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Case Closed

Do you ever wonder how to put together compelling arrangements on a bookshelf, tabletop or wall? The key to creating them is balance. The easiest way to do this is with color.

I used this principle to help me find storage bins for a wall of bookcases in my living room. My goal was to create more texture and storage with bins made out of natural materials. To see the beginning of the process, take a look at my post from last week, Bookcase Basket Case. Here is a before shot, without bins.

Notice how I already applied the color balance theory with the burnt umber color. It’s in the picture frame mats, the tray on top of the middle bookcase and the curtain trim.

Now for the bins. My search brought me to The Container Store, where I found several options to complement the colors that are already in the room. Which do you think will work? Let’s try them out and see.

Below is the Whitewashed Wood Bin. The color is similar to that of the end bookcases and picture frames. It doesn’t work. It blends in too well and doesn’t add visual interest.

The Whitewash Rattan Bin below looks like a great choice. It pulls colors from the curtain and picture frame mat. What happens, though, is that the eye perceives the end bookcases as separate from the middle one because there isn’t a balance of lights and darks between them.

Now for my favorite option, the Maize Bin, which is woven from twisted maize fibers. Its color is similar to ones found in the floral print. It also brings a dark element over from the middle bookcase. It keeps the eye moving around the entire arrangement and makes it feel like a whole - balance!

Here is a shot with the bins in place.

You may have noticed that I also added a curtain to the middle bookcase. After putting everything together, the visual chaos of the books, puzzles and games still bothered me, no matter how many times I rearranged the shelves. To solve this, I found a heavy weight herringbone that coordinates with the bins and adds to the balance of colors. At the end of the day, I can cover everything up and enjoy a sense of calm.

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