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It’s tough to say exactly when shelving transitioned from storage space to stylish display, or when shelfies became a thing. Somewhere between the vast libraries of the Victorian era and the emergence of Minimalism, things changed. So it’s perfectly normal that you might be having a hard time finding your footing when it comes to modern shelves. You may even be wrestling with such existential questions as: How many trinkets are too many trinkets? Don’t worry, this is one question you won’t have to find the answer to alone.
From mid-century modern bookcases to built-ins, one of the most important things to remember when shopping for shelves is the concept of negative space. While it’s only natural to focus all our attention on the actual items themselves, paying attention to negative space helps us to understand the relationships between each individual item, and how they all work together as a whole. This can be used to help us determine exactly how many trinkets are too many, but also which pieces work with each other, and how to space them all out appropriately. Great design takes into account not only what is most apparent, but also what is not. So that means choosing items that are carefully considered rather than cramping things together on your bookshelf, or considering using backless options to give your shelves an overall airy look and feel.