Bookcases 2.0

Hello snow day!

This white stuff is coming down a mile a minute…geez!  If you’re stuck at home all day like me, cuddle up on the couch and read on…

Over the weekend I made a small change in my house and it made all the difference in my family room.  Bonus: it was FREE!

A more apt title for this post should be Bookcases 7.0 or even 9.0 because that’s how long I’ve had these old Ikea bookcases and the number of times I’ve restyled them over the years.  Actually, the more I think about it, we’ve had these bookcases since House #2 which means they’re probably more like 14 or 15 years old. (We’re currently in House #3 and don’t planning on going anywhere, anytime soon!)

Anyway, these old Ikea bookcases are in our family room and have looked like this for a LONG time — too long in my book and I’ve been itching for something different.


What I like…

  1. The visual weight the double bookcases add to the wall.  It’s not pictured, but I like the way they balance a large mirror on the other side of the window.
  2. The color of the bookcases.  There’s a lot of different wood tones in the room plus the Moody Blue by SW TV stand.  White blends in with the wall, in a good way.
  3. Hidden storage.  The bottom of the bookcases house sewing supplies, ribbons, and paper.  The baskets hold candles, small picture frames, and general crap that I really need to sort, donate or trash.
  4. Books.  I love books! Old books, new books, stacks&stacks of books!
  5. Treasures.  I love displaying items in my house that have meaning to me, like the old cameras I found at a flea market with my good friend or the globes on top that I’ve been collecting forever.
  6. The price.  No room in the budget to buy new bookcases right now.  I gotta use what I got!

What’s not so hot…

  1. The colors.  All of them.  I like displaying books like a rainbow — so pretty! But visually I find these bookcases too busy between the books&the golobes&my objets d’art (aka junk!)
  2. The glass doors on top.  They are a little hard to see in the picture but they seem unnecessary and add bulk on top.
  3. The clutter.  Too. much. stuff. period.
  4. The old Ikea baskets.  They may fit the shelves perfectly but after 14+years, I’m tired of them. But, they do fit the space perfectly and hide my secret stashes so maybe the baskets are a “like?” Not sure…

So, after staring and staring, I decided to just empty the whole darn thing and start over.

And that’s when I realized I definitely wanted to remove the upper doors.


The bookcases look more balanced without the weight of the upper doors.


Doors begone!


This was an easy thing to do because I didn’t do it!

John did  — but seriously, it took about 2 minutes.  Gotta think of more jobs for John.  That one was too easy.


And then I snapped my fingers and this…


Ahhhh…fresh start!

So then I sat and stared again…

What did I want to put back into the bookcases??

I follow this amazing blogger, Nesting With Grace, who has such an eye! I find so much inspiration from her blog and her Instagram account.  She wrote a blog post about how to style bookshelves and gave the best advice — stick to a limited color palette and theme. Read more from her here.

Her advice seemed simple! Looking around my family room, I realized my colors were blue, white, wood, and shiny things like brass and silver.

I decided to “shop my house” and gather only items that fit those categories: blue, white, wood, or shiny!

I started with this…



And I got excited!!!

This looked new and fresh and so much better than where I started.

From that point on, I gathered&placed&went up and down my basement steps so much my legs hurt from the workout.  But in the end, I even found a place for this guy.

(If you follow me on Instagram, you might have worried about me when I posted this pic a few weeks ago because seriously, who buys a giant thumb?  This girl!)



Here’s the after…


Thumbs up, right?

I love it sooo much!  I’m sure I’ll be moving things around, but for now, it’s all good.

I mostly followed my “rules”: blue, white, wood, and shiny.  This made it so much easier to limit what to put back.  I did made an exception for my vintage cameras.  I like them too much not to keep on display plus I think that a little black should be in every room.

I had to keep some of the globes too but used only the quieter ones, with the more muted colors.

Here’s a close-up…


And again…


The baskets in the bottom row stayed for now.  I need all the storage they provide plus it might be difficult finding baskets that fit this very specific space.  I’ve also thought about just covering the front of the basket somehow too. But for now, they stay.

In the end, I spent about 2 hours emptying the bookcases and restyling.  This time would have been greatly reduced if I didn’t store my “goods” in the basement and had to schlep things up and down. I also wasted some time changing up my tunes on Spotify — a good playlist is essential for magic-making.

I wish I had done this so much sooner.  Like a year ago.  I wonder how many  of you feel this way too?  Do you have a bookcase, or a shelf, or even a countertop in your home that just irks you? That seems cluttered or busy or just plain boring?

If so, it’s easier than you think to make it better — to make it more you.  And it doesn’t have to cost anything.

  1. Clear off all the crap.
  2. Pick a color palette.
  3. Only use what you love.

It’s worth it!  And I wish I had done it sooner!

I made a fun Flipogram to show all the pictures together.  Be sure to check it out on my FB page.

The rest of the books found a home on the bookcases in The Boss’ office and a few are in the pile to donate at our local library.

Oh, and before you think I emptied the whole thing, I lied.  The bottom cabinets behind the the doors are still a wreck!  That’s my job for the next snow day … which hopefully won’t be until next December!


See ya’ after the snow melts — this is ridiculous!




Add yours →

  1. I love it. I really like how the two globes really stand out on top now. my eyes go right there. then, boom, they go to the cameras. great touch. it’s funny, but I just did a similar thing. must be in the air.


  2. Love it! Simple changes make a big difference!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: