How do you create a stylish bookcase that is equally functional?
Then again, a better question is how much of a design dork would you think I was if I said my first attempted to “stylize” the bookcase was preeeety useless. *hangs head shamefully*
Is it just me that finds this task somewhat of a challenge? I had to sketch out a storage plan for my entire living room before I could properly build then style my two bookcases.
Thankfully, plotting a plan did the job perfectly…I realized that two small bookcases just wouldn’t do the job, and that’s how this project went from a little bookcase styling to a big makeover project!
Finally our twin bookcases can boast both fashion and function! I have to say, looking at these bookcases now it is hard to believe all that it took to get to this point (blood, sweat, tears from sawdust in my eye)…
The Life Cycle of a Bookcase And Some Scrap Wood
Ok, so this is more than just the story of styling a couple bookcases I found along the side of the road. What I initially thought was going to be one little paint project took quite a turn and became the mother lode of projects! These bookcases were in poor shape when I found them… there was water damage and torn faux wood paper covering (ew, who does that?).
No worries, after a lot of Kilz primer, many coats of paint, and two DIY custom built bases later…well, things were definitely looking up!
In case you were wondering what it took to style this bookcase, well a LOT of spray paint and many many small projects. No seriously, a lot of spray paint…I’m still feeling really fumed out in spite of my mask (hungry, weak, not as bright as I was last week).
I have painted everything from needles for my pinboard (hey, it’s all in the details right?), to lamps, bottles, frames, boxes, and art. Here are some snapshots of all the before & afters:
Storage & Fantastic Function
Function is everything in my living room, so these bookcases needed to be more than just storage, I needed a work space as well. Finally there is a place for everything in my living room… This bookcase+hutch now stores 7 important binders, stacks of magazines, books, craft & office materials, stationery, 6 puzzles, 40 games, and fabric & wrapping paper nearby! Much more than it did as simply a mildewy bookcase.
Why yes, I did say 40 games…thank you for asking. What do you mean you didn’t ask? *grin*
Well, even if you weren’t wondering what’s behind the closed doors beneath I’m going to tell you anyway. What can I say, we’re huge ginormous board game geeks! These aren’t just any games, they require strategy, they have lots of tiny pieces, and take hours to play. I shared a video tour of my game storage here, and how I organize a few of the games themselves here and here. Ok, that’s the end of my sidetrack for today… the other hobby, the dark side. *snicker*
Thanks for letting me share my DIY bookcases! I needed a space to store all my work space and living room knick knacks, and now they can be stored in style.
I’ll be revisiting some of the bigger projects and sharing all the how-to’s, so check back!
Ursula, this is a fantastic project. You have such style. I hope that you will have a post with more details on rehabbing the bookcase. I’m interested in whether the back panels inside are painted or papered. I love how you make something great with very little cost.
Thank you! I will be sure to do a post with more details…but until then I did paint the back panels of my bookcase. 🙂
Thanks so much for following along!