Decorating Dilemmas, House / Living Room

{Decorating Dilemma} Living room shelves

As the end of January neared, I had to pack up all my Christmas decor.  I mean, I’m not gonna be that girl, the one who never puts the stuff away, right?  Never mind the Christmas tree that’s still lying at our curb. . .

After I packed the holiday decor away, I realized that my built-but-not-finished living room shelf unit needed something to tide it over until I can find time to stain it. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to show you how it looks now – even though I’m not yet satisfied.

It went from this:

create entryway with shelf unit

To this:

Basically, after I took down the yarn trees, I had to do something to create height on the top shelf – so I pulled a few small hardback books from storage in the basement and added some book ends that I had there as well.  You’ll notice that for now I left the wintry-themed fabric on the top.  That just means that I have to stain it before the spring decor starts!

On the middle shelf I had trouble with the decor, because of the open sides.  So I decided to go the symmetrical route.  It turns out I have two old lanterns, so that wasn’t so hard.

But you know, I’m really not loving it.  It’s ok, but I expect more from myself.  I think what I need to do is add a back to it, as well as sides (my dad’s going to say “I told you so”) and then stain it.  ASAP.  But adding a back to it will be tough, because of the heat vent that is behind the bottom shelf area.

Maybe I could just put a back on the top half, and then put sides on the whole height of it?  What would you do?

Bookshelf design and layout is definitely one of the areas where I struggle.  Thanks so much, in advance, for your input!

Cheers,

~Jane~

PS:  Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s giveaway post – it’s a good one!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Adamaso19 at 5:44 pm

    I think a nice dark stain would be awesome.

  • Reply mikalah at 5:53 pm

    Hmmm… I was thinking the same thing that it really needs a back on it. Could you stretch fabric across the back or something to give it a “faux” back that would still breathe? I also saw something in the latest issue of This Old House that could work- they used a decorative metal grid for the front of a cupboard door and it looked really cool. I couldn’t find the exact thing but this link will give you an idea of what it looked like: http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/235925799/Decorative_Perforated_Metal_Sheet.html

  • Reply Anotheryarn at 6:10 pm

    I don’t think it needs a back. But I think you are mixing up intentions. You designed it as a living room shelf, not a bookshelf. The holiday arrangement worked because it didn’t look like a bookshelf. This arrangement is treating it like a bookshelf and that is why it feels off.

  • Reply tracie at 6:20 pm

    you could use the screening that is used on radiator covers in older homes.. some have very decorative patterns, and can be very shabby chic! 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer Laughlin at 7:07 pm

    what about adding fabric as a backer? you could staple gun it and always change it out for holidays or if you find a new and snazzier fabric to match ever changing decor!

    for sure stain that baby asap!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  • Reply Anonymous at 12:00 am

    I’m bad at bookshelf design and layout too, so I don’t have any advice to share..but! I LOVE your lanterns!! Do you have any coffee table-sized books? If so, maybe you could put them on their side (like the magazines) and put the little stack of books/bookends on top of them. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

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