Monday, October 3, 2011

A Little Bookcase Love

Bookcases are hard.  If you're like me, you hit on a look you like and then eventually you start tweaking it a little here and there, until suddenly, you're not happy with it anymore.  Something's missing, or maybe there's too much?

For several months I've been considering painting the inside of my family room bookcases.  I have lots of wonderful decorative pieces and books and they just weren't popping against the white.  Now, to be honest, it's not just about the paint.  These had gotten a little chaotic for me, too. 

So last weekend, I cleared them off, took all the shelves down, pulled out some leftover blue paint from the kids' bathroom and ...

That's an electrical outlet in the back of my bookcase.  Nice to have for lighting, but a challenge, too.  The paint color is Behr's Tide Pool.  I decided to go with this one, because I thought that the Martha Stewart blue on this desk would be too bright.

And I've introduced pops of blue on the mantle as well.

I'm really loving the blues, tans, browns, and creams together. I have metallics in there as well: gold frames, silver serving pieces, and my caramel latte metallic pumpkins.  Blue was definitely the right accent color for the bookcases.  But did I get the right blue?

You tell me...

With everything off the shelves, it was much easier to "cull" the contents.  All of my paperback books have a new home stacked in my bedroom (for sorting at a later date!) and I turned some of the books spine inward to keep an overall neutral feeling -- there are plenty of pops of color from other sources. Bonus: I love the exposed page edges! This isn't qutie finished but I'm MUCH happier with these after adding color, culling some books, and even losing an entire shelf (the beauty of adjustable shelving!).  I made the sides symmetrical and it has a much cleaner look.  So here's another look:


and After:

Okay, so your turn to weigh in... should I have gone brighter or darker?  I'm still on the fence to be honest.  But that's the great thing about paint-- it's easy enough to change for not a lot (if any) money.

I'll live with it for a bit, I think, and then decide. :)

Linking up!

Tutorials and Tips Tuesday at Stories of A to Z


Somewhat Simple


Transformation Thursday


  1. Okay, I'm absolutely loving it. My built-ins are still the original oak and I've dreamed of painting them white for the two years we've lived here. I'm going to link your pic to my Pinterest - can't paint this year (getting over pneumonia) but am definitely looking to do this in the fall. BTW love that shade of blue! Thanks for sharing the beauty.

    Mary @ Redo 101

  2. I've enjoyed your bookcase ideas. I have a passion about bookcases because I feel they will become our relics of the past. I have attached a link to this site on my Facebook page.

  3. I love it! I think its the perfect shade (but I'm very partial to pale blue). I'm a new follower and I hope you'll follow me back but no pressure :-)

  4. I think they are perfect. I love the back painted. I painted mine long time ago. I think it adds a lot. Thanks for coming by.

  5. I love the transformation! The blue adds elegance too..., so does the new styling.

  6. Love it. Precisely what I need to do w/ my built-in bookcases. Thanks for the inspiration. (Visiting from Savvy Southern Stye)

  7. Heidi -- I really, really love the way this turned out. And the styling is so great too. Now you've made me add more thing to the I-want-to-do list!

  8. The colour you chose for it is just perfect. It turned out lovely!

  9. So pretty! I love blue. My tv room is neutral/blue.

  10. Love it! I love bookcases with a pop of color behind them and this is such a pretty color.

  11. This is beautiful and tide pool goes so well with your wall color. What is the color on your walls?

  12. Elizabeth, the wall color is Lincoln Home Beige (a Behr color). You don't have an email address attached to your profile, so hopefully you'll check back for the answer.
    You can find me blogging now at Hope you'll join me there!
    Heidi :)


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