Think About It Thursday: Tackling the Bedroom Bookcase Head On: Part Two

Have you ever noticed how sometimes what you think is the root of the problem is only half of what is wrong?  I learned that this week when I started to spruce up my bedroom bookcase.  When I would walk into the room, I thought the arrangement of the stuff on the shelves was the problem with my eye being drawn to the bookcase, but I was very wrong.  I styled the bookcase the best that I could but I learned that some serious rearrangement needed to occur to fix what was wrong with the room because the real problem was that the bookcase just didn’t belong where it was.  It looked like a dark void the second I entered the room and even the world’s best shelf organizer couldn’t repair it in the way it needed.

But, before we get too far into it, let’s look at what I picked up on my thrift/bargain shopping extravaganza.  I headed to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, Dollar Tree, and Walmart.  My original plan was to fill the shelves with decorative baskets to add texture while also hiding the books and making the bookcase seem more fit for a bedroom.  I was thinking something along the lines of this:

image Visiondecor

I yearned for some organization with 2-3 shelves of display.  I kept my eye out for woven baskets in my price range, but I came up short.  There were plenty of round ones but that’s not what I needed.  Unfortunately, I was forced to become more creative.  Here is what I ended up buying:

image Some light brown and cream striped fabric (you’ll see why soon) – ten bucks for two and half yards (not the deal I was looking for, but I couldn’t find anything I liked better that was less expensive).  Three storage boxes with lids in the back on the left for $8.  Four plastic bins for $1.50 a piece.  Three pieces of artwork depicting different places in Scotland which incorporate the blues in the room, and for fifty cents a piece, I couldn’t pass them up.  A matted photo of a church in Greece for a dollar.  A depression glass mason jar for $1.99.  An awesome glass pedestal bowl for $3.99 that looked kind of like the pattern of a pineapple.  Lastly, two bags of minty blue and turquoise glass beads for the pedestal bowl.  I didn’t use all of these elements, though, but I have ideas for using the others in the future.

My plan after discovering that baskets would not work was to use the sturdy storage boxes mixed with the plastic bins which I would cover with the striped fabric.  I would put books in both types of storage containers and alternate the use of them on each shelf.  However, I really should have measured my shelves because the storage container height was not tall enough to fill up the whole shelf meaning either books would show or empty space would make just as big of problem as what I started with.  I thought about using the fabric to either cover the backs of the shelves, like many suggested after posting about it yesterday, or to cover the whole unit entirely so I wouldn’t have to deal with the look of the shelves, but I decided to go with something different. I really wanted to focus on the arrangement of everything before moving on to adding something to the bookshelf itself.   I ended up styling the shelves mixing books with the storage boxes and accessories incorporated in as well (which I will show you tomorrow).

You know what, I really liked how it looked.  Up close, that is.  When I stepped back and walked into my room I still felt the space was very cluttered.  Even when each shelf was styled as it was on its own it didn’t fix the problem.  This is when I learned that the placement of the bookcase what was wrong not necessarily the styling of the shelves.  What made it seem cluttered was that it was the only thing on this small wall and it was dark.  It seemed to be all by itself and did not interact with the rest of the room in the way I wished it would.  So what was I to do?  Rearrange, of course!

I went from this (if you can even tell what any of this – I swear I have no drawing skills and my handwriting is atrocious especially with permanent marker – and none of this is to scale either):

image To this:

imageI moved a chair from the window nook to the corner where the bookcase was.   I moved the bookcase to where the vanity was (between the bathroom and closet doors – which in reality is centered on the bed as well even though the pictures do a horrible job showing that).  The vanity got moved to the left side when looking at the window nook with its storage unit.  I folded down the curvy side that was up on the table so it is now a rectangle and it sits on the right side of the window nook with the other chair that was there.  Because you are probably wondering “What the…?” due to my horrendous pictures, I’ll show you real pictures of the final product.

image image image

image The brown rectangle is the bookcase which, as I said before, I will be revealing tomorrow.  The “tablecloth” on the table in the window nook is the fabric I purchased draped over the table that I will make into a real tablecloth when I get around to it.

And the new view when you walk in?

imageA hundred times better.  Although I don’t think the vanity and table under the window is ideal, it is functional and plus I can see what I’m doing a lot easier when I’m doing my hair and my makeup with all that natural light streaming in.

The one thing this arrangement does that is negative, however, is draw attention to the big fairly blank wall behind the bed.  This has been an issue for a while now, but it wasn’t as noticeable because the dark bookcase was hogging all the attention.  I must say, I would rather live with a light, not yet completed wall than a blackhole of a wall which it was before.  I have plans to spruce it up in the future, but for now I would say problem solved.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my tips for styling the shelves and more detailed shots of all the accessories – I can’t wait to show all of you!

In the meantime, since it is Think About It Thursday I am wondering if you ever blunder like I do thinking one thing is a problem when in fact the problem is a lot bigger than you had anticipated.  I know this happens a lot with big renovations when walls are knocked out and the pretty aesthetics are removed to show what is really going on behind the layers of paint and sheetrock.  Has it happened to you or do you always carefully analyze any problem area before plunging in to make sure this very thing doesn’t happen to you?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Share/Bookmark

3 comments to Think About It Thursday: Tackling the Bedroom Bookcase Head On: Part Two

  • Valerie

    I think the arrangement is more calming than the original lay out. I like your inspirational bookcase it is nice to break it up with the doors on the bottom. You may have to edit more under the window there does seem to be a lot of visual weight there. The window may be too plain. Maybe some floor to ceiling framing curtains on either side of the window or a colored valance that brings in your color scheme and adds more interest to the window. Definitely looks more inviting the way you have it now!

  • Valerie

    I have many times started with what I thought was a problem in a room and ended up rethinking the whole room. I spend a lot of time thinking of placement. How the room is used and how I want it to feel. I am a big proponent of shifting the furniture and accessories. It is free and gives you a whole NEW feeling that I think everyone appreciates.

  • Hi Sarah

    Very nice blog. It’s good to see that young people are interested in decorating and all things domestic.


Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>