in any living room. However, it’s unlikely to have the desired visual effect if it’s bland and uninteresting, or conversely if it’s overpowering. To avoid these outcomes, there are a few considerations you can bear in mind when decorating your bookcase, such as:

    Harmony between ornaments

    The intention of putting ornaments on your bookcase is to complement this piece of furniture and the rest of the room. It can be a challenge to find objects that share a similar colour or style while all being unique, but as long as you select items that stay within the same theme, you should be able to make it work.

    Contrast in moderation

    Although consistency through similar colours and styles can help you to create a chic look when decorating a bookcase, you may want to consider putting different objects in for contrast. This could be something as simple as introducing a circular shape on a shelf full of square ornaments, or even wallpapering a section of the shelf a different colour to your ornaments to make them stand out.

    Ornament placement

    Finding appropriate objects to fill the gaps on your bookshelf is one thing, but it’s also important to put some thought into how you display them. One thing to bear in mind is to never make your ornament placement one dimensional, as it will end up looking more like a means to an end for storage than an impressive visual display.

    When arranging your ornaments, put larger objects at the back and smaller items at the front. If you intend to include a lot of ornaments on your bookcase, you could place some of them at different angles so they face different parts of the room.

    Alter the style of your bookcase

    If you’ve done all you can in terms of decorating your bookcase and still feel like it somehow doesn’t suit your living room, it could be that your bookcase requires a facelift. Changing the shape of your bookcase might not be possible, but you could consider painting it a different colour so it flows better with the other items of furniture in your living room. Alternatively, see our guide on how to position your bookcase in your living room for some more harmonic interior inspiration.

    close up of wooden rack with books in living room

    What to put on a bookshelf


    When picking out ornaments, you might look out for specific items that work well together based on colour, style, shape or type, or it might simply be a case of getting what you like the look of at the time and improvising when it comes to finding the right place for it.

    Below, we look at some of the objects in your living room that you could use to decorate your bookcase:


    Obviously, bookcases are built to house several shelves of books, but you can enhance the look of these furnishings by changing how the books are displayed. For example, you could mix up the sizes to make a varied pattern across the shelves, contrasting colours and textures to make it interesting to look at.

    Picture frames

    When spaced out correctly and used sparingly, picture frames can add colour and personalisation to a bookcase. Larger picture frames are suitable for filling big spaces and if there’s a gap between books and the edge of the shelf, you could use smaller picture frames to make the shelf look more populated.

    Boxes and baskets

    Both boxes and baskets are frequently used for decorating a home, as they can look good while also storing small bits and pieces that could otherwise be easily misplaced. They’re also useful for filling up large gaps on shelves and stacking on top of each other.


    Pieces of art - whether it’s a picture small enough to fit on a shelf or a visually pleasing ornament - are the perfect way of adding an element of culture to your living room. Depending on the shape of the piece, you could place it in front of a book, lean it against the end of the shelf or use a few pieces across separate shelves to show balance and bring the composition together.

    Can you put a lamp on a bookshelf?

    A lamp can make a great addition to a bookshelf. By adding one of these lighting accessories, you’re able to include an aesthetically pleasing ornament while also illuminating your bookshelf to make it stand out. The only issue that may become a problem is wiring, as it could ruin the sleek appearance to see a single wire dangling off the side of one of the shelves.

    However, you could consider drilling a small hole in the side of the bookcase, running the wire through it and plugging it in to a nearby socket, or you could use battery-powered LED lights instead.

    Fern xx

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  • How to arrange bookcases in the living room

    Not only does your bookcase provide a practical and convenient place to store your books, the content of your bookcase also illustrates your interests, style and personality. What you choose to display on your bookcase can say a lot about you, but while they’re widely recognised as suitable storage for your favourite reads, a bookcase can also offer another element to your home’s design.

    Along with sofas, coffee tables, lamps, plants, sets of drawers and ornaments, a bookcase is an important component of any living room. However, it’s only possible to strike a balance for the desired design of your living room by utilising these items in the correct way. Read on to find out how you can incorporate a bookcase in your living room.

    Where to put bookcases in a living room


    Before you choose the best location for your bookcase, you should consider a number of factors:


    An aesthetically pleasing bookcase is all well and good, but it’s not much use if it’s poorly situated. Consider putting your bookcase close to sofas or a dining set to make it easier to retrieve and read any of the books on it. That said, where you put your bookcase depends on how much you wish to read books from your collection or what you need the bookcase for. For example, if you frequently work from home, you may need specific books close to hand, but if you read casually but not often, overly easy access to your bookcase is not as important.


    Introducing another piece of furniture - however big or small - can alter the shape of your living room. You don’t want everything to be grouped together in the centre of the room just as you wouldn’t want everything to be at opposing sides of the area available to you, so it’s important to strike a balance by spacing everything out evenly.


    Aside from book storage and visual appearance, you have the option of making more uses out of your bookcase. It’s unlikely that you’ll want your bookcase to become a glorified drinks coaster, but if it’s situated near to sofas and chairs, it could be a good place to temporarily hold drinks, especially if you’re entertaining guests. Alternatively, if you have an entertainment system or games console in your living room, you could put your bookcase near to your television and use it to store DVDs, blu-ray and videogames.


    Even if you’ve gone out of your way to keep your furniture evenly spaced out around your living room, you may want to consider grouping your bookcase with another piece of furniture. This is likely to require some trial and error until you’re suitably happy, but if the design suits your sofa, fireplace, sideboard or television stand, it could be best suited near it.


    Organising your living room in an effective manner is partly down to finding a harmony between every piece of furniture, alongside other components such as the flooring, colour and structural design of the room. It’s likely that you will have been wary of ruining this harmony when you first picked out your bookcase, but as much as you will want to make it work with how your living room is already set out, it’s also important to make use of the bookcase’s design.

    Introducing another piece of furniture such as a bookcase should accentuate the other elements that are already in your living room rather than making everything conflict with each other. For instance, if it was designed to be put into a corner, that’s likely to be the best place for it, and if it’s especially tall, it shouldn’t be put somewhere that it’ll stand out.

    A bookcase placed in the middle of a luxury sitting room.

    Can you put a bookshelf in front of a window?

    When you’re planning where to put your bookcase, you may consider putting it in front of a window. Whether it’s out of preference or simply due to a lack of space elsewhere, it’s worth considering, but you may be concerned if it would look clunky or block out natural light.

    Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid both of these potential issues by only partially covering the window with the bookcase. Tall bookcases are capable of covering just one side of a window, while short bookcases that block only the bottom of the window could also be utilized. Although not traditionally recommended, if a loss of natural light can be tolerated and you are struggling to find a better location for your book storage solutions, individual bookshelves that overlap across a section of the window could provide a good compromise.

  • A guide to UK bed sizes to find your perfect bed

    Large Rococo French style bed in a spacious white bedroom.

    Considering we spend a third of our lives asleep, it’s important to find the perfect bed to rest our heads. As the central feature of a bedroom, it’s only natural to crave a piece of furniture that is as comfortable as it is stylish. Whether you’re relocating, redecorating or simply think it’s time for an upgrade, choosing a new bed should always begin with finding the right size.

    First things first, obtain the proper measurements of your bedroom to see what your potential bed size could be. If the bed is intended for two adults, it’s recommended to opt for one at least 10cm longer than the tallest person.

    Bed sizes in the UK are usually measured by the size of the mattress they hold. However, always go by the size of the bed frame when you are using them for how much space you can afford since they will always be slightly bigger than the mattress size. Note that some retailers have their own size guide for their products which may differ from typical measurements.

    This handy table gives some of the standard dimensions for most modern mattresses:


    Name of bed/mattress Imperial Size Metric Size
    Small single 2’6” x 6’3” 75 x 190 cm
    Single 3’ x 6’3” 90 x 190 cm
    Small double 4’ x 6’3” 120 x 190 cm
    Double 4’6” x 6’3” 135 x 190 cm
    King 5’ x 6’6” 150 x 200 cm
    Super King 6’ x 6’6” 180 x 200 cm


    What is the biggest bed size?


    The super king bed is the largest of all UK bed sizes. A huge 6’ x 6’6”, a super king provides copious amounts of space, perfect for families to lounge on as a Sunday morning alternative to the sofa. Couples also sleep better in a bigger bed. If your partner is prone to tossing and turning and disturbing you in their sleep, you’ll have the room to migrate across your expansive mattress.

    If you have a grandmaster bedroom, a super king will fit seamlessly as the centrepiece of the room. There are plenty of styles and models, such as sleigh beds and rattan frames available to help you achieve your desired aesthetic.


    How big is a super king size bed?

    As mentioned above, a super king bed measures at 6’ x 6’6”. A UK super king is the same size as a European super king. It’s globally acknowledged that if people had the choice, they would opt for an extra few inches of comfort to promise a good night’s sleep. Whether you need more room to sprawl out or you simply like the grandeur associated with a bigger bed, you can’t go wrong with the abundance of space offered by the mammoth of the bed world.


    What size is a standard double bed?

    The most common and widely available bed size is the standard double, measuring at 4’6” x 6’ 3”. The double was designed in order for two people to sleep together comfortably, although their popularity is largely down to the fact that they can accommodate adults, couples and teenagers. For single sleepers, doubles provide ample space if more room than a single bed is required.


    How big is a queen size bed?

    The dimensions of a queen size bed can be quite ambiguous, as many people consider a small double to be a queen, although others disagree and deem them to be the same as a king size bed.

    In the UK, a small double measured at 4’ x 6’3” is often referred to as a queen or a three-quarter bed, in the way that it is wider than a standard single bed but not as wide as a double. It’s the ideal choice for those who sleep alone but would prefer more legroom, or even couples who prefer being closer together during their sleep. Queen size beds are often placed in smaller bedrooms or guest rooms as an alternative to a standard single or double.

    Is a queen bed bigger than a king?

    A queen-sized bed in the UK, measuring in at 4’ x 6’3,” is smaller than a king sized bed which boasts more space at 5’ x 6’6”. A queen bed is a small double bed and the perfect solution for those who would benefit from a wide sleeping space but have a bedroom where floor space is limited.

    Note that the phrase ‘queen size’ originates from America, which unlike the UK, considers queens to be either the equivalent size or slightly smaller than a king, so there are often overseas examples of queen size measuring over 5’.


    What are the dimensions of a king size bed?

    A standard king size bed is 5’ x 6’6”. Typically, the length of any double, or smaller bed, is 6’3”. The king size is the longest in length out of all of the beds, along with the super king, with the dimension of 6’6”. A king size bed provides more room than a double for two adults and is often favoured for bigger bedrooms which have the space to facilitate a larger bed.


    Make the most of the space you have. Fern xx

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