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Seek ye out the best books…
A few months ago, I was feeling overwhelmed with all the piles of books we had lying around the house. Having just read a study that showed kids that grew up in homes with a library of 1,000 books or more tend to do better in college and earn more after graduation, I became more determined to find a permanent solution. (I am kidding… sort of.)
I headed to IKEA to see what options they have. I really liked the look of the Hemnes Set, but just could not stomach the price tag — $180.00 for one… I would need three.
Game Plan #2 – Build your own Hemnes – It is a simple straight forward design, I thought why not give it a try. Armed with a lot of iPhone pics, a little drawing and some dimensions – I headed to The Home Depot to price out wood. Conclusion: Less expensive than buying from Ikea, but not by much.
Moving on to game plan #3 – Scour local newspaper ads, Craigslist, thrift stores and Garage sales. This was getting more into my price range, but generally the shelving units I could afford had seen better days. Then one glorious afternoon… during nap time… a posting listed online — “Four Bookshelves for $10.” I called the individual, Wiley, and asked if it was indeed $10 for all four. Her response, “Yes, but they are pretty beat up.” Perfect, I could afford $10 and if they did not work I could easily resell them.
After my four kids took a (much shorter than normal) nap, I piled them into the car. Armed with cash and great expectations, I pulled up to the house, knocked on the front door, and when the lady opened it I walked in and started up some friendly small talk. Why am I telling you this… turns out it was the wrong house. The bookshelves lived about ten homes further up the street. Next house please… The bookshelves were indeed pretty beat up, the woods was chipped in several place, generally scratched up and some water damage. Also, three of the four bookshelves were the same size and style, but the fourth was larger.
DING! The light bulb goes on… I could refurbish the three into one big unit. The fourth (which was actually in good condition) could go into our boys’ bedroom. SOLD!
My husband swung by on his way home from work and we loaded the four shelves into the back of our Suburban and the kids into his car. I do believe he gave me a look that I was a little bit crazy. :0)
Step #1: First, I combined three of the bookcases with screws. This would create a more cohesive look, improve stability and hide the broken panel on the side of two of the bookshelves.
Step #2: I nailed crown molding to the top, a baseboard to the bottom and the four strips of wood to cover the vertical seems. I also added trim to the side that was similar to the Hemnes style.
Step #3: The entire unit received several layers of paint. (I already had a gallon of paint in the garage. It is a “damaged” color from Home Depot – a white with a hint of grey.) It looks glossy in the picture, but is not.
I love the way they turned out. They are in our front room and have changed the whole space from a “Sitting Room” to a “Library.” Our whole family gathers in there regularly to read and listen to the piano.
– Bookshelves – $7.50
– Trim Board – $40.00
– Paint – $0.00
– Smarter Children – Priceless.
Please share a link to your refurbished love!
I love board and batten! Our home would feel so nice with it running up the stairs and wrapping each room. I have wanted to install some fancy woodwork in our home, but I always thought you have to be a master craftsman to undertake such a huge project.
I have been really inspired with all the amazing work out there in blogland. So I have decided I want to give our little home a some character because it really wants to be a cottage, not a suburban cookie cutter.
The timeline for this project is not immediate… Hopefully sooner than later.
Here is an Ode to Beautiful Woodwork:
Emphasis in interior design is simply enhancing or creating a focal point in the room. A successful focal point immediately draws the eye to a specific point in the design. It does not have to be dynamic in pattern or bold in color because size, color, line, texture, woodwork and ornamental detail can all be used to attract attention.
Some natural focal points often found in a room include: a fireplace, a beautiful view, architectural details, artwork or a large piece of furniture (such as a bed or piano). Other objects in the room should compliment the primary focal point.
Lately, I have really been on an organizing kick. I do enjoy sorting, clearing-out, organizing and straightening the small spaces in my home. I love a quick reward and I can usually do a closet or pantry in very little time (from start to finish about an hour or less).
Also, I find it is so rewarding every time I open the door and see a neatly organized space. Last night I organized our master bedroom closet… I must admit that I made my husband come up and look at it (he was very kind).
My approach to cleaning and organizing is to begin by hauling everything out of the space… making a huge mess. (This probably helps me feel a little better about the final product.) I then sort items into similar groups… shoes, my clothing, my husband’s clothing, suit cases and bags, hats, ties, keepsake boxes…
Next, I sort these groups into four piles or trash bags:
1. D.I. — Code for Get rid of It.
3. Fix It Up!
4. I use it, I like it, I love it… KEEP PILE.
When I do this regularly, the first three piles/bags tend to be small. (When I first began learning how to organize I would set a goal to eliminate a certain percent… such as 50%.)
After I have cleared out the excess clutter, I begin placing items back in by similar groups. I try to put items that are used most frequently at or near eye level. I place heavy items near the floor and lighter items above my head (which is pretty much everything… :0). Also, I find it very helpful to keep items where I use them the most.
–Have multiple sets of scissors stored throughout your house wherever you use them frequently.
–I store our playdough in the dining room, where my children use it.
–Continually eliminate clutter.
–Do you have a shirt that always puts you in a bad mood because you don’t like the way it looks on you or feels. Get rid of it. (My husband had this problem with a shirt… every time he would wear he would come home totally depressed. The shirt no longer resides in our home…)
–When an items begins to become worn out either fix it, throw it away or sell it. I am amazed at what we have been able to sell through eBay and our Online classified. (I have also purchased several items other were ready to trash which I have loved.)
–If you love it – keep it.
–Use small bins, baskets or plastic tote boxes to organize small items such as belts, scarves, undergarment and socks.
–Hang purses and bags from large hooks so they don’t lose their shape.
–Use bins, shelving units, hooks, basket and rods to accommodate a variety of items.
–Group clothing by season, use and color.
–Store items that are used infrequently at the top or back of a closet.
–Invest in a cute pair of rain boots… all the really great closets seem to have them… :0).