The Domino Effect

A few years back, while reading Domino magazine,
I first came across the
whole color coded book case trend.
Β At first, I didn’t know what to make of it…
but the more I saw it, the more it appealed to my sense
of order in design.
Eventually, I decided that
Β I wanted to emulate this look in my own home…
Last month, I finally tackled the
big bookcase in our family room.
{here it is “before”}
and…
Β {stylishly organized “after”}
I know some people think organizing books by
color is a bit contrived or ridiculous.
But, for a decor trend that literally costs nothing,
is reversible, and is based on organizing things…
this just makes me happy!

Leave a Comment

86 Comments

  1. Looks great! And I agree, if it's free and easily reversible why not give it a try! xx

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  2. Amy Bird wrote:

    I absolutely adore this idea! I did it with my bookcase in my office and it makes me happy too! It started because I color coordinate my clothes in my closet too! I love your before and after pics, it looks Fabulous now! Nice work and great post!

    -Amy Bird Tweets
    xoxo

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  3. style'n wrote:

    I like what you did and this is inspiring b/c I have a bookshelf that needs some work. I don't even know where to begin!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  4. Dobbygirl wrote:

    I love it! Looks so great! Such a great idea, job well done!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  5. I've done that too a while back and when I have friends over they so love the whole colour coded book idea:)….You did so well:) Really love how it looks:)
    Kisses my dear and have a sunny Thursday

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  6. What a great idea! Your book shelves look wonderful. πŸ™‚

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  7. I think anything organized by color is pretty…I like the trend. (and for those of us who remember a book by its cover) it makes books easier to find. Great post.
    — Gretchen O.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  8. Cara wrote:

    The shelves look great!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  9. Martha wrote:

    When my parents were getting rid of about 20 years of National Geographic magazines, I took them to use as a design element on our built ins in the family room. The yellow looks great!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  10. Love how your bookcase redesign turned out! It is also fun to see more of your home!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  11. Staley Mc wrote:

    Love the shelves! They look great!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  12. I don't know anyone who thinks it is ridiculous! It just really brightens up my day too! I actually find myself just buying books for the colour of its spine – white or black spine, no thank you!! Ha ha.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  13. Any design that is easy on the eyes and appears to give a room less clutter, I love! I organize books by color in certain spaces!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  14. nice job, sue! want to come do mine? πŸ™‚

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  15. Stephanie wrote:

    I think it looks great. And as you said – a pretty simple fix when you are tired of the look. No need to second guess yourself – you are always stylish and chic!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  16. I like it ! Rooms are for living in, and in my humble opinion, when it's organized you live better ! Ok, now I need to take my own advice ! πŸ˜‰

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  17. I love it! I think it makes the bookcase go from just another bookcase to something very eye catching.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  18. Quite a difference, Sue. It looks great!!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  19. u did a great take on it! – good job!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  20. Beautiful job! What a difference a little organizing makes…I off to declutter.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  21. I love color-coding, it looks so much cleaner when you have big blocks of similar tones.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  22. Ann wrote:

    Ok, we really do like the same things! I have these same pictures saved and just reorganized my own bookshelves by color! I tried to do it in ROYGBIV order, but ended up mixing it up. I love the way it turned out. I like that you have your black and white ones at the top!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  23. I think it looks good! and surprisingly, it's the one thing I haven't tried with my books. I've covered them and flipped them 'spine-in' so now I gotta try by color!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  24. I love the look!

    And RIP, Domino. I miss that magazine dearly.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  25. well nay-sayers can shut it! I love this look—I think you pulled it off very well! ESPECIALLY—the top shelf, how awesome do the white books and black books look!??!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  26. Oh wow! It totally makes a difference! I just might have to try it myself!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  27. Nikki wrote:

    I love that idea!
    It looks less scattered than most book shelves.

    xx
    Nikki

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  28. Kwana wrote:

    Wow it looks great.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  29. It looks so much better. I've never seen that. It's such a great idea, but I wonder…how would I find the book I'm looking for (I have a ton) if not organized by subject? I will have to think about this…maybe book covers!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  30. I agree! Easy and makes a nice change.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  31. looks fantastic! xo e

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  32. Stacey wrote:

    I love it and like you said it cost nothing. Great job!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  33. Deanna Pai wrote:

    I don't think I could handle putting my books out of alphabetical order, but it looks so good that I'm going to try to do so anyway! I love how yours turned out.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  34. What a big difference! Looks beautiful! I will have to try this … Hopefully, it will look as good as yours!
    Have a lovely Thursday

    xo

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  35. Whoa, it looks great. A notable difference indeed. Hmmm….maybe I too shall try it.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  36. Josie wrote:

    I LOVE this! I find it so clean-looking and very visually appealing.
    xo Josie
    http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  37. Great job! I don't know if I would have the patience to colour code, but it looks fab.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  38. I love it! You have a really lovely bookcase to start with too πŸ™‚

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  39. Jacqueline wrote:

    Love this Zhush…definitely appeals to my OCD-ishness!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  40. Bravo, very chic. I've done only my closet.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  41. Your bookcases look fantastic! What a great tip that costs absolutely nothing!!!!
    xo Elizabeth

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  42. Cute! And who knew you
    had so many RED books???
    I guess we don't really
    know how many we have of
    one color until we try
    this….And you are right,
    the price is right : ) !
    xx Suzanne

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  43. What difference it made. (:

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  44. I think it looks fabulous! So much more organized and easier on the eyes. I might have to give this a shot too. Thanks for the idea πŸ™‚

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  45. I'm a fan of this too. You did a great job!!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  46. coolkids wrote:

    looks awesome! You gave me inspiration!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  47. Marie Z. wrote:

    This makes me happy, too! I love your book case and color-coordinating the books is a great idea!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  48. It looks great!! You're so right. It's easy to undo, and for now you enjoy it!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  49. I love fun new ways to spruce up your home! I never thought about color coordinating our bookshelves but it looks great! I might just have try it this weekend. Thank you for the idea!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  50. that's a pretty good idea… mine are organized by topic… business, design, food, sustainability and micsellaneous… but they are organized horizontally… have a nice one!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  51. Urbanstems wrote:

    Wow Your bookcase is fab colour coded or not! But I do love the colour coded..it really does make an impact. NIce work!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  52. EMILY wrote:

    I am totally loving this as well. Sadly, I don't think I have enough books to carry this out! I edited when I moved east to west! Love, love, love it though.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  53. I definitely love this look!!! I've been wanting to try it.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  54. BBS wrote:

    Your bookshelves look great! I have yet to do it in my own home, but I have done it at client's houses and a model home I did recently. It is trendy, but who cares. Like you said it is free and reversible. Love it.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  55. Jennifer wrote:

    This looks AWESOME!! LOVE it.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  56. Looks great.

    I was recently in a house that had no books πŸ™

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  57. Love the first image, I could look at that for hours…such fun!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  58. Natasha wrote:

    well, clearly we are all of the same oppinion! i admit to have done thins in my own home, and it – too – looks so great and orderly!
    great job on your book case,

    northern light

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  59. i love what you did and such a small thing made such a large impact. i actually do this with my clothes in my closet. it just makes me feel better, less cluttered.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  60. Wow! Matching up the colors really does create a wonderful effect ~~

    xoxo Laura

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  61. Pemberley wrote:

    Oh I love it! I've seen this done once before but thought they purchased the books to run the color spectrum. Never occurred to me that I could re-org my own shelves like this. Heading to the library now!!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  62. It makes you happy, surely that's the important part. The fact that it looks great is an added bonus πŸ˜‰ Love from London x

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  63. mise wrote:

    Oh well done, it's fine unorganized but even better organized, and less distracting for television watchers.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  64. Oh Sue, I love it! I would love to color coordinate my whole house.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  65. fantastic! it's always fun to see real-life projects.
    xx fallon

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  66. I had my books this way for a good while…yep, anal like that…so I get the need for order. And, then depending how many I've taken out to read or reference…they get uncoded and random again!

    I think the change looks great! It's as if the bookcase can now breathe easier.

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  67. Aarrgh!! This is my pet peeve. Books come first, design second for me–end of story. I organize books by category, for quick reference. They are all over my house, but by category so I know what room to go into to find a book! The only designy thing I do with them is put the tallest ones in the center, with smaller decending in either direction. Also, I'm a stickler for all the bindings to be at the exact end of the shelf. Needless to say I also own a kindle for print only books. I am constantly curating my collection. I am a secret librarian!
    Cheers,
    Liz

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  68. I love that idea! Brilliant! I've never thought to organize books by color. I'm such an organizational freak, so I am loving this little tip!

    Published on 9.2.10 · Reply
  69. No, I love it! It's fabulous! XX!

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  70. I love what you do! The bookcase looks so stylish the organized way, but I have to group my books so I can find what I want. It would probably be better if I just got rid of a few!! As always, I'm grateful for your comments on my blog. I appreciate that you're a faithful follower!

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  71. CDS wrote:

    I just did this at our new house on the wall of books! I knew I wanted to long before we moved in…it looks amazing..when I'm ready I'll share pics!

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  72. I love it! It makes such a difference and looks beautiful!

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  73. Looks productive, looks orderly, looks lovely, looks like you did a really-great-job!!! Kudos to you and your total bookalicious score πŸ™‚ XO, Kelly

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  74. I say colour code away! It's how I do my wardrobe πŸ™‚

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  75. Greet wrote:

    I love the new ordered look! Good job you did my friend!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xx
    Greet

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  76. i think it looks awesome zushie! man i need to tackle some of this kind of detail in my place.

    hope you have a great weekend darl xx

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  77. Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  78. Love the Zhush, firstly. this is one of those trends I wish hadn't come along. all round not a fan of color blocking in any case. When amassing a huge collection of books this doesn't work well, I should think-finding a particular thing would be impossible. It is hard enough for me as it is-Mine are by genre and then alphabetized. pgt

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  79. I have to confess.. I have some of that going at my house as well! Trendy or not. I love it!

    You did a great job Sue — now show more of your fabulous house! Much more!

    Happy weekend! ox, Mon

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  80. Olivia wrote:

    amazing how such a small change can make a big difference!!

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  81. Sketch42 wrote:

    I like it. And I agree with all of your reasons why!

    Published on 9.3.10 · Reply
  82. Like it! Nice work. And cost nothing.

    Published on 9.5.10 · Reply
  83. your bookcase looks good. organizing by color makes it look so neat and tidy. thanks for sharing

    Published on 9.5.10 · Reply
  84. Shannon wrote:

    ooohh I JUST did mine too…I was reluctant because it meant putting books by the same author (same series even, like part 1, part 2) in opposite corners…then i figured, I don't actually READ my books in an orderly fashion, so I kinda like the randomness that happened through strict colour coding…am I making any sense? Love your bookcase!

    Published on 9.5.10 · Reply
  85. Krystal wrote:

    It looks so great!!! I think I need to do this with my white bookshelves…but I'm also so OCD about keeping genres together….we'll see!

    Published on 9.6.10 · Reply
  86. Cashon&Co wrote:

    ME LIKE!

    Published on 9.11.10 · Reply