CRACKING THE CASE


In theory, I love the promise that an empty bookshelf holds:  Oh to fill that blank canvas with literature, art, photographs, mementos, souvenirs from exotic travels and curiosities large and small.  Built-ins or bust, baby!  Perhaps the only thing better than curating a cabinet of your own is perusing the shelves of friends, family members, neighbors and style icons to decode the story that their collections tell.  The interest that bookshelves garner is why –in practice– the art of displaying our treasures can be more than a little intimidating.  As with most things in life, having the benefit of a trusted editor is extremely valuable.  To whit, today I’ve enlisted the help of my friend and designer, Lauren Cuneo, to help us crack the proverbial “case.”  After years of experience in the design world, Lauren recently launched her interior design business, “LC Home,” founded on the premise that: “A home should be filled with lots of personality, happiness and unexpected touches.”

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LC Home — Client Living Room

I can’t wait to share the many photos that I snapped when I visited Lauren’s gorgeous home, as well as her fantastic tips for styling bookcases and beyond.  But first…Let me take a shelfie:

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My designer, Brooke Crew, recently helped me update my bookshelves for spring/summer with some bone inlaid accents.  They happily blend with the silver, crystal and wood pieces that are interwoven with my books & mementos.  Here, a few more fun “shelfies” from around the design world to whet our whistles:

Katie Ridder and her daughter at her family’s home in Pebble Beach…

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A lovely book nook…

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Love this mix and the green accents!

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George Stephanopolous and Ali Wentworth’s home…

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The library in Patricia Herrera Lansing’s New York apartment…

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Ikea bookshelves punched up with the backdrop of a strong color…

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A traditional take…

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And a casual take with a healthy dose of color, color and more color!

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Here are a few of the bookcases that Lauren has styled:  In her living room…

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In a client’s home…

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And in her sons’ playroom.

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Lauren is constantly re-arranging her furniture and home accessories as she finds new things that she loves or experiments with how “old” pieces can be used in new and inspired ways.  She offers up the following advice when it comes to bookcase beautification:

LAUREN’S TIPS FOR STYLISH SHELVES

* VARYING HEIGHTS:  An easy way to update your shelves and to add visual interest is by varying heights of objects using risers or stacks of books.

* CHOOSE BOOKS & OBJECTS WITH MEANING:  It’s so nice to walk into a family room and see pieces that tell a story about the family.  A recent project involved a family with three active boys who love the beach and water sports — so we began by filling the shelves with a foundation of books about surfing and favorite tropical vacation destinations.

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Lauren’s book collection is true to form — reflecting her love for design and enchanting cities!

COLOR:  Just because you’re afraid of doing marine blue venetian plaster walls doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with color in your bookshelves.  You can have a serene creamy living room and still allow yourself a few colorful accessories.

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A cheerful beach ball painting makes its way into Lauren’s living room bookcase vignette.

OVERSIZED:  There are some cool big colorful objects out there that wouldn’t seem so big on the top of bookshelves and add a little playfulness to your room.

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It’s not a bookshelf per se…but I do love the oar that Lauren casually displays on her living room mantle.

TEXTURE:  There’s color then there is texture.  Texture on bookshelves can be wood, metal, grasscloth picture frames, lacquer and so on.  It’s always nice to have more than silver picture frames and art books!  This is where a collection of things comes into play (treasures from the beach, natural curiosities, etc).

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I love Lauren’s collection of purple shells!

PLAYFUL WITH A PURPOSE:  I have small children and avoid things that are too precious.  Instead, I have fun collecting inexpensive, wacky things that bring us joy from places such as One Kings Lane, West Elm or antique shops.
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Sand dollars and oversized jacks on Lauren’s coffee table.

Fantastic advice!  Lauren’s home is brimming with such personality and incorporates so many inspiring ideas that I have to share more photos.  First, the entry hall:

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One of two living rooms:

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Console table:

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Second Living Room:

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Coffee table detail:

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A cozy corner:

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Preppy stripes on the mantle:

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The second floor includes a serene master bedroom:

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And three colorful rooms for Lauren’s three adorable boys.  First, a cheerful nursery with orange accents…

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and an oversized light fixture.

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A crisp navy room…

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with personal touches such as framed artwork and photos from family vacations.

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And, finally, a bold green room filled with stuffed animal and figurine collections along with framed photos of the family’s beloved dog.

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The third floor houses a cozy guest room…

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And Lauren’s office where you can typically find her scheming and dreaming for her growing clientele.

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A huge thanks to Lauren for sharing her design philosophy and for opening up her truly special and stylish home.  My parting shot is of a print I spied propped up on her kitchen counter:

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Words to live by!

xo,

Cath

LAUREN’S FAVORITE RESOURCES FOR HOME ACCESSORIES

In Fairfield County:  Trovare Home, HB Home, Jonathan Adler, Lillian August, Bungalow, Dovecote, Terrain and West Elm.

Online:  One Kings Lane, Clayton Gray, Jayson Home and Wisteria.

Photos:  CT, Pinterest.

 



RINSE & REPEAT FOURTH OF JULY FUN
RINSE & REPEAT
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