Collaborating, Discovering

Hubert Zandberg on sprucing up your shelves

You’ve splashed out on a bespoke, hand-crafted bookcase – now what to fill it with? Do you pack it with books, or adorn it sparsely with a few ornaments? It’s a dilemma Hubert Zandberg, our designer-at-large and founder of Hubert Zandberg Interiors, sees on a regular basis. We sat down with him to learn how to use books, art and sculpture to bring a touch of beauty to your shelves.


Beware of ‘chatter’
You have to be a little bit careful displaying books. They bring a lot of energy and a lot of presence to the room. There’s a little trick I use if a cover is too loud: remove the dust jacket, and the hardback is nearly always beautiful.

Think musically
You can push the books back a little, and create a niche for an object. For me, it’s like punctuating music. The books are the notes, and objects are rests, breaking up the tune and giving it a little rhythm.

Use light
There is nothing more pleasing than old glasses resting on a metal or glass shelf. I have them in my bar, and it looks stunning when the light falls through a brandy-filled carafe.


Keep it simple
I often use simple metal frames with wooden planks for shelves. The beauty of this design is that you can keep adding to them. They look fantastic, and any good metalworker – even your neighbour, or a guy from your village – could make a set.

Meaning matters
You can have objects that are very modest, and very simple, but if they’re displayed in the right way they can become special.



All images supplied by Hubert Zandberg Interiors


You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply