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How to Style a Bookshelf

Since my post about finally finishing the greatest bookshelf makeover of all time I’ve thought very carefully about how I want to style our bookshelves.  I wanted form and function, practical and whimsical, lovely and bold…I wanted to have my wooden bookshelf cake and eat it too 🙂  So I have been digging through boxes, unpacking bits and pieces and carefully displaying some of my favorite things.  As a reminder of how far our little bookshelf has come…

Soooooo much better! After the demo, trimming, painting, etc was complete (see here for the how -to) we got to the fun part finallyyyyy…decorating.

So, here’s how I started styling our bookshelves.  I had opted to leave the bottom cabinets intact and open the top ones into open shelving – that way I could put the things we needed to have but weren’t exactly pretty in the bottom, and the things we wanted to display on the top (hello, form and function! Bam!).  Here’s what I have ended up with thus far:

Pretty good if I say so myself! 🙂 And because you all know I like to type text over photos…here’s a break down of what I did.

Although this is a bookshelf I didn’t want to limit it to just books.  I plan on adding an actual library somewhere in our house…the where and how is still being debated, however. I am a HUGE book lover and since all of our books are in boxes (sad face sad face) awaiting the coming library I only could rescue a few favorites to keep on these shelves.  My goal was to fill these shelves 60% – I wanted to avoid a super cluttered- stuffed over the top look and instead do something that looked clean and simple while still displaying things we really loved.  I worked on this all Sunday a few weeks ago with the Walking Dead marathon playing on tv – do you all watch that show? I like it but it’s a bit too graphic for me????.

So on the shelf on the left we have:

-Two yellow items that I spray painted when I painted the drawers of the shelfs in Glossy Sun Yellow.  The first was a vase I got on clearance (like $2) after valentine’s day at Target 3 years ago.  I like it MUCH better yellow! The second is a basket that I got at a thrift store – again, loving the yellow! (I also spray painted a dead light bulb – it was sitting on the shelf but kept rolling away. He is looking for a new home!)

– A vintage crate I picked up in Asheville.  I love the color and the cool metal details on the sides.  I had to google what “Hires” was.  Apparently it is “the original root beer” made by Dr Pepper/Snapple.  According to what I read production of it really slowed down in 2010 and now the bottles of it are gone and the cans are really hard to find.  Maybe if we go back down to the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco we will find it! 🙂 It’s currently empty (except for the lightbulb!)
-Favorite picture ever – it’s from Tybee Island- Scott and I took a day trip there when we were visiting his family in the southeast.  He had told me he loved me the day before and everyone kept asking us if we were newly weds.  We walked on the beach barefoot and made googley eyes at each other before snapping this self portrait 🙂 I am going to be putting this picture in a very new frame home soon!! Excited!
– A photo of me and my little sister (now she is taller then me, boo)
-A super cool Indian vase my parents gifted us with- love the textures and patterns!
-A glass jar full of twigs…for mood 😉

-Also there are books of course! These books are great because they have a perfect marriage of pretty covers + really relevant information to what I am into right now (apparently it’s decorating and simplifying! :P)

On the bookshelf to the right of the fireplace there are lots of other fun things!

-a hand painted wooden rooster my aunt got us from Portugal.  You can read the legend of the rooster here!
-a photo of Scott’s grandfather.  He sadly passed away but I think he is where Scott gets his house-remodeling, entrepreneurial spirit from!
-a salsa bowl from Anthro (that has never held salsa!). Inside the bowl are two giant sugar cubes wrapped in tule, ribbons and bells.  We did a hybrid Persian-American wedding and the sugar was ground together over our heads, to symbolize sweetness.  (see photo below) I definitely need to do a post about our wedding soon- the whole thing was so amazing and seeped in tradition.  Agh, love love love 🙂
-handmade wooden elephant from our honeymoon in Cancun

-Also on the top shelf are two of my favorite pieces of glass. The clear one was a gift for hosting a baby shower- I think it’s for alcohol? No alcohol in this one, boo 😛  The pink glass was something I saw at an estate sale I was at with my mom- I loved it but didn’t know if the price was worth it.  After we walked out my mom said I would regret not buy it and instead bought it for me.  She was right….I love it!
-Fun whimsical thing I found in the floral department at Hobby Lobby…not sure what it is but I love the texture and the creamy color!

-A cheese plate that has also never held cheese 🙂 I like to switch out what’s on display in there…this time it’s pretty colored twine I got from Anthro!
-Griffis family portrait
-Ikea white vase
-Taylor family portrait along with the broach I had on my bouquet at our wedding
-tissues – you know in case we watch The Notebook and I cry! 🙂

-More of my favorite books – again, love to read these and they are also cute!
-I love this glass jar. It’s from Crate and Barrel and inside are wine corks from bottles we’ve popped since we’ve been married.  Each one has written on it (with sharpie) the date and the occasion.  I love going through and pulling random ones out. They say stuff like “8/7/10- 1st anniversary” or “5/11/11- it’s Wednesday” hahaha!

-The right bookshelf also gets a vintage crate except this one holds…GLITTER agh, love! I separated them by color and have almost a whole crate full 😉

Another upcoming plan for a room in our house includes a craft room.  But there is a ton of stuff to do and it may be months before that happens, and I was tired of digging through boxes for my supplies.  So for now, the cabinets and drawers under the bookshelf on the right have become a temporary craft space.  There is a TON of room in here and I was able to get everything I needed in here. Hooray crafting!!! 🙂

The cabinets on the left bookshelf have a project I’m working on currently stashed in there, so I can’t show that one yet! But I will soon 🙂

So- that’s where our bookshelves are at! We still need to get electric outlet covers on the plugs and find new hardware for the doors and drawers.  And install our mantle! We found one…and tried to install it but it was a bit of a fail. Womp Womp.  So that’ll be coming soon hopefully! 🙂

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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