Hi friends! I'd like to commence this post with a personal note. If I've never taken the time to say it...and I'm pretty sure I haven't...thanks. To my loyal readers, be you few but mighty, thanks for always coming back (and may you multiply). To first-time visitors, thank you for taking your precious time to read what I have to say; I hope you return. And to my friends and family who follow me just because you love me...aw, shucks. This humble blog is my personal labor of love, and it means the world to me that all of you take the time to read it. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to the ether...but other times (like tonight, when I've finished a project), I can't wait to share it with you because I know you get it. Your kind comments encourage me. So anyway...
You know how I recently painted our fireplace mantel? Well that project begat this one. (Begat. I think this is seriously the first time I've ever used that word in writing.) Anyway, our bookcases have always been a catch-all. I've liked them structurally, but ever since we moved in to this house 3 years ago, they've been a dumping ground. I've attempted to "style" them, but somehow they always wound up looking junky. Now here's the thing. As some of you may know, I'm a librarian by training. So books are serious business. I don't buy books simply for decoration, although I don't mind using them as such. Unfortunately, my favorite titles aren't necessarily pretty to look at. So I started thinking about how to arrange them differently. I love the look of organizing books by color:
But...the librarian in me just can't do that. I need them categorized somehow, some way.
I've also seen books covered with fabric or pretty papers, even just brown postal paper:
Alas, they're pretty, but not practical for me. And the time it would take to cover all my books? Whew!
So here's how I hit on a solution that I could live with. It balanced both my need for pretty, and my need to access my books. I found some wrapping paper at TJ Maxx that looked like birch bark...it was even thick and textured. For $2.99, I figured what the heck. So I snapped up a roll, came home and tacked the stuff up in the back of our bookcases. I had thought about painting the backs at one point, but this seemed quicker and easier. THEN, I realized quite serendipitously that I had some unused nesting boxes that could help with storage (more on that later). When I put the boxes in the bookcases, it became clear that I should turn the books around.
At first, I wasn't so sure I'd like this because I can't see the spines, but I grouped them in categories (British Lit, American Lit, favorite books, poetry, etc.) that made sense to me so I can still easily locate the book I need. And it just looks so much more pulled-together this way, don'tcha think?
Now, I LOVE our bookcases, and they look so darn pretty next to our newly white mantel. I only spent about 6 bucks total on this project! Here's what the bookcases looked like before, by the way...
Thanks, TJ Maxx!