The Perfect Pair

After months of Craigslist stalking, I finally scored the perfect pair of bookshelves – for just $75 each. At 7′ tall, they actually take advantage of the high ceilings in our living room (working with vertical space isn’t exactly my forte). I love that the bookshelves are solid wood – so no off-gassing here – and have just the right amount of traditional trim detail to fit in with our other pieces.



I bought the shelves with the intention of painting them (and the existing TV stand) white, so it feels like a unified set. But once I had the shelves in place, I got a little gun-shy about painting them. I really like the contrast with the white walls. Plus there’s the screw-up factor, coupled with the “not enough hours in the day” phenomenon. Of course, I also love the visual quiet that comes from white shelves. And I’ve got a hankering to replace the wood backing with mirror, since I’m part crow and can’t resist anything that sparkles. This image from House Beautiful makes me happy happy. The mirrored backs on the built-in make the room look huuuuuge, no?


I also love how great this basic Ikea Expedit looks layered with a mirrored back and swanky accessories.

Eclectic Living Room by Bala Cynwyd Design-build Firms Design Manifest

Once I decide what to do – or not do – with the shelves, I’ll get serious about the business of actually filling the shelves up. The trick for me is managing to actually make the shelves functional – AKA provide storage for the multitude of books and other things that are lurking around our Lottery House – without making them completely dizzying. Some of my favorite inspiration images…

Contemporary Home Office by San Francisco Photographers Alex Amend Photography

Traditional Living Room by Los Angeles Artists and Artisans Blue Tangerine Art

Contemporary Living Room by Ottawa Kitchen & Bath Designers Tanner Vine – 2Go Custom Kitchens Inc

Contemporary Living Room by San Francisco Architects & Designers Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Still on the to-do list for the living room:
1. A fresh coat of paint on the wall behind the sofa
2. Adding our new plug-in wall sconces behind the sofa when they finally arrive
3. Turning my fabulous dragon fabric into art… or pillows!
4. Maybe recovering the ottoman. Vertical space might not be my forte, but being indecisive definitely is!
5. Finding the right curtains. Crisp and white, with a pinch pleat or back tab, and not $100 per panel. It’s that last point that seems to be so tricky.



Filed under Inspiration, The Lottery House

3 responses to “The Perfect Pair

  1. brian

    the shelves could totally work as is…….. but i think you should just GO FOR IT with the “visual quiet.” i have no doubt you can do it.

  2. Pingback: Ready, Set, Reno! | thelotteryhouse

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