Bookshelf Challenge: Fun Quiz (no grading!)

Hello.  Today's post is meant to engage you in a bit of a decorating "quiz".  I'm not sure "quiz" is the right word.....because there's no scoring at all!   And there's no need to report your answers either.  Here's the deal:  You will see photos of styled shelves and your job is to decide which ones you like, and which ones you don't.  And....can you identify the one that isn't "right" and breaks a number of styling rules?     

In a bookshelf styling post I wrote a few weeks ago,  I detailed basic tips for creating a bookshelf that pops.  In today's post you will see some of those tips implemented.  I will present the photos in groups of four.  There will be one bookshelf in each group that is all wrong, in many ways!  See if you can identify it.  Then choose your favorite.  Note:   If you missed the earlier post on styling tips you can check it out here:   5 Simple Solutions for a Bookshelf that Pops

For this little visual "quiz"  I decided to use an antique piece that I have been lucky to own since I married my husband 13 years ago!  It is a fun piece to style with each new season and holiday....and whenever I feel the need to change things up a bit.    

Here it is:  

When you see the styled shelves, ask yourself which one you like best and why.  Then ask yourself which one you think is the "rule-breaker"....and why!   And now on to the fun part....

Here is Group #1:         

Styling is an ongoing process that evolves over time.  Our tastes and styles change. And like anything else, it takes practice to learn your preferences and feel confident about your skills....  

Group #2:


Remember to consider the sizes/heights of the objects, spacing, and how (or if) balance is achieved........what is your eye/brain telling you? 

Group #3: 

And now....drumroll.....the "answer key"....

So How Did you Do?   

Group #1:  The Rule Breaker is B.  Why?  There is no system going on here at all.  The objects are all similar size, and appear to be lined up.  The bottom shelf has plenty of space between the objects, but the other shelves are packed with items.   The arrangement is unbalanced. 

The best one is D.  However, C could work too!  They are similar with the exception of how the books are arranged on the top shelf.  In these examples there is good use of different sized objects in proximity to one another.  Spacing between objects is good; it makes sense to the brain/eye.  The arrangement is well-balanced.   Why didn't A get a mention? To be honest, it just bugged me!  Lol.  No but seriously, the little flower pot just really needed the green poof in it.  It just did.  

Group #2:  The Rule Breaker is B.  Why?  There are too many things on these shelves.  The sizes of objects on each shelf aren't varied enough for contrast.  The shelf seems top-heavy, with all larger objects on the bottom and smaller objects on the top.  There is no real focal point and the eye does not know what to look at.  Because there are so many things on the shelves, nothing stands out.  

The Best one is A.  C is up there also!  A just has less objects, and therefore less clutter.  C is borderline clutter city (at least to my eye!). It is a good idea to mix object sizes....and example A does a nice job of this.  Example C has too many smaller items, in a row.  

Group #3:  The Rule-Breaker is C...and B.  Both are rule-breakers.  C breaks the size rule; too many objects are the same size, and right next to each other.  The arrangement is also top-heavy....notice how there is only one item on the bottom shelf and many items on the others? It also lacks visual balance.  B is also guilty of rule-breaking....the decor on the bottom and second shelf is poorly arranged.  And the candlesticks...those should be displayed together. They will create more visual impact if together.  The top two shelves work though. 

The winner is A...and D.  These are well-balanced.  Spacing between objects is good.  The sizing differs among the pieces and the placement is varied.  My eye doesn't have to work as hard when I look at A and D.  With the other shelves, I'm just not sure where to look! 

And that's a wrap!   I had fun creating this little quiz and I really hope you found it useful and learned a tip or two!     I've got some cleaning up to can imagine how much decor was flying around our living room while I did this!  And I look forward to more decor flying around.....but I need your help.....

I am currently working on upcoming posts for the remainder of the Bookshelf Challenge......

I have two volunteers who have come forward to participate.......Thank you kindly!  I will be in touch with you soon.  

I need 3 more volunteers!!!!!    Anyone?    Click the button below to see the introductory post about this volunteer business!   I hope you consider participating.  I think it will be super F.U.N.    I can be reached here: Contact Kate