Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Living Room Update- adding built-in bookshelves

Well our bookshelves are finished and I couldn't be happier with this project.
Thank you Dad!!
This is still very much a room in progress
--it's now become apparent that our RH couch is way too big for this room--but I did rearrange the furniture to give you a better view at the bookshelves. 
If this picture reminds you of a certain India Hicks photo it's not an accident. When I ran low on books I remembered her collection of beach hats on her upper shelves. So copy I did,---which-is the ultimate compliment because I love her casual, eclectic style.

When I have time I still plan on styling the books a bit, but you can see how much potential  the bookshelves add to our living room.

Let's take a look at this room before these new built-ins. 
 I still remember walking into this house with the realtor and feeling 'cramped' by the size of this entrance into the living room. Truthfully, I think I was just used to our previous home--with its open floor plan and cathedral ceilings-- and it's been an adjustment living with standard sized ceilings.
It also doesn't help that this house doesn't get as much natural light as I would wish.

In a perfect world I'd love to remove this entire wall
(Chip and Joanna can you please come to my house?) 
but knowing that's not going to happen, I decided to make this wall fit our needs.
 And because we still had boxes of books packed away in the garage I decided this wall could be the perfect place for storage. So when Mom and Dad came on their last visit... guess what project we worked on?

On the foyer side (dare I call it that?) we added simple wood trim to give the living room entrance a more substantial presence (more on this later).

And on the living room side my Dad and I designed these built-in bookshelves.

Ok, ready for some Befores and Afters?



Previous owners


If you look closely you can see the wires running down the corner of this bookcase from the surround sound system that we installed into this ceiling. We still need to enclose these wires.

Now to give you a better sense of this room I snapped a few quickie shots this morning with my phone. Here's the fireplace wall that you see right when you enter.


I actually plan on doing a post and showing you how we transformed this wall with reclaimed wood shelves and these farmhouse doors that can hide the TV--this wall is almost done it just needs a mantel.

Here it is before our transformation.

And now ta-daaaaa...
on the opposite side of the room we have our new bookshelves
 which-I-might add- now perfectly frame the staircase that needs to be done. Ah well,..nothing like living in a fixer upper to cultivate patience.

If you're thinking of adding bookshelves around a doorway or window there's lots of visual inspiration out there, here's a few photos that motivated me.

On a side note, I think pray that my computer issues are finally behind me and I can get back to posting again. Thank you so much for following along and being so supportive whenever I share here--it really means so much.


I'm sharing this post with friends:


Simply LKJ said...

Leslie, they look fantastic. I adore bookcases period, but framing a doorway is my favorite! And, love the TV wall too.

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Leslie, you're making such wonderful progress turning this house into your HOME! The bookcase surrounding the opening was the perfect choice. You and Dad make a great team!

Unknown said...

Those shelves are stunning! Everything looks so nice, I like the way you styled the shelves. Can your dad come to my house? I'm really impressed with the progress you're making! Love it all!

Unknown said...

They look fabulous, I love them!! X

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH Leslie...the shelves are just gorgeous! In fact, I love the whole room...the fireplace wall is wonderful, too! You are doing such a beautiful job making this place yours!

La Contessa said...

LOVE THE TV DOORS!!!!I remember when YOU were ripping that APART!I guess I missed the FINAL MOMENT of SHOW AND TELL........I lost all my SUBSCRIPTION TO BLOGS!Still trying to play CATCH UP!The BOOK SHELVES ARE FANTASTIC!THANK YOU DAD AGAIN AND AGAIN.................and your COLLECTION Of STRAW HATS IS TO SWOON FOR.Then again YOU BETTER USE THEM where YOU live!I follow a wonderful HAT maker in AUSTRALIA......ALEX MANO on INSTAGRAM.They are having a SALE AT THE MOMENT!!NOT that YOU NEED ANOTHER ONE!
How lucky are WE to have HANDY MEN in our LIVES..........MY FATHER couldn't even put a nail in the wall but MY HUSBAND CAN DO IT ALL!THE MONEY WE SAVE TOO!!!!!!!!!!THINK of the HATS we can accumulate with the SAVINGS!!
ARE YOU ON INSTAGRAM..............if YES look for me........ANTIQUEGODDESS!
LA CONTESSA was the time I opened the account.

mollie's mom said...

This is incredible!!! I love it!!! I, too, love India Hicks' casual beachy style and I think you did a fantastic job of capturing the feel. I think this room is fantastic. Well done!!

Karen said...

The bookshelves look great. Your home is looking so wonderful. I love the before pics as a stark reminder how pretty a little hard work and vision can make a home.
What if you want to wear one of the hats? :-)

AntiqueChase said...

I just love the finished result!! Amazing transformation!

Sarah said...

Leslie, this is fantastic! I'm in awe that you and your dad built this. Way to go!!!
Builtin shelves are one of my favorite features in a room. We have them in our living room and also in my office. If I had my way, they would be in a few other rooms too. Great idea! This looks awesome in your living room. Love the hat idea!

Unknown said...

Wow, Leslie!! These bookshelves look fantastic! I love how you styled them with beach hats. It is so exciting to see these elements of your home coming along so beautifully. I remember your long house hunt and each step of the process. Your chandelier is a true showstopper by the way. Wonderful post!
xx, Heather
PS-thanks for your kind comments on Stylemindchic Life. :) xx

the cape on the corner said...

capital A Amazing. This is one of my favorite looks. Enjoy!

michele said...

you did a fabulous job on this architecturally, leslie! way to go daddy-o. they look absolutely original and add so much interest and warmth and cozy factor. the beach hats look completely natural there, and i had not seen that done before. and the option to cover your tv is genius. no such luck here, and i simply chalk it up to the requisite black object since my mom insists every room must have some black (i disagree btw). peace to you as you add more love to this place.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Really adds so much warmth and depth. Great job!!!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Can I just say WOW!! Your vision is coming to life and the room is looking fabulous, Leslie! The fireplace wall and the bookshelf wall that you and your dad designed took the room from builder basic to designer chic! You've styled the shelves to perfection, and I can't wait to see the mantel you design! Thanks so much for inspiring the rest of us and have a great weekend!

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

I love it. Great job, Dad!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

This looks so fabulous! How wonderful to have your mom and dad come and do projects with you. I love how this room has turned out and I cannot wait to see the finished mantle. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

cindy hattersley design said...

Could your dad come to my house? What an amazing transformation. What you have done in that room is pure genius! Love it!!

Art and Sand said...


I love the bookcases and that giant clock.

I loved seeing all the before and afters. You have done so much to make this house yours.

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