Before Noa was born I knew that I wanted books to be an important part of her life. I look forward to reading and sharing stories with her and taking her on journey’s. They are one of the greatest gifts for your little ones – they can help your baba get to know sounds, words and language and develop early literacy skills and spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiousity. Story time is also such a wonderful way to bond with your child and a time that I will definitely cherish with her.
This got me thinking – a nursery should always have a bookshelf, a piece of furniture that honours your favourite books and a little space where as your child grows up she looks forward to visiting to select his or her favourite book. If you know me, you will know that décor and design should be as practical as it is beautiful and inspiring. Creating a nursery bookshelf can become a statement piece in your nursery – a wall of beauty. A bookshelf is a great use of space to show off colour with all your babas books that double as artwork and take up very little space. Combat a color-free space by styling shelves with personality pieces. Arrange framed photographs with plush toys and clothing to give the room its own voice. The bookshelf acts as storage but also a piece of furniture that holds memories – add photographs of people who love them, practical things like baskets to store toys, and even add fresh blooms (for a feminine touch) or a succulent (green your nursery, certain plants cleans the air).
Baby Belle crafts functional bookshelves that are beautiful on the eye. All their furniture is available in a variety of woods, finishes and colours. I love the hand crafted Isabella bookshelf from Baby Belle (see here) – its simple but feminine with beautiful crystal handles that compliment my nursery beautifully. The shelves allow me to play with height and different items so that the bookshelf becomes a functional piece of furniture / an interest accent in the room rather than just a straight forward set of shelves. The Isabella Bookshelf is the perfect accessory in a nursery or child’s room and can grow with the child as they can still use it even in their teen years. The perfect display space for books, toys and décor items. I personally love the folded linen lines of the drawer and outer silhouette.
I teamed up with interior stylist Jacqui from Brooke Eva to create and style a statement bookshelf. Jacqui’s subtle styling brings sophistication to the feature and her less is more approach pairs perfectly with my nursery’s look and feel. If minimalism isn’t your thing – have fun with colours, stacked books, baskets filled with muslins / toys that act as storage, pack the shelves with accessories so that your shelves are full, fun and interesting if my simple approach isn’t your cup of tea.
Here I share Noa’s bookshelf – everything inside is from Baby Belle and is shopable online – from the sweetest teddies to a beautiful clock, babies first piggy bank and woven basket for storage. Their selection of bookshelves and armoires are so lovely PLUS you can shop for less 30% this week here.
Top tips of styling a statement bookshelf from Brooke Eva:
1. Invest in a bookshelf that will last, a timeless design that will take them from baba to teenager. If you are a little more creative and want something designed that speaks to your style / room, customize your bookshelf with Baby Belle here.
2. Play with various heights, textures and hues – you can use your bookshelf as more of a visual feature rather than a display for books. Use the shelves to display artwork (love these from Baby Belle here) or a clock, plush toys and perhaps a hand me down item that carries meaning / memories.
3. Style with non-breakables on the lower shelves so that baba won’t break anything or hurt themselves.
4. Use the bookshelf as a space of storage so it is functional and practical but it can also hold treasures like a first piggy bank, babies first tooth holder or your baby book.
5. Stretch beyond the practical and include a few unexpected pieces, because this piece of furniture shouldn’t just work hard, it should provide some eye candy, too.
6. A bookshelf is not just for baba’s room it can act as an intriguing cabinet display. You’re telling a story using a few carefully chosen props, so fill it with curiosities that express your singular style.
7. Edit, edit, edit. I jam-pack my rooms with all kinds of found objects and accessories—but then I step back and put a few items away. Paring down is what makes a good collection great.
8. Have some fun – especially in a childs room – fill jars with crayons, stickers, their favourite toys so that it gives the bookshelf punch and a splash of colour but also practical storage for your little one’s creative things!
A few of our favourite books to get you going:
Giraffe On A Bicycle
The Memory Tree
There’s a tiger In The Garden
A First Bible Story Book
A First Book of Prayers
The Tale Of Peter Rabbit
The Story of Ferdinand
Winnie The Pooh
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
Rain Makes Apple Sauce
I’m obsessed with the Kids Book Club – Take a look here – its so clever, you pick an age group, select your budget, and you will have age-age-appropriate books, activity packs and curated packages delivered to your door each month! Take a look at the options here . What I love is that for every Kids book club they deliver, they donate R1 to the Bokamoso Education Trust who provide financial support and mentorship for underpriviledged scholars.