Saturday, July 7, 2012

a place for living {part 1}

Up first, bookcase transformation.

Way back in February I shared our beautiful built in bookcase...

From day one we have loved this feature of our little blue house, but knew that it needed a little TLC.
After unloading all the books and such, I started by sanding down the entire unit, removing doors and draws.

The shelves are mostly stationary, with the exception of the two on either side of the computer, and these two shelves {along with another two that we removed right away because we thought they were overkill} are actually made of a different kind of wood than the stationary ones!  The base counter and cabinets are actually a plywood veneer in yet another wood tone.  These two factors meant that strictly staining the unit was out of the question.  Oh and the backing of the shelves is actually a thin piece of paneling...again, not good for staining!

Wanting to go for a dark wood-look, I headed to Lowe's to see what my options were.  I found a stain/poly mix in just the right color and decided to give it a try.
This stuff was AWESOME!  It went on like paint and because it's a stain/poly mix there is no wiping like your typical stain.  I ended up applying two coats to the entire unit in order to get the deep rich mahogany color I wanted.  

I splurged on some great cup drawer pulls that I LOVE and think they add to the richness of the dark wood-look. 

From the beginning I knew I wanted a contrasting back to the shelves, but decided that I didn't want to use paint.  I tossed around the idea of adhering fabric to the paneling, but couldn't find just the right style to match the room.  My next thought was wallpaper.  Now, I'm generally not a fan of wallpaper, not only because of it's look, but it's so difficult to install and a pain to get rid of.  However, when I learned about grasscloth wallpaper like this I fell in love.  Unfortunately, I the price of true grasscloth made it a less ideal option for this space, but when I found a printed version on the cheap on Lowe's I snatched it up and went for it.  It was a piece of cake to put up and from a distance, you won't know the difference.   I love, love, love it!  

I love how the wallpaper appears to have a texture, and I think adds a great feel to the bookcase as a whole.

I was also happy to find that even with all our books and "stuff" on the shelves, you can see the lovely wallpaper!

{The light above the computer is one that used to live above our bed back in E-town!  I love how it completes the space, and is actually quite useful...when you're sitting at the computer you create a shadow from the main light in the room!}

more on a place for living {part 2}  {part 3}

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