Tag Archives: DIY

Bookshelf Inspiration

One of the things I’m most focused on doing before grad school starts is making sure I have a quiet, cohesive organized space to do work.  If I wait until the work has started, it will never get done ( I know this from experience).  Since I didn’t take my desk with me when I moved, I’m starting with a totally blank slate, which is pretty exciting.  After searching through photos on the internet of beautiful home offices, one of the things I was continually drawn to was very simple lines with walls of built-in bookcases.  Since this is a little bit (read way) out of my budget or the scope of my know-how, I really loved how this space has some of the same atmosphere.


After a quick bit of searching, I found a desk and bookcases that would help me get a similar look at Target. I chose this desk and these bookcases to go with it.  I like that they’re not as narrow as the ones pictured above.

The Carson 5-Shelf Bookcase in White

The Carson Anywhere Desk in White


Let me just tell you that after they were delivered and I took the time to put all three pieces together, I didn’t want to look at them for about three days or so.  I was so sick of wrangling tiny little screws!

Now comes the fun part: I didn’t know that there were so many ways to decorate (or “style”) a bookcase, but I wasted a good bit of time investigating all the different suggestions. This article from Centsational Girl made lots of really great points.  Here are some ideas that I loved.

What a cool backdrop, and it looks really nice to use horizontal books as a bookend.

Picture frames and interesting accessories break up the monotony of only book spines

Love the bright, geometric backdrop on this one from Eddie Ross.

This article from The Art of Doing Stuff shows seven (7!) different ways to stack books.

I think this one is my favorite!

I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I decided that I for sure wanted to cover the back panel of the cases with an interesting and cheerful pattern.  The comforter in the extra bedroom is a cool gray and yellow graphic pattern and so I wanted to stick with something that would go with that.  Once I found this contact paper on Amazon, I was sold.  (also, it was only $5.50 since I added to an order of things I had already decided on. . . can’t beat that!)


I just received it this morning, and couldn’t wait to get work!  I’ve only done one bookcase so far, but I loved the results so much that I really wanted to share my progress.

The first bookcase with contact paper finished. . . I still have another one to do.


I put the contact paper onto the front side of the back panels before I screwed the panels onto the bookcases to that it would be easier to get the edges exact and not have to worry about cutting the corners inside the bookcase.













What do you think?  I love how cheerful they look now that they’re not just plain white.  Have you ever done something simple like this to make a pretty big change in the way something looks?


Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Decorating, DIY projects


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Paint It Black

I just wanted to share my first foray into the world of spray paint since I’m so proud of myself.  One of the only pieces of furniture I moved (besides my bed) was a bakers rack.  It started out a funny speckled green color.

The baker’s rack before

Since I had to take the dang thing totally apart to get it to fit in the trailer, I decided to take the opportunity to give it a facelift.  I used a primer made for metal that’s already been painted, and a glossy black spraypaint.  After taping every single space on my little porch over with a plastic dropcloth, I got to work.  After two days of painting and a whole day of letting it dry and putting it back together, let me introduce you to my very first spraypainting beauty:

The after

(forgive the not so great photography, I never claimed that was a skill of mine)  🙂

For now, its living in the corner of the dining room, and I’m thrilled that i was able to remember how to put it back together correctly.  

Also, since I had some paint leftover, I got to work on this little picture frame as well:

Now it’s a much better match for this long and skinny print I bought when I was studying abroad in India.  I’m pretty happy with the results of my experimentation so far.  Also, I thought I’d share this list of spray-painting tips first brought to my attention by a friend of mine (Thanks Britt!). It was helpful to have someone who does it a lot explain the basics (especially since I had no idea what I was doing).

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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in DIY projects


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