How to Decorate the new Octavia Bookcase from Ballard Designs

We’ve talked about balance a lot recently here on How to Decorate, specifically in terms of styling your furniture pieces and in bring both light and dark pieces into your room. Another way to bring balance into your space is to incorporate furniture pieces of all heights. It’s important to have something at various heights to help move your eye through the room, and also to make sure every quadrant of your room is ‘active.’ In other words, don’t forget to address the tops of your walls!

We pulled furniture pieces of all heights to add layers and movement to this space

Bring in Tall Furniture

A large armoire, bookcase, or etagere is a great way to draw your eye up and around the room. Even just one taller pieces can add some variety and make sure all of your furniture pieces aren’t on the same plane. Take the space above. We have a low footstool, a pair of chairs, a taller side table, then even taller bookcases. All of these pieces have different heights which makes the combination interesting.

Blue and white living room

Hang Drapery Up High

You don’t always have to use tall furniture to make sure you draw the eye up in your room. A great way to do that is with tall drapery panels or dark drapery hardware. In this living room, we used bold blue-and-white patterned drapery panel which created the same effect that a tall bookcase might have.

Ballard Designs Bourdonnais Desk used in an entry designed by Bunny Williams

Use a Tall Mirror or Piece of Art

Any sort of wall decor is a great way to draw your eye towards the ceiling and to make sure you’re giving every area of your room something ‘active.’ Or Grand Palais does this easily because of it’s large scale.

Use a colorful rug as a starting point when you're decorating a room from scratch

Consider Seat Backs

Another great way to bring plenty of movement into your space is to choose some seating with a high back and some seating with a low back. Not only does this help bring different heights to your space, but these two types of seating are best for different purposes. Our Thurston wing chairs are great when you have guests over for drinks, and our lower backed Eton Sofa is great for lounging.

Add picture lights over bookshelves to draw your eye's attention up high

Add Lighting Up High

Anywhere you have light will activate that space, so consider adding picture lights close to your ceiling over a bookcase. We love the way interior designer Mark D. Sikes did this in his living room in the Southern Living Idea House.

Whether you’re just planning your room’s layout or pulling in final art and accents, incorporate pieces (both furniture and accessories) that will draw your eye to different planes. If everything is at the same level, you’ll have less movement and therefore less interest in your space.

For more design inspiration, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery

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