Sunday, February 6, 2011

Life and Bookcases, Balancing Acts

Accessorizing bookcases can be as tricky as balancing life. Contents must relate to the room as a whole--its color and mood. Second, shelves need a unifying theme, and third, elements must be balanced.


Bookcases flank either side of a fireplace in my daughter's and son-in-law's master bedroom.  The walls are painted a soft and soothing silver-blue. That color, together with the above-mantel wall dimensions, made a seascape, painted by my son-in-law's grandmother, a natural fit. Now what would appropriately flank the painting?  The icy hue of glass candlesticks compliment the mood of the painting as well as the paint color.  

But, my daughter was in a quandary about what should fill the shelfs. Books would be the obvious choice; however, the home has three other walls of shelving. Consequently, there weren't enough books to fill this space. So, nodding to the candlesticks, crystal became the entire wall's theme.  (Fortunately, displaying the crystal in the bookcases also solves a storage problem. The dining room holds china and silver, but doesn't have space for the crystal. The bookcases provide a showcase for each piece, allowing them to be enjoyed in plain view every day.)

 Clear picture frames follow as the perfect accompaniment to the cut crystal.

Taking advantage of a Crate and Barrel sale, Rachel recently purchased enough thick acrylic frames to standardize the bookcases.

I think the design succeeds.  The icy crystal and clear picture frames compliment the room's color and mood.  Furthermore, the cut crystal pieces are balanced on the interior shelves, while the acrylic pictures balance each other on the outer shelves. Altogether, this makes a unified and pleasing composition.

Good design balances elements. Think of it as placing children of equal weight on a seesaw. In this room, the seesaw's fulcrum is the fireplace, and the similarly-sized and weighted elements balance the two ends.  

Life shares so many design principles. For me, the Lord Jesus Christ is the fulcrum. In Scripture, Christ is called the cornerstone holding up the building of life. I want his love and grace to set the tone for my days. Enjoying him and being about his business should be my life's unifying theme. The activities filling my time should compliment his presence and be in balance.  Rest should balance work; giving should balance consumption. Remembering the rules-of-thumb from design helps me as I try to balance life.  


  1. I am so thankful that you stopped by my blog last evening. After reading down through your last few posts, I am convinced your blog title fits you perfectly. What a creative and artistic touch to add to decorating. Also, it was certainly a beautiful picture of you, your mother, and your daughter. As for the music on my blog, the credit goes to my daughter for setting that up for me. I live in a computer savvy family and they are always trying to help me get there:)

    Again, thanks for stopping by. I look forward to more visits here.

  2. Great post Mauie! The design is so fresh and clean and, yes...balanced. It is so nice to have that non cluttered feeling...both in our homes as well as in our hearts! Thanks for the encouraging words of wisdom! xo
    p.s..prayed for your speaking engagement...I hope you felt the Lord's peace throughout!