I saw this photo the other day on Pinterest:
(photo by Mind on Fire on Flickr)
And I liked it A LOT.
I pinned it on my 'Ideas for decorating the house' pinboard.
Admittedly it's slowly getting cooler here in Phoenix, sooooooooooooooo in theory I'm going to be able to paint colours on walls soon. But in the meantime I'm looking for ANYTHING to bring a bit of colour into the 'rather brown house but not as brown as the brownest house in the world'. (For new readers, when we first moved to the USA, we rented 'the world's brownest house' for a year and a half before buying this, the 'not quite as brown as the world's brownest house' house. Hope that make things clear ;)).
Although we have a lot of books in the house we don't have enough.....and by 'don't have enough' what I really want in my living room is this:
(Photo by Chotda on Flickr)
Isn't that gorgeous? There's a whole photo group on Flickr called 'Rainbow of Books' if you like that and want to see more beautiful bookshelves.
But all I had in my living room was this (prior to messing about with colours):
Here we have, in the left-hand bookcase, all our dvds (and some videos....though other videos are secreted around the house). The dvds were at this point basically ordered alphabetically.....though one of my pet peeves is that my family never put dvds back in their sleeves after watching them - so there was a large pile of discs to be refiled as well.
In the right-hand bookcase we have some of our books, though we have 5 more bookcases around the house (the girls each have their own; I've got my crafty books etc in my sewing lair; we have reference and cookbooks in the kitchen and everything else is thrown carelessly onto one in the spare room).
The books have always been organised by my rather wonky referencing system (did I ever tell you my careers advisor at school said I should be a librarian and I actually applied to do Librarianship courses at university? Luckily I didn't get the grades they wanted, but that's another story).
No-one in our house understands my system but me. These are all fiction books (non-fiction are with the reference books in the kitchen). They were ordered according to period written and then by author, and then by order written - so classics come first, then birth of the novel etc up to modern day. Modern day novels also had a sub-category for 'comedians who also turn their hand to writing'. They had a whole shelf of their own (Stephen Fry, Sean Hughes, Charlie Higson, Arabella Weir, Meera Syal, Hugh Laurie etc).
But now my bookcases look like this:
I posted a quick snap of the change on www.absobloominglutely.tumblr.com on 5.59pm MST on September 14th with the text: "After. OK the countdown starts now until Mr Devyne notices/says “I won’t be able to find anything now"". Any of you that put bets on 36 hours and 6 minutes, you can collect now and feel very smug. He noticed whilst walking around the room with his bowl of cereal this morning.....because he couldn't sit down........because I'd started moving the furniture out of the room........................which is a long story that I'll tell you about next week. I reckon if the status quo had been kept in the living room, he'd still be none the wiser.
Oh and yes, his exact words were: "So we're ordering everything by colour now are we? I won't be able to find anything". Haha, yes, get in, I know him sooooooooooooo well.
The beauty of the situation was that I could reply - "The dvds are still in alphabetical order, but just alphabeticised by colour" ie. all the whites run A to Z, the yellows run A to Z, the oranges run A to Z! (the strawberries taste like strawberries! the snozzberries taste like snozzberries!). So I reckon we can 'sort of' find things we want in the future, 'sort of'...
And anyway, I reckon ordering books with a visual rather than logical order means that when I'm looking for something to read, there're more chances of happy accidents - in fact, I might have to rename these 'The Serendipity Bookcases".
As Kronikle says over on their post about 'Organising your world by colour'* - "you can turn your dusty collection of books into an arresting, and functional, design feature". Yep, that's my argument, and I'm sticking to it. I've made one end of my living room look pretty. It makes me smile. And I must remember this when I can't find my Miss Marple dvds....
For more on how to organise your bookshelves by colour, see ColourLover's post for advice and ideas.
*yeah I know, that should be 'organizing' and 'color' but I can't help myself correcting the 'bad' spelling of these Colonials ;) Hmmm that's going to come back and bite me if anyone ever proof-reads my posts....oops.