Bookshelf Restyle

Get ready…For the next week or so I am going to be inundating you with organization posts – Organizing closets, drawers, shelves, kitchen cabinets, etc.

You name it, we’ve organized it in the last three days. This move has me on a cleaning kick that I didn’t know was possible – I am E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D and, dare I say it, I am actually starting to loathe finding places for things. I’m sure you can probably tell that I’m a bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness and having everything in its place – Well folks, I’ve taken it to a new level this past weekend.

All of that dramatic whining aside though, boy do I love a neat and attractive space, surface, or closet…It’s the ULTIMATE validation for all of my hard work.

Let’s ease into this organization foray with a simple bookshelf overhaul in the kitchen. Here’s what it looked like before I took the little half hour project on:

This bookshelf has proven to be excellent for being a cookbook catch-all and the perfect spot for our stereo (we LOVE to play music when we cook/bake/unwind from the day in the kitchen). But it was looking like a dumping ground at this point – Books and papers stacked haphazardly, the things we needed on a daily basis on the bottom shelf and “special occasion” stuff within easy reach. Plus, it lacked any kind of decoration or style.

Plus, two of my go-to homemaking/inspiration books (The Homemade Home by Sania Pell and The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking by Kate Payne) were tucked away in a rarely-seen corner…More on those someday soon.

So the first thing I did was squat on the kitchen floor and take everything off the shelves, stacking books, papers, etc. on the floor in piles. I left my china in place because I wanted to avoid moving the delicate pieces any more than I had to.

See that box in the left corner? That my friends is my “random decorations box” 🙂 It’s full of little trinkets and glass figures and vases that I can grab from if I want to make a surface feel a little more vintage or homey.

Yes, I have fake flowers in there – I love how much life plants give a room, but since I have a brown thumb (i.e. I kill plants like a serial killer), I have to resort to the immortal version. And yes, 90% of the box is filled with owls – Thrift stores NEVER fail me in their endless supplies of owl trinkets

Time to put everything back in place!

Task #1 was prioritizing. The china, which as you saw started out on the top shelf (taking up prime real estate), was moved one shelf down. I didn’t want it on the bottom shelf for fear of the dog’s strong happy tail, but the middle shelf seemed safe enough.

I also wanted to work on the display of the pieces, so I tilted the large platter dish up between the two stacks of plates and tea cups. It wouldn’t stay standing on its own though…So out came my handy-dandy felt pads again! One little pad did the trick to keep the plate steady and in place:

Once I set the sugar bowl and saucers in front of platter it hid the sneaky little felt pad:

Oh and about my china? It’s a (slightly incomplete) set that I picked up from my favorite second hand shop in town for $32. I wasn’t with John at the time (in fact I was single), but I decided that I didn’t have to wait until I got married to have some gorgeous wedding china! I instantly fell in love with the green, brown, and eggplant pattern – In my opinion it’s sort of a mid-century version of floral.

Here are some details I took before I moved the set down a shelf:

See how it kind of HINTS at floral, but isn’t overly feminine? I love that…And luckily John seems okay with my our “wedding china”.

But back to the organization project…

So from there I did some rearranging, putting cookbooks with cookbooks and magazine with magazines. I put all of the necessary stuff on the top shelf and the lesser-used items on the bottom. I ended up with extra space on the bottom where I’m thinking about putting a tray to hold mail and other papers that come in through the front door.

After incorporating a few pretty decorations, I was all done!

My handy home books made the cut onto the coveted TOP top shelf!!

I also added a little 3M hook on the side of the shelf for oven mits to be within easy reach (but not clutter up the kitchen drawers):

Here’s what made it onto the top shelf:

  • Our cookbooks
  • Recipe box full of recipe cards
  • A napkin holder
  • An old thrifted desk organizer with cubbies for clips, keys, rubber bands, safety pins, etc. (more on that this Thursday!)
  • Some owls and a framed photo!

Here’s the middle shelf looking lovely with the vintage china…

And the mostly empty bottom shelf which will eventually be the place for random papers and whatnot. (Plus a cream/gravy boat shaped like a cow that reminds me of my childhood and was just too cute to hide in a kitchen cabinet!)

All-in-all, it’s not a huge difference but it’s neater then it was before and it serves GREAT function for our everyday lives. And isn’t that what organization is all about??

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2 thoughts on “Bookshelf Restyle

  1. Ainhoa

    It looks great! I’m terrible at styling bookcases myself… thank god most of the ones we have have doors. Can’t wait to read the rest of the posts on organization, I’m a bit OCD about everything having its place, too!

    Reply
    1. Carrie Post author

      Thanks =) It’s not as easy as pro decorators make it seem! But we are getting better I suppose…Glad I’m not the only neat freak!

      Reply

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