Search Results For "i got bookshelves"

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!

Sometimes when I talk to people about this blog they say, “Aren’t you going to run out of projects at your house to blog about?” Because my house is small and for the most part completely decorated, I understand their question, but the answer is always ‘No.’ A few weeks ago I did a post showing the ‘before’ and ‘current state’ of my house where I listed out what I’ve accomplished so far and what I hope to do in the future, but that isn’t where the list ends. I don’t consider myself an artist, but allow me to use the analogy that I’m an artist and my house is my canvas and for that reason I don’t think I’ll ever be able to consider this house finished. So here is a run down of what looks done but in my mind is not done and may never be.

Bedroom bookshelves:

This is an older picture of these bookshelves (currently the books are still backwards) but overall it is the same. I hate this wall which is unfortunate considering it is directly across from my bed and I have to stare at it every night. I love the dark blue walls but as soon as I painted them I realized that the black bookcase would have to go because it is too dark against the wall color. I’ve considered painting it white or something but geez, that sounds like an awful amount of work. The small silver shelf was never intended to stay there long but I haven’t taken the time to find it another home. Overall, this wall annoys me because it is messy and random and too dark. I’m waiting until I get a bookcase for the dining room wall until I deal with this though. My hope is that the dining room bookcase will hold all of the books from these shelves plus all my books in storage (of course, by ‘storage’ I mean stacked in a corner of my room looking hoarder-ish) and then I can get rid of this bookcase. Don’t get me wrong though I genuinely love this bookcase. Having glass doors on a bookshelf seriously changed my life, but I’m not sure I’ll have a place for this bookshelf once it is moved out of this room. I could keep it in the basement in hopes that I’ll use it in future but that seems wasteful somehow. I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. Same with the silver shelf, I don’t have any other plans for it currently so who knows where it will end up. So what will I do with that wall when it is blank?
I’d like to get a parson’s desk and add a large cork board or art above it. I haven’t had a desk in years and I don’t need one to sit at, but it would be nice to have a place to organize and store ‘officey’ stuff. But we’ll see, I’m always changing my mind about this sort of stuff.
The Living Room Tables:
If you count, there are two side tables and a coffee table in here and I hate them all. Actually that’s not true, I hate two out of three. The left side table is Lack table from IKEA that cost $7.99 and it serves it’s purpose but it’s boring. The coffee table was $30 on clearance from IKEA and I feel the same way about it. I like the table on the right because it’s from CB2 and it opens up like an old school desk but it looks sort of weird where it is. I like the mismatched look (they are all different styles but since they are all white they work together) but I’d like to upgrade in the future.
Maybe a coffee table like this?
And maybe something like this for a side table?
Or this?
What I have now is just place holding for better stuff so I’m always on the look out for a the perfect replacement.
TV Stand Area:
I love this dresser and the lamps and the harp and the TV, but how it is set up now is a little bland. My plan is to hang the TV (I have the mount I just haven’t attempted to do it myself yet) and possibly hang art around it, like this:
Or this:
Considering I already have the TV mount this project should be completed soon but I’ve had it for over two months now and it hasn’t even made it to my to-do list so maybe not.
Dining Room:
Ugh, the whole dining room is bugging me right now. I really want to repaint it but I’m holding back because I don’t want to have to redo the postcard art which I love. But that messy gallery wall to the right has got to go. I’m still hoping to get my dream bookcase one of these day (I know I’m like a broken record talking about that stinkin’ bookcase – you have no idea how much I think about it, it’s nearly compulsive) and I would like to paint before that happens, but who knows.
Things I hate in this room: dining room table, gallery wall, wall color, and IKEA credenza.
Things I love in this room: postcard art, light fixture, and the curtains.
I’m thinking about painting the room a lighter color and simplifying the gallery wall and since I can’t afford a new table maybe I’ll get a tablecloth or something. I’m thinking of going with a lighter color like this:

Or this:

I don’t know if I can go lighter though. I’ve tried it in almost every room now and I always go back to dark and bold colors. I’m just afraid that I’ll paint it a lovely dove gray and hate it. Soooo…. who knows what will happen.
Overall, I’m very happy with what I’ve done to my house so far and everyone is very complimentary of it, but since it is my work I will always see the cracks and imperfections in it. The good news is that I’ll always have a new project to tackle which is fine by me since I really enjoy doing this sort of stuff.

Do you feel the same way about areas of your house? Or am I just too picky?

I had a request (a while ago) for a post about how to style the top of cabinets. It’s a great post idea because decorating unused space is hard to do. The top of cabinets are generally too high to store things that will be used regularly so they are basically just dead space (hence the trend to take cabinets all the way to the ceiling or have open shelving). I really enjoy decorating but it’s hard even for me to style dead space.

In this house I do not have open cabinet tops so this isn’t really an issue for me.

But I do have a large bookcase and I plan to get another one soon which is essentially the same thing – dead space that isn’t accessible but it still needs …. something.
Here is the current state of the top of my bookshelf. A stack of books and twin greyhound statues. Nothing fancy or striking.
But the request got me thinking because eventually (hopefully sooner than later) I will be getting my dream bookcase which will have six feet of dead space that I will have to fill so I did some research. Here are six objects or collections you can use to help fill any dead space in your house (top of cabinets, bookshelves, ledges, etc):
1) Globes. 
I love this trend of layered globes. The best part about this version of dead space decorating is that you can get globes for pretty cheap if you look hard enough. The globe in my entry way is from a thrift store for $12. Yesterday at a thrift shop I saw a black globe (those are much harder to find) for $25. It would be a fun collection to start because you can always have your eye out for one. You can also enlist your friends to look for you too. Besides being affordable, this look is also great because it has such a strong color impact. To further add to the visual appeal you can stack them on books or put them on stands to give the look a more layered feel.
2) Baskets.
Baskets can go kitschy-country fast, but what I like about the baskets in these images is that they are big and bold. If you put a few small baskets up on top of cabinet they are going to look lost and sad but large baskets will fill the space better. I also like how the texture and color of the baskets contrasts so nicely with the white kitchens they are in. If you have stained wood cabinets try white baskets for a similar look.
3) Your (fill in the blank) Collection. 
Whether you are a collector of wine bottles, milk glass, vintage thermoses, or vintage tins; dead space is the perfect place for your collection. My theory on collections is that they look better all in one place. For example, I collect pencil sketches from the places I travel and I found that I like them best all grouped together as opposed to spread out around my house. The visual impact of a bunch of like items in one place is very strong.
4) Monochromatic Layering. 
It’s simple; pick a color and get a bunch of items in that color. Go!
5) Plates.
Decorative plates were once reserved for your granny but times are a changin’. I don’t own a decorative plate but I get the appeal. My good friend collects state plates and they look awesome hanging on her wall. You could do a certain color palette, florals, toile, or Little House on the Praire commemorative plates… the options really are endless. It could be something that you start to collect or it could just be a matter of visiting a few thrift shops and seeing what you find.
6) Framed Art.
Everybody knows I’m obsessed with gallery walls so it’s natural that I’d want to stick art up there. It’s actually a small miracle that I haven’t stuck art above my cabinets yet (although I’ve thought of it often).  This also a pretty inexpensive way to decorate dead space. I like both the uniform look and the messier leaning look, either could work depending on the space.
I hope that was helpful! I really enjoyed looking around to find all these images, makes me want to start collecting stuff. Just remember, as long as you don’t resort to fake ivy and birdcages (like my Mom in the 90’s) you are good!

My Very First Furniture Redo

November 10, 2012 — 1 Comment

When I was 17 I redid my first piece of furniture. I still remember how it all went down.

I was 17 and I was given permission to redo my bedroom. My furniture was childish and I wanted an adult room that was less teenage-y. I got new bookshelves and a full sized bed, but it was the dresser I had trouble finding. I wanted a black dresser with silver handles. This doesn’t sound all that special or hard to find now but 10 years ago there wasn’t that much black furniture, it was ‘edgier’ than it would be considered now. One day my mom and I drove by a new furniture store that had just opened call Houseworks. Little did I know that I would find my dream dresser in there and that it was probably the most expensive store I would ever go in. Of course, they no longer have the dresser I wanted then, but it looked something like this:


The dresser that I fell in love with was EIGHT. HUNDRED. DOLLARS.

I’m not even making that up.

So I walked out of the store empty handed. Then somehow the idea came to me. I could recreate this look. Remember this was pre-pinterest, heck it was pre-internet bookmarks (the only thing I could do on the computer was Word… I didn’t learn copy and paste until I was in college). So I went to Goodwill and I found a tall dresser about the size of my dream dresser and I took it home for $35. Then I sanded it and primed it and painted it black and bought silver handles for it. Even I’m sort of amazed that I did all this at 17. What a weird kid.

These pictures are the dresser a few years ago in my room in DC. I used that dresser for nine years until I got my campaign dresser (the black dresser is now awaiting it’s fate in the second bedroom).

I’m pretty proud of this DIY, mostly because it was my first but also because it was the first time I took ownership of something. It didn’t feel like it was my parent’s furniture it was mine because I paid for it and made it look like I wanted.

Where you also a weird teenager that redid furniture? If so, let’s start a support group!

I Love Ceramics

October 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

Excuse the absence friends my blog just escaped my mind this weekend.

My birthday was last week and among other things I got these as a gift:

Love at first sight. These Greyhounds are from the Threshold collection at Target. I moved them around to different places around my house before I found the right place for them. I had them on the TV dresser, but they kind of blocked the view and come one, the TV is too important to be blocked!

I love them on top of the bookshelves in my bedroom. They look so good against the blue walls! I’m sure these little babies will move around a lot because things don’t stay in the same place for long around here.

So this is just a short post to say I’m alive and well and that there are two new dogs at my house just hanging out being all ceramic and such.

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.