Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Restyled Bookcases Using Wrapping Paper and Decorating with Books



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:


Interiorholic


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:

Hooray Hurrah


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!



30 comments:

  1. I LOVE IT! what a great idea...turning the books around, almost like you're letting all the words 'spill out', but the neutral color palette is PERFECT on your shelves.

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    1. Oh, I love how you described that! Makes me like it even more now...lol. Come back again soon!

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  2. They look amazing and i really like the color scheme now. great job.

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  3. They look great. I did a similar thing on my Ikea black bookshelves and what a difference! You can see it on my blog...

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jenna...I'll have to check yours out!

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  4. I love what a little paint can do to a piece of furniture 9or mantel) and yours are such an inspiration

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  5. Hmmm, wonder if the TJMaxx in Grand Junction,CO might have that paper. Love the look in back of book cases. You did such a great job, the books look really nice now. Books are a great decorating tool.
    Altho I'm not a librarian I love books, drives my hubs crazy that I never want to get rid of a book. I buy many of my books at the thrift store for $.25 which makes me happy. I have to have a book to read and many times I reread older ones when I don't have a newer one. I think we hauled about 9 big boxes of books from Mt to KY then to CO. I love me my books. Most of my books are hardbacks. Who is your favorite author?

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  6. Very nice. White rules!
    I'm visiting you today from lilluna. I'm co-hosting a Link Up today and would LOVE for you to link this! I hope you get a chance to stop by, Link Up and comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    My Mom Frame ~ Printables

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    1. White does, indeed, rule! :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. How fun and creative is this. I love the paper in the back of the bookcases and I love the books turned around. Super cool. I would love for you to link this to my Inspire Me party that will go live tomorrow evening.

    www.astrollthrulife.net Very inspiring indeed. Hugs, Marty

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    1. What a compliment coming from you! Thx so much!!

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  9. Love the look of the paper in the back of the bookcases, very creative. Bookcases are just so much fun to decorate and change. Great job

    xoxo Michelle. thebashfulnest.blogspot.com

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    1. They are, aren't they? So many possibilities! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  10. looks great--LOVE the old typewriter...so perfect on a bookshelf!

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    1. Thanks again, Gretchen...it was always lost in there before but for some reason turning the books around really helped make it more noticeable.

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  11. WOW...amazing transformation. It looks stunning!

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    1. Aw thanks, Roselle...I appreciate your comment very much.

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  12. Wow, I LOVE these bookshelves. I’d love it if you could link this up to our party, Give Me The Goods Monday! {1 party, 4 blogs}
    http://www.somuchbetterwithage.com/2013/05/give-me-goods-party-8.html
    Have a great week!
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jamie! Have a great weekend.

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  13. Love that!!! I am in love with your vintage type writer! I am on the hunt for an antique kitchen weighing scale! I'm your newest follower! Stop by and say Hi sometime!

    www.allienicolebrooks.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Allie. I love my typewriter...even more so because I think I only paid about $20 for it. It weighs A TON, though. I love kitchen scales, too!!

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  14. It beautiful!!! Styling a bookcase is much harder than it seems. Yours is perfect!

    Thank you for sharing at the Scoop Link Party this week! Now following your beautiful blog♥

    Linsey at The Farmhouse Porch

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  15. I recently found your blog through Pinterest and I love it! I was wondering where you got your 'a' and 'z' bookends. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much! Those bookends were a graduation gift 15 years ago. They were from Pottery Barn, and they unfortunately don't sell them anymore. But I found similar sets when I Googled "a to z bookends." Like these...
      http://www.things2die4.com/products2.cfm?ID=16663&gdftrk=gdfV25489_a_7c1896_a_7c7192_a_7c17258

      Thanks again for your kind words!

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I love reading your comments...and I read each and every one! Since you've taken the time to visit my blog, I'll take the time to respond. Thanks! :)

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