Over the years it seems I always missed the mark, having too many things on the shelves and too few books, and just a big mess of an eyesore to gaze upon. Embracing bookshelves as an architectural asset has been very difficult for me.
But out there in the blog o'sphere y'all have some gorgeous bookshelves. I covet your bookshelves. I applaud you ability to style them so perfectly. I'm impressed by all the books you own.
So I've studied your posts on bookshelves. I've pinned and pinned and pinned. And I've spent hours, which when totaled really should be expressed as weeks or months, working on my shelves. And here's where I am so far ...
But wait, there's another bookcase flanking the fireplace, and he's empty ...
I don't want anyone to think we don't read, 'cause we do. But we primarily have a paperback book habit and I haven't found a way to display those books in a pretty fashion. And, for the most part, the hardback books we previously owned were lost in our house fire. So as far as displayable books go, I'm pretty much starting from scratch.
Recently I came across a fairly large selection of brand new books for sale for $2.99 each. They had some ugly book jackets but glorious spine colors that worked well with a color-blocking approach and our few hardbound titles.
Yes, I bought them purely for those great colors.
No, I don't have any clue as to the actual stories on their pages.
Yes, I imagine we will give them a read someday.
OK, for $2.99 I ended up with a few multiples of a title. Still, I've done the math on this purchase and for $18 I purchased a linear foot of books, duplicates included. I recently came across a reseller on the internet that offered color-blocked (all pinks, all blues, all browns, etc.) books by the linear foot starting at $29.99 + shipping, so I think I came out pretty good on this. If anyone wants the info on that book reseller leave a comment or email me and I'll send you the info.
Oh, and if you have an Old Christmas Tree Store (odd name) in your town, that's where I found my book bargains. Another tip is the books I purchased were evidently an odd-lot from Walgreen's because those price stickers were still on the jackets, and at Walgreen's they sold for 2 / $10.00, so a bit higher, but another place I never thought of looking for titles to fill out my bookshelves.
Curling up with a book, or watching TV, requires a blanket in my opinion, and a nice textural basket works to keep our blankets ready.
Somehow hubby's high school and college yearbooks survived and I love having them handy to pull out and
... white duct tape was what I had handy, but I imagine I'll change that out once I have a better idea of the color needed. And there's super cute patterned duct tape too which could bring a great touch of flair to the bookcases. If you really squint at the right end of those yearbooks you'll see I added a legend with a silver lead pen (1 ... 8) so I can easily find either the freshmen high school tome (#1) or the stately college senior (#8) edition.
------------------------------------So my bookshelves have made some progress and there's still more to accomplish. I'd say they are looking much better than in this photo from my way-back-time-machine that dates to our very first days in our house ... yes, that's a TV in the fireplace opening. I'm such a creative space planner. Things like that TV placement was one of the reasons we later removed the wall between the formal living room and family room and created the Great Room, with room to live, that we have today.
And here's that wall today ...
Along the way we built a "wood fireplace slipcover" (some would say a fireplace surround) and added grid patterned moulding (doesn't show up well in this photo) above the mantle ... you read about that here.
We still have plans to reface the brick and hearth with a glass tile and I would love to paint the back of the bookcases a deep rich navy. There's also plenty else to do in this room.
As far a bookcase styling goes I'm definitely still learning but I highly recommend this post by Darlene at Fieldstone Hill Design ... if you read this post you might see a gushing comment left by moi. Maury also posted about Darlene's bookcase styling series earlier this week here. I'm sure a lot of other blogs have referred to it too.
So what about you: do you love bookcases or not? think they are an asset to a room? do you spend untold hours moving items around your shelves trying to discover the perfect zen like combination? were you born with a bookcase styling gene? And please share your own bookcase styling tips ... there's lots of us that would love to hear them.
And tell me please, here's one more look, am I heading in the right direction?
Have a great Thursday,