Friday, April 15, 2016

Styling a Bookcase

Yeah, it's me.
Back for another beautiful, bodacious, bemusing, bull $%&ing post!!!!!
I am still helping my friend Connie with her home in south Florida.
We are now adding the layers to make it cozy and unique.
One of the sticking points that bedevil many a homeowner and aspiring designer is how to attractively arrange a bookcase.
Connie inherited a big built in one in her living room that we had to work around.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane to appreciate where we are now, today, this very
minute in time, as you are reading this here blog post that I am writing this very minute!!!!!
 This is the bookcase we got handed to us against MY our will.
We changed some of the fussier details, simplifying it to work with Connie's style and painting it a simple creamy white, getting rid of the glazing finish that had been previously applied.
If you want to read more on how we did this, you can read about it HERE

Then we had to figure what to put in it.
This is the point we had gotten to when I turned my attention elsewhere in the house.
I felt the back of the bookcase should be painted blue.
Connie finally caved, and I got what I wanted!!!!!
At this point she started placing various and sundry objects from around the house on the shelves.

She wondered why it didn't look so hot.
I informed her.....
that's because i hadn't put on my thinking cap and concentrated on this part of the room!!!!!

When I design the clutter that goes on a bookshelf...
books are a must.....
Get it???
But, since we were doing a more polished look than I normally do, I wanted to do the covers wrapped in white, just like the big boy decorators do it!!!!!
Last year when Connie and I hit the annual Flea Market/Antique Show, we stumbled across some old muslin that we grabbed for 20 smackers.
When I saw it, I screamed melodiously intoned: "Connie! Come Here! Right Now! 
 NO, NO, NO, put down that rhinestone pin,
 and come over HERE TO ME!!!!!"
boy, when you find the perfect thing that you were looking for, only you didn't know that it was just what you were looking (ME)get a little paranoid that someone could come along and swoop down and steal it from under 
your very eyes!!!!!
As I said, Connie bought it, and she
 cut it up and wrapped the books!
Don't tell Connie's husband Chris that we stole some books from his office to have enough for our bookshelf arrangement.

I wanted to do arrangements on the shelving that were all whites and creams.
I got her started on a collection of creamy white Abingdon Pottery.
But that wasn't enough to do the trick.
What to do?????
What to do?????
I KNOW!!!!!!!!!
That's creamy.
That's pretty.
That has interesting shapes.
I wonder why I hadn't thought of that before?
If anyone has an idea why such an obvious choice hadn't occurred to me, leave it in the comment section below.....(be kind)
I had Connie meet me at the local sea shell store that is between her house and mine.
I had the idea that pieces of coral would just do the trick for accents on the shelves.
We already had some pretty sea shells from Connie's ocean house, so we only needed to add one more.

The trick for displaying sea shells, is to have the proper stands to get them to stand up.
I had never had a stand before, and was quite impressed, let me tell you.
Just goes to show, an old dog can still lean some new tricks!!!!!
I created a somewhat symmetrical balance between the two sets of shelves. 
If you've been following this story, you may remember that the center part of this bookcase is the hidden doorway to the master suite.
Chris gave me a thumbs up on the decorating efforts.
That's as much time as he spent on the project.
I feel this side is done.
This side may need one more thing on the bottom shelf.
Connie doesn't agree.

On that note, 
Latah, Gatah
(I'm back up in Massachusetts)


Susan Freeman said...

The shelves look great! I love the idea of a hidden doorway :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tardevil said...

Looks great! I agree, I'd move the 2 vases to the left with the other one and find a shell or something brass for the right side. Like the blue on the back...good call!

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

I can just imagine the husband searching for one of his books and having no idea that it is right there wrapped in muslin! LOL

Jeannine520 said...

Looks great Betsy. I'm glad Connie finally listened to the voice of reason and agreed to paint the back of the bookcase blue. I think it was a necessity to be that color. Love that secret door.

defaziolinda said...

Oh my gosh! My daughter just picked up a large piece of coral at a thrift shop for me!!!! I haven't gotten my bookcases yet (just moved to Oregon 2 weeks ago) so will be "borrowing" your ideas. I have already purchased a white loveseat and a wicker chair with cushions, a small off-white table. I have the flowery-rose material to cover the cushions on the chair. Love all your blogs!!!! Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

the bookcases look so much better and I love the back painted blue! glad you are back....i missed your posts! Please share more of your place in Ma.....I LOVE seeing pictures of it!!!! Andrea W

MJ said...

I cannot believe you did this with books....with a BOOKSHELF..... sigh.....

Anonymous said...

Connie, Connie, Connie !!! When will you come back to us full time Betsy ? We are a very needy lot ! We miss all your advise and decorating wisdom. I hope Connie realizes the greatness of "OUR" Betsy . Connie's house does look amazing . You have a real gift Betsy. Any who, I am still not ready to give up on you doing Questions and answers on Tuesdays. Someday...maybe....pretty please?

Dolores said...

Geez. So happy to see a post from you!I thought you had 'retired' from the design world and us :-) Since I am a reader and love my books, I mostly disapprove of the notion of wrapping books to match the décor- but in this case- it's fine as the whole bookcase is just a decorative statement rather than a 'library' per se. The room now looks perfectly ethereal with a sense of calm about it..

Donnamae said...

I love the blue painted backs. That, really sets off the pottery and coral,,,which looks wonderful! I was told, that as you get takes longer for your brain to retrieve information, because there is just so much knowledge up there!! So sometimes ideas are a little slow in coming. That's what I like to believe...amd I'm sticking to it! Hope that wasn't too painful! Happy to see you post again! ;)

bmayer said...

Oh Betsy, it pains me to say this, because I always love everything you do.....but wrapping the books just seems like you are trying too hard. This ranks right up there with that awful trend of putting books on shelves backwards (with the pages "out", and the spines against the back of the bookcase). I guess I am just far too practical. I do love the blue painted backs though.

Jewelry lover said...

They are beautiful but bookcases are for books. No doodads in bookshelves is my motto.

Anonymous said...

Betsy, ever since you first posted this I have tried and tried to like the bookcase styling. It is very orderly and balanced and rhythmic and beautiful, and, well, sterile. I'm with bmayer and Jewelry lover above. Bookcases are for... wait for it... books! With spines showing so you can read the titles. A novel idea (pun intended) I know. But hey, I'm a bibliophile. :D


cathy @ said...

Gorgeous!! So perfect for Florida!

Unknown said...

Amen sister. How dare Donald, or anyone for that matter, ever comment about someone's weight. Bad taste. Bad Donald. Bad, bad boy! Now let's all go out and Vote! Let our voices be heard.

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