Sunday, September 11, 2011

my styled bookshelves

I styled our bookshelves:
In our last two houses, we have not had a place to put our books out on bookshelves for easy perusing. Instead, we have had one large bookshelf with doors, where each shelf was crammed two or three books deep.  Right before we decided to move, I bought two white Billy bookshelves, put them facing each other in a bump-out in the living room, and put the books so we could easily see them.  It was lovely, but then we moved.  

In this house, I put two bookshelves in our living room.  We have more books than we have space for, so I added an additional bookshelf in the basement.  I displayed some of our larger tchotchkes on the shelves among the books.  It just looked cluttered.

I knew this, but I was reluctant to get rid of the books or the tchotchkes.  I really enjoy having our books easily accessible, rather than packed in boxes in the basement.  Then it occurred to me--the ledge in the attic stairwell could hold two small Billy bookshelves.

I bought two small bookshelves and put them on the ledge, then moved half of the books upstairs.  The books I read the most I kept downstairs in the living room.  I also bought doors for the living room bookshelves.  Our frequently read books and magazines now live behind those doors.

All the tchotchkes were moved to the top three shelves.  Because the waxy cardboard back of the bookshelves does not take paint easily, I took two large pieces of foamboard, cut them to size, painted them Gossamer Blue, and put them in the back of the bookshelves behind the shelves.   Then I arranged our tchotchkes.  

All of the tchotchkes we already owned, and most of them are from friends or have a story behind them. 

I won't bore you with the stories behind every piece, except one.  The blue and white ceramic mask on the second shelf was made by my baby sister when she was in middle school.  Its looking worse for wear (it used to have ears and teeth), but it always gives me a giggle when I look at it.  That mask has been in every house I've had since my dorm room in college.  

That second shelf with my sister's mask on it is still a work in progress; the only things I really like on it at the moment are the mask and the painting.  I consider it room to grow.  New adventures will find their way onto that shelf eventually.  


  1. The bookcases look really good. What's the story behind the sumo wrestlers?

  2. I bought the sumo wrestlers on a trip to Japan; they come in a set of three little ones and a big one. I actually bought two sets, one for myself, and one for the guy I was dating at the time--the Mister--and so that's how I have two of the larger sumos on the bottom shelf. I plan on putting up another floating shelf near the stairs to put up some of the other smaller ones.

  3. Ha, I love that you still have the mask. That thing is so ridiculous :-)

  4. LOVE!!
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