A home for my books.

31st December 2010

I must have been a very good (albeit, picky) girl this year because I got Lowe’s gift cards. Hm, you might be thinking. What on earth will she do with that? Why, buy lumber for bookshelves, of course! My previous home had built-in bookshelves and though they were stacked three deep, they were perfect. How many bookshelves does my current home have? Three measly ones in my office to hold school books for reference. The rest of my books are shoved into cabinets and closets but are mainly under the bed in the front room. You read that right. While this has made for a major purging of books I wasn’t in love with, it makes it very difficult to lend books or find books for quick reference. It also makes it difficult to figure out what I have read and what I haven’t. So the goal is to turn a wall in my spacious dining room into built-in bookshelves. I am taking the opportunity to do it up right. New paint colors and everything. The problem, as it stands is that I love the color of my walls, but I really don’t love the white trim with the color for a library/dining room.

I’m thinking something a little lighter than the paint on this wall from the blog Isabella and Max:

Here is the space as it is, along with my inspiration photo:

So should I go with color on the walls with white trim and bookshelves? Or cream or white on the walls with black or gray on the trim/bookshelves? These are my dilemmas. But wait! I also need help with the details. I have several favorites, though the picture above is certainly the most classic. What do you like/love about these options? Which do you hate? Which one is only eh, okay? I want the DL, blogging buddies. I know design may not be your passion, but along with readings, it’s a big passion of mine, so help a gal out:

  • Lisa Moseley

    Okay, Jenn, here’s my opinion:
    If you’re going to do white trim and shelves, then you have to go with a color with serious PUNCH for the walls and ALLOW that color to be behind the bookshelves as well, meaning that you don’t put a back on the shelves, or if you do, paint them the same color as the walls. If you went with the other option, creamish walls with black shelves, then I think the entire bookshelf should be black. I think either option would look absolutely awesome in your VERY large dining room (I love it!) But here’s a little advice. As you know, Britton and I have a LOT of black furniture, including a wall of bookshelves. Let me just tell you about the dusting nightmare with black furniture. It’s never ending! You literally have to wipe them down every other day.

    I think taking into consideration the rest of your home and your colors, I would go with the white trim and shelves, with the blue on the walls, and you *could* even pick a different (punchier) shade of blue to go in the back of the shelves. Only my opinion! I’m excited to see the finished product. And hey, I got a brand new circular saw for Christmas!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • My thoughts exactly… though I am loving your idea of a different shade behind the bookshelves. If I went white, I had planned to leave the backs open. And you are SO right about the dust factor with the black. I had not thought about that. Very helpful, indeed.

      Oh, and I’m assuming your mention of the circular saw is an offer of help???? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll expect you here at 8 a.m.

      • Lisa Moseley

        8am! Wow, you’re a slave driver! I got a Home Depot gift card too! My purchases: two brand new toilet seats (OH YEAH) and some floor trim. Glad to know I’m not the only woman who asked for Depot gift cards! ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, I’d love to cut some boards! YAY!

        • Not by a long shot. That’s all I asked for, actually. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I bought the house.

          Sent from my iPhone

        • Good toilet seats are things of beauty.

          Sent from my iPhone

  • I’ve always been partial to white, and white trim, whether against a dark or light background. Although I would paint our banisters black probably, if we had our own house, lol. At the moment, we’re renting. The living room is tiny. There’s just one big wall for pictures and all, but hubby and I decided to make it into a whole wall of shelves. We were about to go to Home Depot as we were planning for him to make the built-in shelves, but my friend called (last Wednesday) to say that the white Billy bookcase at Ikea is on sale for $29 that day only. We already have two of the same, so we purchased 4 more (put 2 in the bedroom). Now our whole wall is completely shelved, and looks awesome. Except for the paint in the back, it’s chocolate brown (from the previous occupants) and I can’t wait till spring when I can paint it a light greenish/bluish grey. So I know Ikea Billys are hardly covetable, but they serve the purpose at the moment, and I’ll reserve the dreaming for the built-ins later.. Anyway, have you decided whether to do white or black trim yet? Btw, your space is amazing!

    • Thanks for the input! I actually saw a how to where the people used Billy bookshelves and put carpentry around them. I think I have decided to go with the white trim. I just haven’t decided whether or not to leave the wall color or switch to the slate gray. Hmm.

    • Ok – mind made up. Slate gray on the walls (will pick up samples this week). All-white trim. Floor to ceiling and will add crown while I’m at it. Furniture can stay because the dark wood stain actually looks good with gray. Oriental rug is classic. Hmm. Just about figured out. I’ll post pics once I get started.