If you follow me on Facebook you will know we’ve been decorating our hallway .. For about the last 2 years now…! (or at least that’s what it feels like!). And you may have seen some of my posts where I’ve been painting book covers? And I bet you all thought I was pretty darn crazy? – that’s OK .. I thought painting books was a pretty mad idea at first too. But .. if you saw our hallway bookcase before, you will understand what drove me to it!
Our very boring bookcase
Unfortunately I forgot to take a before/before picture as I’d already started this project. By the way, this is usually how we end up decorating in our home – I start ripping things out on a whim! (spare a thought for my poor husband ..) I took this photo when the shelves were pulled out and I’m ready to dive in with my paint brush.
The previous owners used this area for coats, which looked pretty messy to be honest. We decided to change it into a bookcase and it has served a great purpose for a few years now. BUT, it was looking very tired so I started off by painting it a much brighter colour. And so, this was after painting it ..
It was looking a lot brighter, but let’s face it .. it’s not exactly got the “wow” factor! (apart from the picture of our kids when they were small of course, .. I mean how cute are those little faces?!)
Style your bookcase
Now, I know that bookcases are for books .. BUT .. to get that “Welcome to our home” kinda feeling when you walk through the door it was just far too cluttered. It definitely needed a good cull of everything we no longer needed. I checked all our books and threw out (well .. had a little trip to the charity shop) some of them that we’d not even looked at for years (anyone else find stuff they never knew they had?!).
Once I’d sorted out the ones we no longer needed, I separated the ones with the hard covers. These bad boys were the chosen ones for a much needed colourful makeover! I moved the soft cover books to a less high profile area in another part of the house. And of course it wouldn’t be the same if i didn’t keep some of them for future projects (keep an eye out for future blog posts!)
Next, I selected 3 different colours that I knew would coordinate with the colour scheme we’ve got going on in the hallway. I used a combination of teal/turquoise chalk paint (they do little test pots here and here) and the grey emulsion we used for the hallway.
As you can see in the photos, I used some wood to stand up the books and some smaller blocks to ‘fan out” the covers so they don’t touch the table. And then you just paint .. leave to dry .. and that’s it!
Our new look
Most of the items in the bookcase are items we picked up for next to nothing. Or things we had that got a “Once a duckling” make-over. Including the “Friend and Family sign” – which was an old Ikea Lazy Susan – You can check out the blog post here! Or the wood bead garland – you can find the tutorial how to make your own one here. And the picture frame used to be an old piece of scrapbook – check out how to make your own here.
And this is now it looks now. How much better does that look? I accessorised with some neutral shells and items that matched our colour scheme.
The arrow sign was a reversible sign that we bought for a garden party but no longer used. Bring on a lick of paint and a vinyl stencil and it looks great in this bookcase. (Wanna know a secret? – I painted the back of it red with a Christmas quote – all ready to just flip it over when I’m decorating for Christmas!)
The clock was another Market Place find for £4. I just painted it a different colour to tie in with the theme!
And last but not least, the box we made out of MDF. I added some rope handles once it was painted and the “Memories” stencil just finishes it off. It houses some of our old family DVD’s and photos.
What do you think? Have I persuaded you to embrace the madness and give painting your books a go? Or any other item for that matter? Please let me know what you think or share any of your projects with me on social media. Oh, and if you could pin this to Pinterest for me so other people can find it too, I’d be really grateful!