8.19.2010

The post with the built-in bookshelf.

As an English teacher, you might think that I insist on filling all of my available bookshelves with literature, literature, and more literature. While I do love to read, this is not the case for me, since I choose to save money by simply borrowing nearly 100% of my books from the public library. Instead, I have turned our bookshelves into decorative destinations for cohesive collections (wow, alliteration--I'm such an English nerd) that reflect the mood, style, and colors in the rest of the room.

Our living room sports this fabulous built-in bookshelf (gotta love cool old houses!), but I didn't care for its original display of DVDs, dorm-y picture frames, and other mismatched items that were deposited there upon moving in. Of course, since I am always on a budget, I had to be creative with how I alternatively filled these spaces. Here are some ideas for meaningful yet wallet-friendly items you can use to transform your bookshelf from a blah dumping grounds for knick knacks and media to an inspiring and customized nook!


1. Baskets. These add great texture to the shelf as well as an organized place to deposit things that you really don't want on display. Such unmentionables for us include my coupon folder, our video camera, computer cables, batteries, cat toys, boxes of greeting cards, and Rick's underwear. No, just kidding. Although it would free up a lot of space in the dresser...which would mean more room for me...which would mean I could go shopping...I must consider this.


2. Books. Duh. But I didn't just want any old run-of-the-mill paperbacks: I wanted books that were A) cohesive with our color schemes and B) in some way meaningful to us. You'll notice that our living room collection represents my English teaching with Weird and Wonderful Words, congratulates Rick's pharmacy degree with the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Medicine, honors my parents' lifelong careers with The Music Teacher, and reminisces on a cherished childhood series with the Little House book. Since I was not just arbitrarily grabbing books that looked nice (good thing, since there was a really great green book called ---) but, rather, looking for titles that represented pieces of who we are, hunting through our house and the $.99 shelves at Goodwill was really quite a fun treasure hunt.

A book formerly known as Thomas' 10th Edition of Calculus...
You can also cover old, unattractive and unwanted books (such as Rick's -----) with scrapbook paper for a brand new, inexpensive look. I like scrapbook papers that appear a bit worn to give the illusion of being a real book spine. I tried some other papers with patterns and just didn't like the result as much.



3. Glass bottles. As I mentioned in this earlier post about color, bottles are one of the cheapest (you can't beat free) things you can use to add some recycled flavor to your shelves. I will semi-frequently peruse the recycling bins around the block to find unique and interesting bottles that could pass as decor. While I'm lucky to have a living room that features colors frequently used in glass bottles (brown and green) I have also spray-painted bottles in a matte finish for a brand new and easy-to-change color.


4. Plants. Now, I really wish I could use real ones. And I still might pursue it. However, for a variety of reasons (including cats, toxicity, and light levels) that I will tackle in another post after I experiment with some ways to solve our dilemma, we currently use mostly artificial. I have been successful at finding some that look pretty convincing at local craft stores so that I can bring the outdoors in, albeit the fake outdoors.


5. Mugs. As most people do, we have a shelf in our kitchen devoted to coffee mugs. However, we aren't even coffee drinkers, so our collection goes mainly unused and they just peer down at us with their sad little mugs (hardy har har; I couldn't resist) 99.9% of the time. So, I took one of the plain ones off of the shelf and transformed it into something that could be displayed by simply adhering scrapbook rub-ons that I dug from out of my crafting drawers.

Desperately trying to find a mug that doesn't have anything on it? No problem! Just take a can of spray paint (since you won't ever be drinking out of it, there's no problem with this) to your least favorite mug and voila, you have the color of your choice. In some cases, you may want to use a coat of spray primer first, if "BEST GOLF DAD IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD" or something like that is printed on it in extra-large, extra-bold letters. No, we don't have one of these. Mainly because Rick is neither a golfer nor a dad. Maybe someday...


So there you have it. A little run-down of some of the everyday objects that grace our living room bookshelf with surprising elegance and style. What do you have on your bookshelves that makes them unique?

10 comments:

Amy @ Journey Mum said...

I'm so jealous of your built-in! We are thinking about putting our own in at some point, but I'm concerned that when we sell it might not be appealing to some people. We are big book lovers and while I make great use of our local library we own more books than we have bookshelves for. I'm working on cutting back on the books that are mine (rather than his or ours) so I only have books that I really love and know I'm going to read over and over again.

Erin said...

Hey Amy; aren't books wonderful? I wish I had more time to read for pleasure these days--too often I wear my eyes out just reading student work!! Good luck with your cutting back! :)

oakleyses said...

oakley sunglasses cheap, tory burch outlet, louboutin outlet, burberry outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, coach purses, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet stores, oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags, prada outlet, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet, tiffany and co, coach factory outlet, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, nike shoes, air max, coach outlet, jordan shoes, louboutin, michael kors outlet, nike free, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, air max, gucci outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, kate spade outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, coach outlet store online, tiffany and co, chanel handbags, christian louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, kate spade handbags

oakleyses said...

air force, oakley pas cher, polo ralph lauren, ray ban sunglasses, nike blazer, air max, lululemon, hollister, sac louis vuitton, hogan outlet, sac hermes, mulberry, timberland, true religion outlet, sac burberry, hollister, michael kors, nike tn, new balance pas cher, polo lacoste, sac longchamp, louboutin, nike roshe run, true religion jeans, vanessa bruno, louis vuitton uk, longchamp, michael kors, sac guess, nike free, nike air max, vans pas cher, sac louis vuitton, air jordan, converse pas cher, true religion jeans, louis vuitton, air max, north face, north face, ray ban pas cher, ralph lauren, air max pas cher, nike free pas cher, michael kors pas cher

oakleyses said...

herve leger, ugg boots, insanity workout, rolex watches, mac cosmetics, beats by dre, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, lululemon outlet, longchamp, mcm handbags, wedding dresses, nike huarache, nike roshe run, instyler, celine handbags, soccer shoes, new balance shoes, birkin bag, babyliss pro, barbour, bottega veneta, nfl jerseys, uggs outlet, jimmy choo outlet, hollister, marc jacobs, vans shoes, north face jackets, ugg australia, ugg pas cher, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, chi flat iron, ghd, ugg, nike trainers, p90x, nike roshe, abercrombie and fitch, asics running shoes, reebok outlet, giuseppe zanotti, ferragamo shoes, mont blanc

oakleyses said...

moncler, rolex watches, karen millen, canada goose, canada goose outlet, moncler, canada goose, louis vuitton, supra shoes, hollister, moncler outlet, converse, moncler, hollister clothing store, canada goose uk, air max, vans, oakley, moncler, baseball bats, ugg, juicy couture outlet, montre homme, parajumpers, toms shoes, canada goose, gucci, timberland boots, hollister, canada goose, louboutin, moncler, lancel, air max, coach outlet store online, ray ban, converse shoes, moncler, ugg boots, ugg, canada goose, canada goose jackets, ralph lauren, wedding dresses, juicy couture outlet, iphone 6 cases

ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
nike air max, louis vuitton, nike outlet, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, nike air max, christian louboutin outlet, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, burberry, gucci outlet, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, michael kors, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, prada outlet, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, louboutin shoes, replica watches, burberry outlet online, louboutin outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, tiffany and co, ugg boots, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet

ninest123 said...

hogan, air jordan pas cher, replica handbags, coach outlet, michael kors, nike free, lululemon, kate spade outlet, louboutin pas cher, nike roshe, nike free run uk, tn pas cher, sac guess, ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister pas cher, burberry, air force, longchamp pas cher, timberland, nike air max, nike roshe run, vanessa bruno, nike blazer, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, north face, hermes, coach purses, oakley pas cher, hollister, mulberry, air max, kate spade handbags, north face, nike air max, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, vans pas cher, new balance pas cher, sac longchamp, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, ray ban uk, coach outlet, michael kors, michael kors, true religion jeans

ninest123 said...

chi flat iron, new balance, mont blanc, iphone 6 plus cases, ghd, iphone 6s plus cases, north face outlet, valentino shoes, ralph lauren, mac cosmetics, herve leger, nfl jerseys, s5 cases, beats by dre, nike trainers, louboutin, hollister, bottega veneta, vans shoes, oakley, longchamp, nike roshe, north face outlet, baseball bats, asics running shoes, giuseppe zanotti, nike huarache, iphone cases, hollister, jimmy choo shoes, iphone 5s cases, birkin bag, soccer shoes, reebok shoes, ipad cases, mcm handbags, wedding dresses, hollister, p90x workout, iphone 6s cases, lululemon, abercrombie and fitch, instyler, celine handbags, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 cases, nike air max, insanity workout, nike air max, timberland boots, babyliss, soccer jerseys

ninest123 said...

lancel, pandora charms, moncler, canada goose, wedding dresses, barbour, ugg pas cher, vans, louis vuitton, hollister, links of london, coach outlet, supra shoes, canada goose, gucci, moncler, doudoune canada goose, pandora charms, moncler outlet, canada goose uk, moncler, swarovski, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton, karen millen, moncler, canada goose, converse, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, bottes ugg, converse outlet, montre pas cher, barbour jackets, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler, ray ban, canada goose, marc jacobs, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, moncler, toms shoes, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots uk, louis vuitton, swarovski crystal, moncler
ninest123 16.03

Post a Comment