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Thursday, September 14, 2017


This Summer only had one significant DIY project, I painted the built-in shelves in the living room white!  You might have caught a peek of the changes here or there, but I'm just now getting around to formally sharing it with you.  I thought I'd better get it photographed before things get decked out for Fall!

While cabinets, peacock mirror, brass trunk, brick fireplace, urbane bronze, blue and white porcelain, green malachite fabric

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You might remember that I painted these shelves dark gray two years ago.

I liked it ok, but honestly something with the paint was never quite right.  I tried a kind that I had never used before and I wasn't happy with the results.  So, they really needed to be redone and I knew when the time came that I wanted to go light again, this time painted white to match the trim.  Sorry, I had the color matched to the existing trim so I don't have a name for you. 

If you've been around here for a long time, you might remember my shelves being "white" before I painted them dark gray.  They were actually a very yellowy-cream and only looked white in photos because I had brightened the room up a bit.   Either way, the cream needed to go and I thought I would take the opportunity to experiment with a dark color.  I really did like them for a while, but when we had the opportunity for the magazine photo shoot in our home this Summer, I knew that getting them painted was a change I wanted to make beforehand. 

I wasn't quite sure what to do with the mantel.  My choices were leaving it gray (Urbane Bronze- same color as the backs of the shelves), painting it white, or I thought about stripping it back down to a wood finish.  For now, I've left it alone and I think it's ok.  I felt like painting it white would be too stark against the brick.  But you never know... it could change too some day!

I left the backs the same color, but am entertaining the thought of doing some kind of colorful pattern, maybe removable wallpaper, on them in the future.  

Similar blue and white foot bath here, here, here  ||  DIY Tassels

Similar Cowhide Rug  ||  Custom Sofa  ||  Vintage Brass Trunk  

Black and White Pillow  ||  Green Leokat Pillow- pre-made or fabric  ||  Multi-Color Floral Pillow here or here  ||  Similar Blue and White Garden Stool

I swapped the recliners and love seat from their previous spots, which left me needing a spot for the bamboo console.  I put it in front of the windows which isn't ideal, but it works ok. 

Bamboo Console Table   ||  Black and White Check Fabric  ||  Striped Curtains, similar premade here

I finally planted some garden roses at this house (after 10 years of living here!) and I wish I would have done that a lot sooner.  I've had them at all of our previous homes and nothing beats the smell of a garden rose!

What do you think?  Are you on team dark or team light?  I can tell you one thing, I won't be painting these shelves again for a loooonnng time! 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I LOOOOOVE it! What a massive undertaking; I bet that was FUN. ;) I liked the dark too but when you show photos of the other side of the room I think the white balances everything out. Your style is my #1 favorite in blogland! I love how you blend traditional decor with bold color & patterns. I'm soooo looking forward to seeing your magazine feature!

  2. Did you use the same color paint as your trim work?

  3. love the new look and love that you kept the backing dark! they look perfect!

  4. I really like them white (which is unusual for me and I LOVE the backs dark! It makes everything pop! I love this room and your beautiful, colorful style! Can't wait to see your Fall decor!

  5. The white bookshelves are perfect for your space and I love the contrast of the dark backs. If you do decide to try a wallpaper in the future here's a tip to consider. I cut foam core to fit the backs of my bookshelves. The bookshelves are actually a china cabinet that I converted by removing the glass doors and replacing the glass shelves with wood shelves for my office. I couldn't decide on a pattern so I found a perfect wrapping paper that I wrapped the foam core with until I decide what to do next. It's been a year and I haven't felt the need to change it. When I do I plan to paper the foam core so that it's easy to replace. You could even change this seasonally because it's as simple as wrapping a gift.

  6. Every little detail is absolutely beautiful!

  7. When we bought our home our entertainment center and mantle were white. I went dark years later, and then recently went back white. I am loving the change. Brightened up the entire room.

  8. It looks fabulous! The white is so pretty against your fireplace brick!

  9. I look forward to your posts. Love your style! So glad I found you in blogland :-)

  10. Like it so much better with the white!! I look forward to every one of your posts. I am in the process of doing a botanical wall in my living room like you have in your breakfast area. I've admired it for so long and finally ordered the botanical book from Amazon. Can't wait to get it done.Looking forward to seeing you featured in the magazine!

  11. I love the white bookcases,it balances the room. Will you be painting the mantel white or a different color?

  12. Team White! Really brightens your room.

  13. Love it!!! Your know how to style your shelves!!! They are amazing. 🙌🙌

  14. I LOVE the white! Am trying to muster the courage to paint the wood-toned built-ins around my fireplace & this helps me envision what it would look like!

  15. Can I be on both teams? Hahaha! If I had to choose I'd go with white but seriously everything you do is FABULOUS. Seriously, I love seeing what you do, you are so talented. You are so inspiring!

  16. I'm team light. I think doing a different color or wallpaper on the background would be fun. Your ideas are always so inspiring.

  17. They look so great in white Jennifer! I remember then white before and I really did like the dark version but white brightens up the space so much! I'm about to embark on painting all my black doors white again, even though I loved the black.....after a while it felt kind of heavy in some areas and I am craving light and bright too!

  18. Question....What are preferences for shelves. Fixed or adjustable? If you do
    Choose is that accomplished. Holes and pegs or metal clip strips
    And clips? If I am stuck with gorgeous white built in cases with aluminum strips and now
    They are truly bothering me. Shall I paint strips
    Color of unit? Or am I just obsessing over
    Nothing? Your blog is quite addictive. Having so much fun because we have similar

    1. Personally, I prefer adjustable. I change mine around according to the accessories or size of books I want to use. I also removed shelves in some spots to create bigger openings (like for my lamp or hanging a mirror on the back of the shelf). Mine have holes drilled with metal clips. However, I have a built in china cabinet in the hall with the metal adjustable strips. I just painted those to match the color of the unit and they totally disappear. Thanks for reading!


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