Archives For bookshelf porn

Little Office Design

June 15, 2015 — 4 Comments

Well, hello blog. It’s been a long time.

While this blog may have been dormant, I certainly have not been. I’ve done a few projects around my house and hopefully I’ll catch a second wind one of these days and write about them, but for now here’s a project I did outside of my house.

The company I work for recently moved to a new building and I now have my very own office. I have a door! And windows! And a super random fireplace! As you can imagine, getting my own office is a big deal, not just because I got my own office, but because I got to decorate it as well. Considering I have this blog, you can imagine how exciting it is for me to have a new space to decorate.

Here’s my office pre-makeover. Well, technically I did already have some influence on the space prior to these photos. The owner was repainting anyway so I was able to choose the paint color, it’s Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray. It’s a great dark gray (grey???).

IMG_7124_1024 IMG_7126_1024 Why yes that is a random fireplace in my office. This office was at one point an apartment so I got what, I can only assume, used to be the living room.  IMG_7129_1024 Here she is post me getting my grimy hands on it: thumb_IMG_8205_1024 Anyone else weirdly obsessed with taking pano photos on iPhone? They are so weird and useless and also look sort of distorted, but I still take them because sometimes you just can’t get the whole scene in a frame. thumb_IMG_8199_1024 I love the free ‘Dress Your Tech’ wallpapers from Design Love Fest, I highly recommend checking them out. thumb_IMG_8189_1024 The desk and rug are World Market. The desk is probably too small for an office desk, but I couldn’t handle the idea of having a big boring (albeit super functional) desk. Of course, lots of cords because, you know, it’s a functioning workspace. thumb_IMG_8058_1024 The painting is from an auction and I’m obsessed with it. Soooo beautiful. It’s by a local artist and was painted in the ’30s. I got it for $50! Chairs are from the Container Store.

IMG_7280_1024 2 Two boxes of Pantone postcards from Amazon and a lot of tape and I got this super cool (and super affordable) wall art. IMG_7186_1024 For my birthday last year my two best friends got me this awesome Rifle Paper travel calendar. When I was trying to come up with something to put on the walls in my new office, this calendar came to mind. Frames are from Hobby Lobby and I spray painted them gold (naturally). One of my brothers said it looks like a travel agent’s office, but I’m okay with that. The long white bookshelves in the background are actually metal ones I found on craigslist (obviously). $30 for both of them! They were a total b to paint though. I tried spray painting them but that got out of control so I used a roller to paint and seal them. A total hassle, but overall a very affordable solution. Most of the stuff on them is stolen from my house. It was kinda fun to “shop” my house for things to bring to my office.

I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak it because that’s just what I do, but for now I love it.

Bookshelves, updated

January 10, 2014 — 1 Comment

Earlier this week I showed you my new bookcases. So great, right? I’m still in the unbelieving phase of having them. Whenever I turn the corner into the dining room I’m still surprised they are there.

It didn’t take me long to start adding stuff on the blank walls around the bookcases, I mean, this is me, if I see a blank wall I’m going to nail crap to it!

Before:

Little House Design: Art around bookcase After:

Little House Design: Art around bookcase Little House Design: Art around bookcase You may recognize these bird prints with the frames that I gilded, as the ones from my bedroom.

Little House Design: Art around bookcase I have a good reason for moving them out of my bedroom, but I’ll get to that in another post.

Little House Design: Art around bookcase I only used four of the five prints because only four of them are vertically aligned. I also decided to level the top picture with the door frame and not the bookcase. That was a decision based on the fact that the postcard art is also level with the top of the doorway. I think it helps make the room look taller, but I don’t really have evidence to support that. You can kind of see what I’m talking about below.

Little House Design: Art around bookcase I really like them there! It’s nice to move art around within the house because it helps me to see them with new eyes. It’s also nice because most people don’t come over and hang out in my bedroom so now these prints get more exposure.

As for the other blank areas…

Little House Design: Art around bookcase Little House Design: Art around bookcase I haven’t quite decided what if anything will go in these places, but of course, I’ll keep you updated!

I Got Bookshelves!!!

January 6, 2014 — 3 Comments

I’ve loved books my whole life. I started collecting them even as a kid. I recently found a picture of my first set of grown up bookcases. I got them when I was 13 and it was such a big deal!

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

It’s all so teen – the Christmas lights hung year round, the collector edition Barbies, all the candles. It makes me so happy that I took pictures of them when they were like that. One of my favorite activities was to take all the books out and then reorganize them. That’s not a joke, I really did love to do that!

But back to present day, I’ve been in the market for bookcases for about two years now. I’ve been like a broken record about my ‘dream bookcase‘ but I actually finally got one! Technically, it isn’t my ‘dream bookcase‘ but I’m okay with that. The bookcase I wanted was 8 feet tall by six feet wide with glass doors and was $560 (which is pretty insane considering it is just particle board). The bookcase I ended up getting is 7 feet tall by 6 feet wide with no glass doors and was only $150!! So, I lost a foot off the top and glass doors, BUT I’m happy that I didn’t ‘invest’ in something that isn’t real wood. If I’m going to spend over $500 on something I want it to be a good quality item that will last a long time.

Before:

P1130029

And here are my three new bookcases!

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

It is so nice to have all of my books out and in one place! My old black bookcase in my room only held about half of my books (the other half were in tubs in the spare bedroom). Then there was the last 10 months where my bedroom floor became a makeshift bookshelf. Now finally, my books are displayed nicely in one place. Right now the walls on both sides and the top of the bookcase are bare so we’ll see if I had stuff later. For now, I’m just happy that my wandering books have found a home.

Bookshelf Be Gone

May 3, 2013 — 7 Comments

I mentioned in my last craigslist post that I recently sold three things, I sold the red chair and glass coffee table from the living room but I’ve kept mum about the third thing until now… I sold the black bookcase in my bedroom!

I’m actually really sad about it because I loved that bookcase. I’ve said it like a hundred times but this bookcase sort of changed my life (more on my books obsession here). Now that I know the glories of having glass doors on bookshelves I can never go back (no more dusting book pages!). So why did I sell it? Well, that’s a bit of a long answer.
I’m at that point in my home decorating where things get weird. My house looks done and most people would be content to leave it where it is, but not me. I have a big vision for this house. Which means, I am now starting to replace the ‘place holder’ furniture. Unfortunately, that includes this black bookcase. While I loved this bookcase, it did not go well with the paint color in my bedroom (it was too dark against the blue wall) and I there wasn’t another place for it my house. Plus, I have plans for a bigger and better bookcase. I’ve literally been talking about my dream bookcase for like nine months (here) now but selling this bookcase gets me one step closer to actually buying it.

For a refresher, this is the bookcase I want:

via IKEA
It will go in the dining room on the big blank wall:
That big wall to the right (it’s bigger than it looks, from the end of the frames to the corner of the room is about 8′) is where the new bookcase will go. So the bottom line is this: I sold the black bookcase so I can use the money to help buy the bigger white bookcase for the dining room.
But, I haven’t purchased the white bookcase just yet so for the time being this is what’s going on in my room. First it was a blank wall (I took the silver shelf to the basement to use for laundry and cleaning supplies):
The other side of my room was cray. I own a lot of books.
What you may not be able to see is that there are three large tubs hidden under there full of books. Yeah… I have a lot of books.

Since I haven’t planned my trip to IKEA yet and I don’t want to leave my books like this any longer (it was sort of suffocating in there) I came up with a temporary solution.

I’m going for a sort of 80-year-old-professor-of-English-Lit-who-has-traveled-the-world-and-been-married-seven-times vibe. Are you feeling it? Now that I think about it, said woman would probably have more Proust and less young adult fiction… ah, well.
I started by stacking the big books first, mostly photo albums and yearbooks (why do I keep those?).
Then I gradually added books.
Here is the view from the doorway. It feels so open in there now! I’m sort of loving it. I don’t have plans for that wall yet. My goal is the get the bookcase for the dining room, move these books onto the dining room shelves, and then deal with this wall.
I stacked these up yesterday and so far Bob hasn’t bothered them. The likelihood of one of these stacks falling over is high, I mean it is just books stacked up like three feet high so yeah, not foolproof or anything, but so far so good.
The overflow is still in the corner, but it is much cleaner now!
I also added a little stack by my nightstand of the books I haven’t read yet.

Also, I got rid of two huge tubs of books! Yep, I’m pretty proud of that. I was super selective with what I kept. I know I’m about to buy a huge bookcase, but I have so so many books that even getting rid of two tubs means I still have all these books left over. If you are curious as to what I kept and what I got rid of here was my criteria:

1) Will I read it again? The answer was ‘yes’ a surprising amount of times. There are about 30-ish books that I re-read regularly, as in either once a year or bi-annually.
2) Is it pretty? A shallow question, but some books are just so pretty that I had to keep them. I have a lot of very beautiful books that I probably won’t ever read again, but they are pretty enough to keep around (to use for styling).
3) Is it sentimental? A lot of my books have sentimental value. Either they were gifts from loved ones, books from my childhood, or they remind of a specific time in my life. People are sentimental about all kinds of things and I am sentimental about books.

So that is my ‘in progress’ update on the bookcase situation. I’ll keep you posted!

Bookcase Restyling

December 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned many times how much I love bookcases, especially the kind with glass doors like the one in my bedroom.

But lately, I’ve really let my bookcase go. Stuff was just piled in there willy-nilly like it was a closet, except you could see through the doors.
I decided to take the time and restyle it when I had a flash of inspiration that was subconsciously sparked by this memory of this image:
This is a still from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is an excellent movie if you haven’t already seen it (and even if you have seen it you should watch it again because it gets better every time). See behind them, how the books are all turned around? In the movie it is a metaphor for how their lives are all turned around or how blank their memories are or just because it looks cool. I decided it would look cool if I did that to my books too.
This is the best kind of styling because a) it took about 8 minutes to do, b) it took no thought or styling skills, and c) people can no longer judge me for how many young adult books I read 🙂
This look works especially well in this room because that black bookcase again the dark blue wall is a really heavy look. I will eventually switch it out for something lighter but for now this gives the illusion of lightness.
My apologies for the shadowy pictures. It is always dark when I get home from work so it’s hard to get good sunlit pictures.

DIY Postcard Wall Art

December 3, 2012 — 19 Comments

Welcome, YHL readers! Thanks for visiting! I love YHL’s new book and I am so happy to share a project that was in part inspired by their Project #28: Collage Your Wall.

This weekend I got on a project that I’ve wanted to do for a while.

If you can’t tell from the image above, I used postcards to create large scale wall art. I love it! It all started nearly a year ago at Christmas when I got a set of postcards with book covers on them.
mylittlehousedesign.com penguin books postcards The set of postcards I got are Penguin Book covers that range from The Great Gatsby as shown above to some super obscure books like Common Sense About Smoking. Ironically they sat on my bookshelf for a year. I tried a few small projects with them but nothing really turned out. Then a few weeks ago I decided I was a little tired of my Klimt canvas.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love this piece. I’ve been a fan of Gustav Klimt since high school (in college I even named my beta fish Gustav in homage) and when I saw this large print at IKEA I had a rather visceral reaction to it.  But it was time for it to move to another part of the house (yet to be determined). So that is when I decided that maybe doing a large wall of postcards would be cool.
Here’s how I did the project:
1) In order to give the overall look more texture I mounted several of the postcards on foam core. I used rubber cement to adhere them. I randomly decided that I wanted 25% of the total amount of postcards to be mounted, which for my wall came out to 12 postcards.
2) After they dried I used a utility knife to cut them apart.
The utility knife left a pretty rough edge so I used scissors to clean them up.
3) I measured out the area I wanted on the wall and marked it with FrogTape. For this space I decided on 4’x4′ which is 48 postcards with about 2″ in between each one.
If the tape looks crooked to you that’s because it is. I was using it more as an idea of where I wanted them to go not an actual starting point.
As I’ve mentioned before, I am not good at doing tedious measuring so once I had the first row done I eyeballed the rest. The first row I did by using my level to make sure everything was straight and then as luck would have it the level was nearly 2″ wide so I used it mark the distance between the postcards as well. I spread out the twelve that I put on foam core randomly.
When it was all said and done I could have easily skipped the foam core stage and just put them all on the wall flat because the foam core didn’t add enough dimension to make much of a difference, but I’m glad I did it because I would have always wondered if it would look better with some mounted.

This project would also work well with any other kinds of postcards, like these awesome Pantone ones, your own personal collection of postcards, or vintage ones collected from antiques stores or from pre-collected sets on Ebay.

I love checking things off my mental to-do list!

Creating with the Stars

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)

(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.

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(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.

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(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.