Fridays at Home: Bookshelf Update

19th October 2012

So ever since my bookshelves were finished, I’ve rearranged the books every few months. I knew I didn’t want solid books (not because I don’t like the look but because I wanted to take advantage of the dark background to display other things). Yet every time I rearranged the shelves, I still wasn’t pleased.

I would sit in the club chairs to read and end up staring at the shelves, trying to figure out a better way until I remembered….duh, Pinterest. I pinned a bunch of bookshelves before I had them built, so why not check them out for styling, too?

I love so many of my pinned bookshelf images, but this was the winner. (It may have helped that the wall color is super similar to my room.)

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: Apartment Therapy

All in all, I love the interest of the different stacks of books, so last night I decided to rearrange them (a gal will do anything to avoid grading essays).

There are also some other reasons I wanted to rearrange. My office has a couple of dinky shelves, and I really want to remove them and do something in that alcove, so I had to move all those books. Plus, the sofa I discussed last week will go into my bedroom, and the sofa in my bedroom will go into the dining room. Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I still have a couple tweaks to make, but wow. I cannot believe I ever even showed you them before (they looked awful). Here are the shelves as of this morning – not perfect but a huge improvement:

I feel so much better, and I can actually sit in the reading room and read (though I’ll probably be staring at the shelves for an altogether different reason since they look so much better).

Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend.

  • I am having serious shelf envy!

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m pretty dern proud of them.

  • Marlene Ravey

    I like this much better. A lovely outcome! Inspires me to redo mine.

    • I like it much better, too. So glad I went for it.

  • Very nice, visually interesting arrangement. Makes me rethink my bookshelves, which are your basic boring library-style stacks.

    • You know, Linda, I love plain ole plain ole, but I also wanted something more visually interesting. I think it works well for now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

  • Charlie

    Lovely, looks a bit like art as well. I love how you can walk through your door and there are books on either side, very welcoming. Mount TBR, awesome.

    • That’s the biggest compliment, Charlie. And I certainly love them. Initially, I thought about extending them even above the door but decided it would look too closed off. And yes, Mount TBR. I try to cull often, but still…

  • Tanya Patrice

    This is seriously gorgeous – where did you find such tall bookcases?

    • Long story short – super tall bookcases are very difficult to find and super expensive. I found plans myself, bought lumber and paid my sister’s boyfriend (who does construction) to install them. I painted them beforehand to make it go a bit more smoothly.

      And thanks! I’m so pleased with them, and they cost way less and look way better than anything I could have bought. I want to add crown moulding to the top to make them look even more built in.

  • I’m with Susie! This looks fantastic!

  • meg

    Damn. Love them. Now I want to go rearrange mine!

    • Do it! Do it! Check out my Pinterest board. It’s got tons of great ideas.


    zomg! I LOVE your room, the colors, the bookshelves, the way you’ve organized them! Sooo green with envy right now.

    • Thank you!! I love it too, and it will change more in a couple of weeks. LOVE my reading room.

  • BethFishReads

    Nice!!! Such a good feeling to get things organized. Love the new shelves.

    • It really is a great feeling. Now to get my little office reorganized.

  • I think your before pic looked fine but you are right, this configuration is more visually appealing.

    • Thanks, Ti! I guess they just look so unfinished, particularly as not all my books were up there.

  • I love your bookshelves! This post is giving me a serious re-organizing urge, though…

    • Do it! Do it!

  • Beautiful, just beautiful!

  • softdrink

    It looks gorgeous! As much as I love my boyfriend, sometimes I wish I lived alone so I could accessorize all of my rooms with books (instead of bass guitars). ๐Ÿ˜€

    • You just need to make a pact – a room for bass guitars…and then everything else for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • heidenkind

    Those are some pretty swank bookshelves! I don’t have enough shelf space to include knickknacks. Usually I just get rid of other things so I can put more books on them.

    • Well, I love the look of white against the dark, so I even spray painted some things white so I’d have that pop against the walls.

  • I love them! You did a great job!

  • Jennifer Waggoner Hartling

    Ohhhh man, that looks GREAT! My shelves are so sad and envious!

    • Thanks! I didn’t have any before, so I’m pretty happy to have them.

  • claire (kiss a cloud)

    GORGEOUS! I remember when those walls were still empty and you were talking about having built-in shelves made. You did a fantastic job on it. Your home looks Pinterest-worthy!

    • Claire!!! Such a great compliment. And yes, I still can’t believe what that room used to look like. Or imagine where all those books went before.

  • Sara (wordyevidenceofthefact.b

    Love the shelves; love even more the moment of agreement at “a gal will do anything to avoid grading essays.” It’s a sickness, amiright?

    • Sara – so glad you get me. Ugh. Spent almost every night for the past three weeks grading. UGH.

  • Whoa! Your shelves look amazing. One upside to being in a new house is that I can actually have a library now. I’ve been trying to decide how I want to arrange my books. Decisions, decisions…

    • Ooh, such fun to be in a new house. I’m almost four years in and still nowhere finished, but I love having the ability to make changes.

  • I love your new arrangement! I like the idea of the stacks of books – I should give that a try. It feels like I should be able to fit more books on a shelf, particularly a “taller” shelf, if I create stacks. We have so little shelf space, I can’t use any of it for anything other than books, unfortunately ๐Ÿ™

    • Thanks! Stacking actually created a bit more room than just vertically. I was surprised. But I guess it makes sense, depending on the height of your stacks.

  • Ana @ things mean a lot

    They’re gorgeous, and so organised! Looking at other people’s shelves is one of my favourite things, so thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Thanks, Ana! I love looking at other people’s shelves too…and mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yvette

    Looks wonderful, Jenn. Everything is so nice and neat and organized.I love the dark gray walls and white painted shelves. What wonderful floors you have.

    I also love what you consider a lot of books. Ha. I’ll have to take some pix of my books – but it might be too scary. Wouldn’t want to frighten anyone.

    I very much like the idea of stacking books. It works especially well for me because I have lots of larger picture (coffee table) books and it’s just simpler and looks nicer to stack them.

    I’m running out of space though. Books are now showing up stacked on chairs and on those cute little painted shabby chic stools picked up at flea markets over the years. Little did I know they would be used to hold books. Apprently, book shelves in every room are not enough.

    P.S. There’s another ‘Picky’ who comments on my blog and I’m having to pay strict attention so I don’t mix the two of you. Or is it you? Do you have another blog? I’m confused.

    • Thanks, Yvette! And yeah, I had to purge a ton of books when I moved in because I didn’t have ANY bookshelves for a couple of years. Since then, I’ve gotten into the habit of culling every time I add books to the shelf. Any books I don’t consider “essential” get donated to the library. Plus, I have stacks of books all over the house – some as decor and some to read.

      As for “Picky” – that’s me. When I comment from work, for some reason, it uses my former account. I have no clue why or how to fix it. So both are me. ๐Ÿ™‚