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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Books on a Shelf

I love to watch a show called “Home By Novogratz”. With seven children, and a busy Interior Design company, it piqued my interest from the moment it began. Then, when I learned their children’s names were Breaker, Wolfgang, Tallulah, Five, Holleder, Bellamy and Major, I was hooked; creativity is definitely not limited in this New York City based family.

One thing I love, is that even though their clients usually have generous budgets, their design dilemmas are just as ordinary as yours and mine. Sometimes, even more so; space is at a premium in NYC, and it takes careful planning to marry unique (and beautiful) ideas with a practical floor plan.

Recently, I watched two episodes where the owner’s had hundreds and thousands of books. Fortunately, the apartments had built-in bookshelves, but they weren’t fancy, and they still had to make the higgledy piggledy collection fit into the overall design of the rooms. Their books were a reflection of who they were; not artfully chosen by a decorator, and they weren’t all pretty, sitting on a coffee table; they had been collected for all sorts of reasons throughout the years, and they were not being discarded to fit into someone else’s preconceived design plan. They needed to fit into the home, regardless of the space they were given.

Book shelves are one of my favorite accessories in a home, and, like the Novogratz’s, I don’t think it matters what is on them, or what the books are about; every shelf can look good with a little tweaking. I know it may seem like a silly notion to spend time fussing over your books, but in reality, it actually makes you appreciate (and remember) what you have, as well as free up space for lots of other things.

After watching the latest episode, I liked how they simplified their approach to this massive amount of books. From what I can remember, they suggested three different ways to organize a collection: Color, Subject and Size. Simple.

Thank you to Cortney and Bob Novogratz for your inspiration, and practical creativity!

Main Photograph from Suzanne Vega’s home (by Novogratz), Middle Photograph from Dave Perler’s home (by Novogratz) and Bottom Photograph from Canadian Home.

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