ONE / EXILE IN GUYVILLE
Stylist: Troy Steakley
Troy’s take is monochromatic and masculine — perfectly suited for a sophisticated bachelor pad. Mix booze with simple drawings and thoughtful book selections, and you’ve got a space worthy of the most interesting man in the world. Troy is not afraid of color, but he’s around a lot of it on set. “It’s hard to commit to a color,” he says. “The idea of living with color is difficult for me.”
Don’t be so literal. “Don’t look for stuff everyone has. If you like a trend, use it as a jumping-off point. Don’t go out and get an exact replica of something you’ve seen. Just find something that’s reminiscent of a shape or a color or a feeling.”
Always be on the lookout. “You can find treasures at yard sales, White Elephant, Lost, Found, and in Canton. Collect things you enjoy.”
Wax poetic. “Sometimes you have books that you like or enjoy, and the titles kind of jump off the bookshelf, and you don’t want them to. Take wax paper and wrap the book—it just makes the book cover a little more subtle.”
First shelf: Deco border rectangle box, $115/Global Views; alcohol available at Goody Goody; lacquered box, $115/Mecox; black-and-white drawing by Deanna Kienast, $300/Mecox.
Second shelf: Crosshatch cylinder decanter, $149/Global Views; Crosshatch cone decanter; $149/Global Views; Crosshatch finial decanter, $299/Global Views; agate tray, $340/Blue Print; shell tray, $345/Laura Lee Clark; circle etched glasses, $65 for set of 6/Blue Print.
Third shelf: Geometric object, $29/West Elm; pedestal stone box, $49/ West Elm; brass paperweight, $69/Global Views; acrylic petrified wood bookends, to the trade/Made Goods; brass gazelle bookends, $175/Global Views; sculptural sphere, $29/West Elm.
Fourth shelf: Gold cube, to the trade/Made Goods; black journal, stylist’s own; black-and-white drawing by Deanna Kienast, $300/Mecox; hand sculpture, $120/Laura Lee Clark; lacquered punk-rock box with rock mineral points, $225/Mecox. Fifth shelf: Acrylic box, $49/Wisteria; beads (inside box), stylist’s own; tubular metal burst object with stone base, $375/Global Views; antiqued white-parchment-covered books, $35 each/Laura Lee Clark; brass gazelle bookends, $175 for the pair/Global Views. Sixth shelf: Antiqued white-parchment-covered books, $35 each/Laura Lee Clark; black-and-white box; $395/Mecox.
Bookshelf: Worcester Bookshelf, to the trade at Arteriors.
Wallpaper: Mitsu Weave in pewter by Schumacher.
Books: Courtesy of Nest, Laura Lee Clark, and our stylists’ real bookshelves.
TWO / I ROBOT
Stylist: Billy Milner
Our challenge brought back some fond memories for Billy. “My mother always had me arrange the bookshelves when I was younger. She would say, ‘You’re much better at this. You just do it.’ So I’ve had lots of practice,” he says. The vibe of his bookcase is so Billy—fun, colorful, and full of robots. “I brought in several things from home. That gold robot from Nest went perfectly with the robot stuff I brought in,” he says.
Look at your books. Billy thinks you should read the books you buy. “Some people have books that they don’t actually read!” he says. “If the bookcases are full of books, looking at them should be the best way to truly get to know someone.”
Personal best. Billy’s only rule is that you display things you love. “You want things to look nice, but bookcases should be as personal as possible. Display collections, gifts, and special items.”
Taste some local flavor. Would you like a Red Ranger ray gun of your very own? Of course you would! “A local husband-and-wife team makes them. Caleb Massey draws them and makes them by hand, and Cat crochets some of the details. They sell them at the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market. They’re extremely affordable.”
Arrange a search party. Billy recommends Curiosities, Lula B’s, and White Elephant in town. Check out New York’s flea markets and Antiques & Beyond in Atlanta.
First shelf: White-and-orange hinged lacquered box, $225/Mecox; yellow vase, $90/Mecox; gummy bear by Charlotte Olympia,$1,600/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; foundry molds, $50-$250/Life of Riley.
Second shelf: Foundry molds, $50-$250/Life of Riley; turquoise object, $29/West Elm; silver bird by Brad Oldham, stylist’s own; gold robot, $115/Nest; colored box, stylist’s own; Toikka glass birds, $450–$600/Nasher Museum Store.
Third shelf: Drawing Studies, $395 for set of three objects/Mecox; little robots and Red Ranger ray guns, stylist’s own; string balls and levels, stylist’s own.
Fourth and Fifth shelves: Figurines and pharmacy bottles, stylist’s own.
Sixth shelf: Small woven square baskets, $24 each/Wisteria.
THREE / DRESS YOU UP
Stylist: Ashley Mcpherren
Ashley sums up her bookcase with two words: “Fantasy fashion.
Thousand-dollar shoes and two- or three-thousand-dollar handbags are fun to organize,” she says. Ashley suggests that anyone can mix in fashion accessories—even if your wardrobe isn’t awash in Chanel or Christian Louboutin. “It’s a practical use of space, and it’s pretty, too. Who doesn’t love to look at a great shoe?”
"Definitely consider symmetry, but the main thing is to get your personality in there.”
"Definitely consider symmetry, but the main thing is to get your personality in there.”
Look high and low. Ashley recommends combining things from “big box” stores with estate-sale finds. “Get some highs and lows in there.”
Contain yourself. You have pretty jewelry. Why not store it in something equally pretty? Consider the colorful—and reasonably priced—selection of lacquer boxes at The Container Store.
Leave the stage. Ashley says she’s not big on anything that’s super formal or staged. “Definitely consider symmetry, but the main thing is to get your personality in there. Don’t get too stagey. Your shelves should be somewhat organic.”
Shop like Ashley. Check out West Elm, Neiman Marcus, River Regency, and estate sales. “I’ve spent many Saturdays combing estate sales. They are the best,” she says.
Top shelf: Lacquer box, $225/Mecox; sphere, $39/West Elm.
First shelf: Bowls, $8 each/West Elm; lacquer box, $24/West Elm; skull, $48/Gallerie Noir; porcelain vase (stand not included), $475/Ceylon et Cie.
Second shelf: Turquoise object, $29/West Elm; bookends, to the trade/Made Goods; Fendi Diamond-heel pumps, $690/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; YSL Cassandre crossbody handbag, $1,750/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; deco border square box, $89/Global Views; clearlight orb, $199/Global Views.
Third shelf: Stone box, $49/West Elm; Caitlin round basket, $60/Crate & Barrel; scarf, stylists’s own; decorative swirl box, $395/Mecox.
Fourth shelf: Brass pyramid, $375/Mecox; Nancy Gonzalez crocodile tote, $3,100/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; acrylic charm bowl, $375/Jonathan Adler; sunglasses, stylist’s own.
Fifth shelf: Black-and-white boxes; $95–$115/Mecox; gold-brick piggy bank, $48/Gallerie Noir; Y-Ligne Classic Cabas Carryall Bag by YSL, $2,695/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; faux snake box, to the trade/Made Goods.
Sixth shelf: Acrylic boxes, $49 each/Wisteria; Fendi Diamond-Heel pumps, $690/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; Jimmy Choo Dame Caged booties, $995/Neiman Marcus NorthPark; Saint Laurent Paris Lightning pumps, $875/Neiman Marcus NorthPark.
FOUR / TRUE BLUE
Stylist: Jimmie Henslee
Jimmie is a collector by nature, and he created a very personal mix of books, natural objects, and things he’s picked up on his travels. He counts the blue-and-white platter as one of his favorite finds. “I’m very fond of early transferware,” he says. “And I bought those little birds in Paris at a little shop in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area.”
Take time to reevaluate. Jimmie just moved into a 1960s-era house. Prior to that, he’d always lived in places built in the 1920s and ’30s. “Now I’m reevaluating my personal style and my likes and dislikes. I can really step back and see what I liked in the past versus what I like now. Once you get that out of the way, you keep the constants and get rid of the other things so you can start collecting again.”
We are (not) family. Jimmie is not exactly a fan of your personal photos. “Clusters of frames on bookshelves is a huge pet peeve,” he admits. That doesn’t mean that bookshelves shouldn’t be personal though. “They should be a reflection of your interests, travels, and experiences. They should tell a visual story about you. I can’t stand it when people just go to buy books by the yard at Half Price Books.”
To consign is fine. “Fortunately and unfortunately, this is a disposable town when it comes to possessions. You can score stuff here that you wouldn’t be able to in other markets. These are items that would traditionally be handed down through generations. I’m always shocked when I go to our consignment shops and see what’s sitting there,” he says.
Set up a treasure hunt. Take some trips to Round Top, Broomfield, and the flea markets in New York City.
Top shelf: Coral, stylist’s own; bell currency, $800/Laura Lee Clark; Chinese lidded jar, $89/Wisteria.
First shelf: Ming pot with acrylic stand, $150 and $130/Blue Print; small Maio opera crown on custom iron stand, $1,457/Ceylon et Cie; small Asian pot with feathers, stylist’s own.
Second shelf: Blue dragon jar with spout, $175/Laura Lee Clark; antique Makonde comb from Zimbabwe’s Bantu tribe, $845/Ceylon et Cie; taxidermied birds, stylist’s own.
Third shelf: Decorative swirl box, $395/Mecox; covered Ming pot on acrylic, $120/Laura Lee Clark; large vintage brass peacocks with fan tail feathers, $695 for the pair/Mecox; amethyst on Lucite base, $225/Mecox; currency Congo, $500/Laura Lee Clark.
Fourth shelf: Ming pot on acrylic stand, $150 and $130/Blue Print; large transferware platter on stand, stylist’s own; red coral, stylist’s own; calligraphy brush, $55/Blue Print.
Fifth shelf: Basket filled with sea shells, stylist’s own; vintage brass pyramid, $395/Mecox; painting of bird, stylist’s own.
Sixth shelf: Asian blue-and-white pots, stylist’s own; calligraphy brush, $55/Blue Print.