Wednesday, August 10, 2011


we were given the above bookshelves from my aunt and uncle (along with a lot of other furniture) when they moved right before our wedding. we were SO thankful to have furniture for our first home...especially free furniture! over the past 4 years we have replaced the couch, coffee table and bedroom set but we are still using the kitchen table and bookshelves that they gave us. we want to eventually replace those items with furniture that is more "us" but it just hasn't been in our budget since we moved into our townhouse 2 years ago.

i have a love/hate relationship with those bookshelves. i love that we have them, that they are tall and can hold a lot and that they were free. i don't love the open sides....i hate the open sides. these bookshelves are completely full now (the above pic was taken 2 years ago and i have accumulated many more books since then) and that means that books are always falling off the shelves on either side and between the 2 shelves. i could buy bookends for all the shelves but they are either huge and take up too much room or they are ugly. plus i feel like if the shelves were enclosed on either end the room would look a little less cluttered than it does now. also, i love decorating and i would love it if each room in the house would reflect us a bit more. this is the dumpiest room in our home and every time i go in there i feel the need to tidy up because it always looks messy.

solution? i am thinking that a relatively cheap way to solve this problem would be to get new shelves from ikea (or maybe even some shelves from an antique shop) and paint them. if i get white ikea shelves and paint the backs similar to the photo below (probably not in yellow since the room is a tanny/yellow colour at the moment) it would mean only buying 1 paint colour. i brought this up to steve yesterday but his problem is that ikea doesn't "quality" furniture. he doesn't like spending money of furniture that isn't quality. i get that. i can appreciate that. but we don't have the funds to purchase quality right now....or anytime soon. cheap is in our budget. :) (plus we have an bookcase form ikea that we use for DVDS and 2 cabinets that we use as our pantry and we love those pieces.)

do i wait for quality or go for cheap? i kind of feel like the shelves won't get a lot of wear and tear so they don't need to be solid wood. it's not like a kitchen table. i don't want to buy a table that will scratch and get dinged up and have to live with that for a long, long time (which is exactly why we haven't purchased a new kitchen table yet, we are waiting until we can afford to get what we want). i feel like these shelves hold stuff and that's basically all they are meant for. hmmmm......another dilemma is if we are still living here when kid #2 comes along (if i can ever actually get over my fear of having another baby) then our den becomes a bedroom and the bookshelves can't be in there....then what?? cross that bridge when we get to it?


  1. I had the same dilemna a few years back. We needed book storage, but couldn't afford anything I liked. I settled for ikea shelving and am quite content with it. It serves the purpose and ours sits in an extra wide hallway downstairs so I don't have to look at it often (thank goodness, cuz it's a disaster right now- another to-do this summer). If you could paint them to look similar to this pic, I'm sure it'd get you by...

  2. You could easily put back and sides on the shelves you have now and then paint them white. All you need is some thin plywood or even MDF that is thin.