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Inspired by Jonathan Adler

October 19, 2012 — 1 Comment

I’ve been such a good girl lately because I’ve been going to the library instead of buying books like I usually do (more on my book problem here). Last time I was at the library I checked out several interior design books. The best one I’ve read so far is Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing.

It’s interesting to read actual design books because my brain is so ‘internet’… the whole time I was looking through this book I kept thinking “I want to pin this!” instead of just enjoying it for what it is. The internet has made me not trust my brain to remember things. I’m afraid if I don’t pin or bookmark something the information will literally be lost and I will never find it again. I know this isn’t true, but because I am an internet baby I had to do something before I returned it to the library so I took pictures of my favorite pages (somehow this feels like plagiarism, but I don’t think it actually is).

I loved these 10 tips on how to style a bookcase. I have so many books that I just try and cram as many as possible on my shelves instead of actually ‘styling’ them. Since you probably can’t read what this says, here are the main points:

1) Vertical vs. horizontal book stacks
2) Balance – two like items at different heights
3) Seize a tchotchke moment
4) Intersperse art
5) Small groupings – instead of a whole shelf of books use only few on one shelf
6) Crowning – use the top shelf to display large objects
7) Disrespect the shelf – let things hang over the edge
8) Hidden artwork – layer artwork with books and objects
9) An airy collection – resist the urge to overfill every shelf
10) Single stack

How to style a credenza:

– Gather all the things you available to use
– Play around with it all, it doesn’t have to all be used so try something and if it doesn’t work move it around or don’t use it at all.
– For this vignette, Adler used white and shades of blue accessories and then added in yellow flowers to give the eye something to focus on.
– He uses books, coasters, and little boxes to lift small vases and tchotchkes to give them height.
– In the last image you can see how he does two very different designs the one on the left is very layered and the one right is more balanced and minimalistic… same accessories, very different look.

I took a picture of this dining room not because I love (though it is beautiful, of course) but because of what he said about it. He says that this dining room table is in a very fancy flat owned by people who rarely host parties so for most of the year this table sits empty and unused. He decided that instead of leaving the table top blank he would use it to stack books on it to give it a faux library/book shop look. I love it! I actually use my dining room table (as I mentioned here), but maybe some day I’ll need to do this.

This kitchen is perfection. All white and pale grey fixtures with accents in bright green and yellow… I think everyone would be happy with this kitchen.

Have you looked at any interior design books lately? Please tell me I’m not the only one that mental ‘pins’ everything!

As I shared in this post, I have a second bedroom problem. It is a junk room and I don’t have any budget to really make it look good. So for the past few days I’ve been using my brain and a lot of imagination to create a mood board and floor plan to help me make this room less of a nasty pit.

As you may or may not notice from the mood board, I own most of the things on this board which makes it less of a ‘mood/inspiration’ board and more of a ‘creative repurposing’ board. Some explanations are below and a numerical chart that is out of order (this may be the most confusing thing ever):

5) I think I finally decided on this paint color which is Anonymous by Behr. I think it is a pretty classic color and will go well with everything I already have.

10) This is my Pod Rug by CB2. It is no longer available because I bought it three years ago. I think it was about $250. It is a really well made rug but it did shed for a year (I think it has finally shed all the excess). The room is pretty much based off of this rug because it is the one thing in there that I want to keep and actually like.

6) This is the Ingo table by IKEA and it’s $69.99. It is the one thing on this mood board that I don’t already own. I would like to use it as a desk. I would like to paint it a nice shiny white.

7) I own this chair (two actually). This is the Emeco Navy chair and they are super expensive, like $750 expensive. I found two on Craigslist for $30… I’m not even joking. Best. Craigslist. Purchase. Ever.

9) This is my West Elm daybed. It is also no longer available (when it was, it sold for $229 without the mattress). I got it on Craigslist for $150 plust a brand new twin mattress. Craigslist for the win! I intend to put this on my from porch when it is eventually screened in but for now it is nice to have a bed in this room in case someone wants to spend the night.

3) This the my IKEA Linnarp bookcase. It is currently in my bedroom but I don’t like it in there anymore. When I eventually get the bookcase of my dreams for my dining room I want to move this out of my bedroom and either sell it or move into the second bedroom. It could be nice for pretty linens and office supplies.

1, 12-14) These four images are all relate to one another. The first #1 is my inspiration. I love this corner gallery. Instead of using frames though I am going to use #12 the stencil I bought this weekend (I’ll share where I bought it later this week). The two paint colors are #13 Glowing Firelight by Behr and #14 Night Watch by Behr. I definitely want to use the navy to do the stencil because it will look good against the wall color, but I’m toying with doing sections of the stencil in the orange…Either way I think having the stencil going around the corner (top right of the floor plan) will look really cool.

2, 4, 8,11) All three of these are inspiration images. The first #2, is such a cool idea. They took these large frames and put cork in them so they can be used as cool bulletin boards. I actually have two large empty frames that I want to do this to. I think it will be a pretty cheap project. I also, love the inspiration boards in #11, #8, & #4. They are like big (mostly) free art!

Floor Plan: the door on the bottom left is the door into the hallway and the other door on the top left is the closet door. The thing in between the doors is the bookcase #3. The windows are above the bed and the desk.

So that’s my inspiration! Hope you could follow all of that- I am new to the mood board world so I’ll get better. Believe it or not I spent a lot of time working on all of this and I’m pretty excited about doing this little (mostly) free makeover. I’m not sure I’ll get to it this weekend, but I hope to do parts of it over the next few weeks. Are you planning any mostly-free projects?

Books, Books Everywhere!

August 22, 2012 — 10 Comments

I love to read. When I was a kid my punishment for doing anything wrong was getting my book taken away. This love for reading has only grown with age… and by default so has my book collection. I’ve used libraries since I was a kid, but I have also purchased a lot of books (new and used). When I was 13 I asked for bookshelves. I was so happy when I got huge dark wood bookshelves.

That is them in the background of this picture. They were built in my childhood room at my parent’s house and they are too big to fit through the doorway so unfortunately I haven’t been able to move them to any of my other homes. For the past few years I have used really crappy bookcases from all sorts of places like Target, Walmart, and free ones from relatives. Inevitably they break and I am left without shelves again. In my current home I have one bookcase.

This black bookcase is from the ‘As Is’ section at IKEA and was only $120. The shelf next to it also from ‘As Is’ and only cost $30. It won’t stay there forever, it is more of a place holder until I get more bookshelves. I love the black bookcase because it has glass doors. In the past all my bookcases have been open, as in no doors, meaning they were a big ol’ dust party. I hate dust. Hate. It. So this glassed in bookcase is blowing my mind because there is no dust anywhere near the books. It’s amazing. But as much as I love the glassed in bookcase this particular book case is too small for that wall and too dark in that room. I’ll probably move it sometime in the future, but for now it is my only bookcase and it’ll just have to do. I also have three large plastic bins in my second bedroom that are full of books and have yet to be unpacked. The take home lesson: I need more bookshelves.

This is my dream bookcase. I mean, how beautiful is that? It is a Billy bookcase from IKEA. This particular combination (it is 6.5′ wide x 7.5′ tall) is $564.97. I am saving my pennies so that this pretty baby can make it’s way to my dining room wall that needs so much love.

My dining room is insanely big. Okay ‘insanely’ might be extreme, but for the size of my house it is oddly large. My whole house is only 994 square feet so a roughly 260 square foot dining room is pretty big. I have a 6.5′ dining table and a small side bar but otherwise the room is completely empty. It has been my plan all along to add a bookshelf along the west wall. I could have bought several different ‘good enough’ bookcase but no more of those for me… I’m waiting for the real deal. So while I wait I will dream in books with you. Here is some eye candy and my tips for controlling and displaying books in your home. 1) Go big or go home.


(Source) If you love books and you have a lot of them, flaunt them. Make a big, bold statement. Showcase them as art. Color coordinating them is a fun and easy way to make your books really stand out. 2) Pare down your books. Be ruthless. Will you read it again? Does it look good? Do you really need it? I sell the books I no longer want to Half Price Books. I want to live in this next picture.

(Source) But this probably will never happen so I have to be realistic. For me that means that I don’t need to keep #1-357 of The Babysitter’s Club books even though they were my favorite. What I should keep are books that I love and re-read and books that look good.


(Source) Though very different these two pictures are great examples of perfectly styled bookshelves. A few beautiful books and a couple of well placed objects will help you forget all about the ugly and unused books you sacrificed. 3) Consider going the unconventional route.

(Source) Go vertical, in a corner, on diagonal shelves and BOOM. You just blew everybody’s mind.

(Source) I love these deep heavy duty shelves lined all the way up a wall. Because they are floating off the floor they become an architectural element in the room.

(Source) Incorporate books into unexpected places like this coffee table.


(Source) These last two items are so cool. They are like shelves made of books. It’s like a pun on your wall! —————————————————————————————-Books are such a big part of who I am that I want them to be a part of my home as well. And as someone famous and dramatic (it was Cicero) once said, “A home without books is a body without soul.” So you should get some books in your house stat, oh and try and make them look good too.