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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Feeling Bookish

I was trolling through my usual blog roll yesterday, mulling over my next potential DIY project, when a picture from an old post on Live Creating Yourself caught my eye. The feature was on gray rooms, but what got my attention was a bookshelf...
What an interesting idea- one that I had never considered- taking an inexpensive bookcase and giving it a custom look by painting the back or covering it in fabric. Provided you use the right color and don't go too overboard, it can take a generic bookcase to new heights. And if you are lucky enough to have built-ins, well, this makes them all the more special. I found a couple of other great examples that really have me inspired!
I just love the cheerful yellow they used in the picture below. The books and objects really pop against it, don't they?
Below, a small-scale example of a bookshelf makeover.
We already adore Ali Wentworth's built-ins and the unique collection of shells that they display, but the blue-green on the back of the bookshelves really brings the collection to life.
Elle Decor
Below, putting fabric or wallpaper behind a bookshelf is also a creative look, although sometimes a bold pattern can be a little busy when combined with the items displayed on the shelf. We'd stick to small, subtle patterns, if not solid colors.
Apartment Therapy
Here's an example of a total bookshelf makeover....while there is a little too much going on here for our taste (she could have skipped painting the shelves pink, I think!), it's a prime example of how even the ugliest laminate bookshelf can be redeemed.
Even Martha is in on the action, painting the back of this bookcase a muted tangerine color.
Martha Stewart
The color on the back of these bookshelves below really completes the room, doesn't it? Not to mention the silhouette of the white starfish and coral on the brown background is just divine.
Another fabulous DIY, this blogger took the ubiquitous Ikea Billy bookcase and lined the back in a chic houndstooth.
Another Billy makeover, this time with green and white fabric. Now the wheels in my head are really turning!
Finally, in the most creative transformation of a Billy bookcase, how about these with custom tinted plexiglass backs? It's a statement, for sure, but awfully clever.
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If you're tired of blah bookshelves like I am, then this just may be the ticket to a fabulous new look without breaking the bank!

7 comments:

Jenny said...

I painted the backs of my Billy bookcases and added inexpensive moulding to the sides to dress them up. It was a cheap and easy DIY with a a huge impact! Totally recommend it...

Julie said...

What a great idea! I especially love the print on the Decorpad bookshelf. It certainly makes a plain Jane bookshelf a lot more fun.

LindsB said...

Perfect timing, I'm putting all my books back up on the shelves today after painting behind them- I needed some fun inspiration so thank you!!

Emily said...

I could look at bookshelves all day. Thanks for the inspiration!

Faith said...

Thanks for the link!

Witty said...

This is fabulous! I am soooo doing this to the IKEA Billy bookcase I just bought today. I am even going to add some pizazz to the cheapie Walmart bookcase I currently have - these fabric ideas has really inspired me - LOVE IT!

Paresh P said...

Hi,
Came across this post of yours whilst thinking of rescuing a book-shelf colouring session gone wrong. Loved the first photograph. Going for something similar.
I had ordered a Mid-Deep yellow for a Light Grey wall, that turned-out to be very light. Now, will add some red to it, make it slightly earthy-tangerine [at the back planks], and the rest shall be white.
Thanks a lot, and wish me luck! ;)
Cheers!

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