Posts tagged ‘bookcases’

August 22, 2011

Gallery Wall Inspiration

There has been a lot of gallery wall talk in our house lately. We are gearing up to tackle the wall above the new bookcases. We want to fill it with a mixture of art and photos, but mostly old photos we’ve been gathering from our parents’ and grandparents’ albums.

I’ve put together a few images of gallery walls that I think are done really well. Hopefully ours turns out as nice as these.

And, just for fun, here’s one of the photos that I found at my parents’ house. I love this photo of my dad and me!


May 2, 2011

Awkward Built-ins

So we got the new bookcases in the room and have even moved everything over that was on the built-ins by the fireplace. You know, those awkwardly placed built-ins that I’ve mentioned before here, here and here. I never actually explained why we are not exactly fans of those built-ins, so I took a few pictures to help you understand our disdain.

This picture was taken while standing in the kitchen looking into the living room. As you can see, there is an extra wide doorway here, but these built-ins are jutting past the frame and invading the openness. It annoys me that obviously they do not really fit into this space so why are they there? Especially when the living room itself is very long and somewhat of an awkward space to fill. Adding bookcases where we did makes so much more sense (at least to us).

And because these shelves were built into a space that wasn’t quite right, the depth of the shelves is awful. I placed my iphone on the shelf to show you just how shallow they are. Our poor art books have been hanging off the edges of these shelves just begging for a better home. Our new bookcases have very deep shelves and the art books have now been tucked away, safe and sound.

I’m very excited to demolish these built-ins. As soon as these things are gone, we will get paint on the walls and be so much closer to a completed room. However, we have to time our demo with the arrival of a carpet guy. Why, you ask?

Well, as you can see here, once we remove the built-ins there will be no carpet underneath. And with kiddos running around this house, we think it’s best to have that fixed immediately. We have the same carpet running throughout the house so we plan to take some from the formal living/dining area to lay down in this empty spot. We eventually want to put hardwood floors in the formal living/dining area, so removing some carpet from under the couch we have in that room won’t be a big deal… we hope!

Also, as you can see from the picture, we will need to cut into the tile a little to align the carpet edges properly. Why can’t things just be easy?

By the way, in case you were wondering, these built-ins are not originally part of the house. They were added later. Otherwise, I would be much more hesitant to knock them down.

April 17, 2011

The living room feels more cozy. The garage feels much bigger.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here. I haven’t managed to find time to update this blog, but somehow, I did manage to paint the bookcases. Remember these bookcases that have been sitting in the garage for months? Yep, finally got them painted, out of the garage and into the house. I painted them an antique white to match the trim and the built-in bookcase already in the room. I wanted them to feel like built-ins but it’s nice to know that we can take them with us if we ever decide to move. The living room feels so much better now. Still big, but a lot more cozy.

Here’s a before shot of the living room without the bookcases.

And here’s what it looks like now.


I know the change doesn’t seem very dramatic, but it definitely feels different when in the room. There is still a lot of work to be done, such as actually put books on them. Our next plan of attack is to knock down the awkwardly placed built-ins next to the fireplace. (We plan to leave the smaller built-ins not shown in the photos). Then we will paint and hang things on the wall. I’m really optimistic we will have it all done soon. We just have to stay focused…and caffeinated.

February 22, 2011

Our momentum has been hibernating

A few weeks ago, in my post about our work-in-progress living room, I mentioned a pair of bookcases that were sitting in our garage. Well, they are still sitting there.

After we purchased all of our new furniture for the living room, we realized we had pretty much blown our budget for the room. So when it came time to choosing bookcases, dropping another $1000 for the set we thought would be perfect for the space, just wasn’t going to happen. We knew we needed two in order to fill the space and we knew we wanted them to be open so you could see the wall color come through the back. That way they would look a little more like built-ins since we are planning to tear down the current built-ins that are in an awkward space by the fireplace.

So Alex finally gave in, and volunteered to build them himself. He figured he had watched enough episodes of This Old House so he would know what to do. Oh, and he also got a little help from a friend that actually does know what to do. He spent less than $300 for wood and supplies, saving us about $700. He started in August, but with our busy schedules and our crazy kids, it took a while to finally fit in enough time to finish building them. Then I got to work on sanding and priming. At that point we lost momentum, the weather got cold, holidays took up even more of our time, and suddenly it’s February and we can’t believe they are still sitting there. We should be ashamed of ourselves, and I am. Also, I’m sick of parking in the driveway.

All they need is a couple coats of paint, so I am making these a priority on our list of things to do. After they are painted and moved into the house, we will be able to tear down the awful built-ins and paint the walls. Yay! I’m so excited to get going…again.

January 24, 2011

A living room worth living in

In our house, most of our time is spent in the living room. It’s a huge room, and it took us a while to decide how to best set it up to make it feel more cozy, yet still have space for the kids to play. So here’s a picture of what the room looked like right after we moved in.

Very eclectic, right? We didn’t have much furniture having just moved from a much smaller house. After a lot of talking, a lot of shopping, and then even more talking, we finally decided on this new furniture and a rug to help break up the beige carpet a little.


The coffee table, two chairs and entertainment center are from Crate and Barrel, the rug is from Home Decorators, and the side table is from CB2. And for Christmas, we bought ourselves a new TV by taking advantage of a nice Black Friday deal from Best Buy!!

Hopefully you’ll agree that this is a huge improvement, but there are still some things to be done. For example, Alex built bookshelves to go along the wall behind the two chairs. And those are still sitting in the garage just waiting for a couple coats of paint to be applied. I plan to tackle those very soon…I’m embarrassed to think about how long we have had those out in the garage and not in our house. Seriously, it’s ridiculous!

Here’s the list of all the things that we plan to accomplish in the not-so-distant future (some more distant than others):

  • Paint the new bookshelves
  • Knock down built-in bookshelves next to fireplace (They are very narrow and in a weird place, I’ll post more about this later)
  • Paint the walls
  • Add carpet in area where built-ins were
  • Hang things on the walls
  • Replace mantle (we want something with a little more presence)
  • Get mirror for above fireplace
  • Scrape popcorn ceiling
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Update all of the old throw pillows