Knick-Knack Patty Whack

I know I’ve been ranting a lot about our new home site that we just bought, so I figured we should probably return to the world of our real home for a while.

About 3 weeks ago, I noticed that there was an empty corner looming in our dining area. It was an area that was completely non-functional, with the exception of housing the door to our heating system and air vent. So, I turned to my ever trusty friend Craigslist to help me fill the void. I found this little black bookcase that really seemed like it might fit the area well. It is only about 5’6″ and fits perfectly between the edge of the wall and our air conditioning control pad.

The shelf is really functional because not only does it provide a place at the top to display items, but the bottom is hidden and has become a great place to hide puzzles, non-hardback books, papers, etc. I didn’t want the whole top area to be filled with books, so I headed to Goodwill where I picked up all of the white dishes and knick-knacks for only about $12. All of the empty spaces will someday be filled with hardbacks (as we collect them).

Here’s a couple of tips for filling your shelf with those little knick-knacks that make or break a display:

*Items should be grouped in odd numbers. A group of items with 1, 3, or 5 items is much more pleasing to the eye that one with 2, 4, or 6 items. If you experiment, you’ll probably find this to be true in your decorating as well!

* Find items that complement YOUR taste and personality. Items that are on display in your home should say something about you. For example, there is an oversized chess piece on our shelf because Jason likes chess and there is a jar with a barn on it to represent my farming family. There are also books about cooking, decorating, math, and Biblical topics because all of these things represent our interests.The pink flowers on the center shelf were given to me one night by my 4-year-old.

* Find a theme for your knick-knacks. On my shelf, most of the knick-knacks are white and the books are arranged by color. The one green vase in the center gives a little off-beat feeling in the center of the sea of white.

There are two more things I hope to do with this bookcase. First, I hope to accumulate quite a few more hardback books to fill the empty spaces. Second, I would like to wallpaper the back of the shelves in order to create a little more interest.

So how about you? What do you find makes or breaks your shelves? Do you like to fill the space with meaningful knick-knacks? What kinds of things do you have sitting around that represent your family? Leave a comment and let us know!

BTW, posts for the next few days will probably be really scattered because we are trying to work on two houses at one time. Although that gives me twice as much to jabber about, it also takes twice as much of my time. I’ll try to drop in to post as often as I can manage!


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