Bookshelves: The Unveiling

26th April 2011

I am so so excited to unveil my bookshelves. My point-and-shoot doesn’t take the greatest interior pics, so I’ve stood on chairs and used different settings, trying to get good shots, but believe me when I say, these pics do not do them justice. Since I moved in this house, just over two years ago, I knew this room called for bookshelves, but I also knew it was going to be expensive, as I have 11-foot ceilings. Well, after getting some Lowe’s gift cards (thanks to Mom and Sis), I had almost enough for the lumber. Plus, my sis’s boyfriend just started his own construction company, so I decided this would be one of his first jobs (thanks, D). I am extremely pleased with the result. He still will add quarter round at the bottom of the shelves, and I plan in the next months to add crown moulding, but for now, my books have a home, and I am thrilled with how cozy the room is.

Here are the before pics:

Without further ado, my new reading room/dining area…

Looking back, the month-long debate on color was well worth it, and I’m so pleased. Valspar’s Cobalt Cannon works perfectly in this room, and Behr Pure White Hi Gloss looks great against the walls.

Thanks for indulging me! It’s been fun.

jenn aka the picky girl

PS – If you’re interested in how I organized the books, I broke them up into contemporary fiction, classics, collections (poetry and short story), art books (monographs), fantasy/sci-fi, mystery, commercial fiction, and TBR. I also left space on the bottom right (near the basket that holds the pup’s leashes and toys) for library books, books to give away and return, etc. Oh yeah, and there’s a shelf for my special books – signed, first edition, etc.

  • Your room looks absolutely amazing and this makes me miss the days when I had a beautiful old house in Wisconsin and we spent months constructing and painting and making it beautiful.

    • pickygirl

      Thanks so much, Amanda. I do love old houses. Thankfully they had gutted it, so much of the work was done, but of course, in a 107-year-old house, there’s still a lot to do.

  • Wow these shelves look fantastic! The whole room is beautiful. Good work!

    • pickygirl

      Thanks! I can’t claim responsibility for the bookshelves, just the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gorgeous! I absolutely adore the dark blue and bright white combination. You did an excellent job!

    • pickygirl

      I really love the dark and light combo, too, especially because the wall color is matte, and the trim is glossy. Makes a huge difference!

  • Covet!

    • pickygirl

      Thanks. I’ve been coveting shelves of any sort for quite a while

  • Ooooh, they are very, very pretty! (Having bookshelf envy :D). What a lovely room.

    • pickygirl

      Bookshelf envy. I love it!

  • Oh my goodness, beautiful! I’m so jealous!

    • pickygirl

      Thanks. I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

  • Oh, my goodness, these look *awesome* – the colors are great, I’m so jealous at how big they are! Now, here’s the question: will they stay all nice and neat in a few months! If these were my bookshelves, they would be a nightmarish mess fairly soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • pickygirl

      hee hee. i’m determined to keep them nice and need. i’m pretty obsessive about keeping the open spaces in my house neat, so i’m hopeful… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am trying so hard not to be jealous. The bookshelves are beautiful – heck, the whole room is beautiful. This is what I’m going to be dreaming of for the next six months I spend piling my books up on the floor or in dresser drawers.

    • pickygirl

      Aw. So sorry. Believe me, I know that feeling. My poor books were so neglected, shoved under beds, on tables, in cabinets. But I know your space is limited, and that makes it worse. I’m wishing you beautiful shelves in the next year!

  • Wow, I love this room! The colors all work together perfectly, and you have lots of space for your book collection to grow. I also particularly love the rug and table you have in there.

    • pickygirl

      I know! I couldn’t believe how many books I don’t have! I’ve gotten rid of so many over the past two years. I really love that rug, too. Found it tucked away in an antique store and bought it for a steal. Thanks for your sweet comments.

  • Lisa :)

    They are beautiful, Jenn! The room was beautiful to begin with, but what a great use of space. The colors are absolutely fantastic. SO GORGEOUS! I know you must be so happy with them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • pickygirl

      I am! I am so so thrilled with the way they’ve turned out. Thanks so much.

  • Beautiful. Such a wonderful space — elegant and cozy at the same time.

    • pickygirl

      Thanks Joy. I feel the same way.

  • I. Can’t. Stand. It. They are GORGEOUS! The whole room’s beautiful! Good thing you don’t live near me because I’d drop by unannounced all the time and then make excuses to stay for a few weeks, just in that room. I’d chip in for utilities, of course, to help pay for the electricity I’d use reading all your books.

    Congrats on a job well done, Jenn. I’m telling you–submit the photos to REAL SIMPLE!

    • pickygirl

      You sure know how to make a girl blush. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much. I mentioned on Twitter earlier that it’s ridiculous how often I walk through and then just stop, sit, and stare at them.

  • So pretty! I love how serene and elegant the space is, yet still totally cozy. I’m sure you’ll have many wonderful reading experiences there!

    • pickygirl

      Thanks, Steph. I look forward to sitting in those chairs and spending a few hours. (I actually already have).

  • OHMIGOD THAT IS JUST AWESOME! what a beautiful room… aahhh I want to come to your house and sit in that room. And stare. And read.

    • pickygirl

      Thank you! That’s exactly what I plan on doing.

  • Those shelves are gorgeous!! I am so jealous. I absolutely LOVE them!!

  • I love this so entirely!!!

    • pickygirl

      Thank you!!! So do I. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I really like the idea of those shelves being affixed with no backing. Gives you the freedom of contrast painting. We recently had some floor to ceiling shelves put in, but they were only 12 feet wide (2 of them). And they had cabinets in the botton since I needed something to be able to dump the girls’ junk into when I was in a hurry. I’d love to get a floor to ceiling shelf done in my breakfast nook, because i have an unabashed love for porcelain teapots and nowhere to put them. Ah, dreams…

    • pickygirl

      I knew I wanted that for exactly that reason. I like the color; otherwise, I think it would be too much white and would make the room feel smaller.

      The cabinets are a great idea, but that would have been extra lumber, more money, etc, etc…. A breakfast nook sounds fantastic!

  • Shannon Clark

    Awesome book room! I now have a designated room for all of my books since our children are all out of the house. I’ve painted it, and thrown (wait-GASP-I don’t throw my books!!) haphazardly put them on some temporary shelves for now.

    I’m hoping to do something special this summer!