I think filling and styling a big space like a hutch or bookcase can be intimidating!!! What do you put in it? How will it all look together? It’s taken years for bigger spaces in my house to look polished and put together! Even now, lots of tweaking and adjusting go into each space I decorate! To make decorating those large spaces like a hutch or bookcase a little easier and doable, here are 5 helpful tips for styling them like a pro!
Here is what the hutch looked like when I brought it home….
And here it is painted and decorated. To see how I painted it click HERE.
The challenge to style this large piece got even bigger for two reasons. There were no dividers on the shelves and it was behind glass.
No dividers meant no small compartments and because it was behind glass all the decor had to be rather large to be seen. Using these 5 easy tips let me meet the challenges with confidence!
Just a note to clarify, we are not talking about dining room or kitchen hutches full of dishware. The rules for styling them are different. We are talking about living areas or bedrooms.
1. CONSIDER A THEME
What decorations do you have if you shop your house that have a common theme. My theme incorporates color. I think limiting the color scheme in a hutch/bookcase is very unifying! I used whites, black and naturals. If you look carefully, you will also see that many of the items in my hutch are round. Again, a unifying element. It’s all about things playing nicely and getting along together!
In most cases it’s easy to fill a large space with things you collect. Do you like blue and white pieces? Are you an avid collectors of old clocks or tools. Do you have a penchant for baskets? Pull out your collection and consider using it in a large space. Common theme items are great unifiyers!
Just a word of caution… your collected items should be on the big side! Scale is very important, as we will see. If you collect small chatchkies and want to use them in a hutch or bookcase, make sure to use them to support the overall vignette… and not as main pieces.
2. CREATE VIGNETTES
Literally divide and conquer! Large empty spaces can be daunting!!! If your hutch or bookcase is not divided into sections stand back and really examine it to find how to divide up the cavernous space into doable vignettes.
In my hutch, I decided that there was a natural space in the middle that would be a vignette on each shelf. And then one vignette on either end of the center… on each shelf. 3×3=9. I divided my hutch into 9 small spaces to create vignettes. Take the time to do this! It will make decorating soooooo much easier!!!! Each vignette should be balanced with every other vignette.
Can you see I have three large round items in my hutch. The globe, the clock and the oil rubbed bronze sphere. I staggered them on my shelves so they were not next to each other. As you play and experiment with your vignettes… stand back and see how they look as a whole.
3. CONSIDER SCALE
Scale is all about size and the ratio of one thing to another. Scale makes things grouped together look pretty. In each vignette you don’t want things too big or too small but just right! If they are too big, the vignette will look cramped and crowded. If items in a vignette are all too small, things will be lost. Make sure you have a vignette that has objects of varying heights! Our eyes love variety! In the vignette on the top shelf I used burlap covered books as a platform for the globe. It gives the globe the extra height it needs! Then the standing book is second in height and then the white artichoke a close third. The stacked books also act as the lowest item in that little vignette. Look for an easy diy on how to cover books with burlap next week.
Here’s another tip, don’t overdo your vignettes. Some may have one or two items and some may have 3, 4 or 5! Vary the number of items in each vignette.
4. USE DIFFERENT TEXTURES
It’s much more interesting when a hutch or bookcase if filled with items that have lots of textures… especially if they are primarily one color!
In the picture above the candlestick is smooth and shiny, the dried hydrangeas are fluffy, the compote bowl is rusty is rough and the pumpkins have an organic look!
This is a subtle but very effective tip! Unless I pointed out the different textures in this hutch they would probably have gone unnoticed! But the feel and look of surfaces have a big impact on our emotional connection to something. Our eyes and brains love texture. We find different textures interesting.
5. TIE THE HUTCH DECOR WITH THE ENTIRE ROOM
The decor you chose to decorate a bookcase or hutch should work with the room at large! You should be able to take something out of your hutch and say, “Yes, this would work nicely in here”! Several pieces in my living room found their way into my hutch!
My room has lots of white and black and neutrals. I have lots of round elements in this room. Because I am “lightly” decorating this room for fall, white pumpkins are scattered in my living room and they are also found in my hutch.
Now here’s a bonus tip… USE WHAT YOU LOVE!
My living room and hutch may not be your cup of tea, but it’s mine! Use what YOU love! It’s your home… your space… your sanctuary! Fill it with what is beautiful to you and your family!!!
Look on blogs, Pinterest, magazines and books for things you love and hutches and bookcases decorated they way that takes your breath away… and use those as your guide!
Is my hutch decorating done? Oh, not yet! I’m working on a few things to go on top of the hutch. We have nice high ceilings and adding things to the top of the hutch will draw our eyes upward.
I hope you will practice and play and enjoy the process… and it is a process… of decorating large spaces like a hutch or bookcase! And I hope these tips inspire you!
Remember to pin this to your decorating Pinterest board