Tuesday, April 19, 2011

before & after : a patterned bookcase

i learned pretty quickly that in a studio apartment, everything visible {i.e. not shoved in a closet...not that i do that or anything} needs to be neat & decorated if you want it to look pulled together. as i gathered cute furniture & accessories, my bookshelf was driving me nuts with all the random colors and brightness that didn't go with my soft, light pallette.

so, i took a few hours & turned it into something beautiful:

and maybe a better descriptor is "unobtrusive", which was my ultimate goal. i have TONS of books that i wanted to keep for either a) sentimental reasons or b) because i haven't read them yet, so i needed to figure out how to keep them, but not distract.

i also had this somewhat hideous ikea bookshelf, complete with a hole drilled out the back because i used to have my tv in it.

{not chic}

i painted it white, found an old lamp that had a black base and painted that grey {see above}, and then thought of a quick & cheap solution for the books.

supplies: books, scissors, scotch tape {or painter's tape, which i later switched to}, and pretty wrapping paper/vintage maps.

everything on the right was purchased at papersource for about $20 total.

i cut the paper into strips with about 2" extra past the width of the book. just a simple wrap & tape covered the spine, and comes off without damaging the book cover. i also wanted it to be somewhat easy to find books, so this way i could still easily see the covers.

i played around with different book sizes/patterns to make sure it would look pleasing.

and then loaded everything into the shelves! notice that on a couple books i did cover the whole thing, since i knew they'd show if i added other accessories, like this mug.

so, what do you think? it took about 3 hours total, but was easy to do in a couple days while i watched tv or a movie. i love the look!


Savvy in San Francisco said...

Looks fabulous! I saw those wall decals somewhere else the other day and thought about getting them for my bedroom. How do you like them? How many did you buy?

kelly said...

i LOVE them! these are from byrdie graphics, and they were shockingly easy to put up. i got the pack of 9" blooms, which comes with 12. i have 7 on that wall by the bookshelf, and 5 on another wall in my apartment. i'll put up some more pics tomorrow, but they are totally worth it!

The McKiernan's said...

looks so good! I LOVE all your before and afters! Keep em coming!

the lovebirds said...

a.dor.able! wow. so cute. you have inspired me! I love the new look! xo

kelly said...

thank you!! i think you were the first one to see it - i got the comment while i was updating it! haha! xo

Savvy in San Francisco said...

Thanks! Okay, I love all of their wall graphics! Now just to decide which one. I am leaning towards your bloom one but I am wondering if I should get it in the gray color or go bold with the turquoise color. Hmmmm!

Anonymous said...

where did you find such cute paper?