In My House


A quick recap, since this project has been years in the making. Ever since we moved into the house, Aubrey’s beloved book collection has been in boxes. So, we needed bookshelves to house *some* of Aubrey’s books. After much contemplation, we decided to have 2 freestanding bookshelves built for our living room flanking each side of the entrance to our dining room. We contemplated Ikea bookshelves however, the dimensions didn’t work. So, we hired out, and in order to save money, painted them ourselves. (Such a tedious task, but it saved us well over $1,000)

And here they are…


Here are some details that went into them


(1) How high? We measured many times to decide how high they should be. We couldn’t have them built straight to the ceiling as since they aren’t “built ins” we needed some relief to actually get them in. However, I do quite like the air between the top, and the ceiling. Moulding was designed to reflect the style of the moulding in our house.

(2) Knobs – The knobs are brushed brass, that match the base of our Pottery Barn Lights as blogged about here

(3) Hidden away … The base units provide awesome storage for things like our DVD collection that previously had no home.

(4) A place for extras… Instead of your typical straight bookcases, I designed them to have a little hutch for extra detail, and a place for photographs, and little pieces.

A bit more about them….

The Design
I designed the bookshelves based on bookshelves that my parents have in their house but with some modifications to account for the fact that our living room is MUCH smaller, and we didn’t want to take up too much floor space. We worked with the builder to make sure that everything was quite specific, from the header, to how deep the hutch part would come out.

The Styling
These bookcases are going to be just that – A place for all of Aubrey’s books. With the compromise that I get some room for some picture frames of photos of family. The photo shows you as we fill the shelves up with a small percentage of his collection.

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  • Reply
    Pine Tree Home
    November 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    They truly look like they have belonged there for years.

  • Reply
    Cathy @ The Far Fifty
    November 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    So jealous!! I would love to have bookshelves custom built! Books are MEANT to be displayed. They look amazing!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    They look amazing!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Looks great!! You must be so happy – I would love to have something like that in my house!

  • Reply
    Sarah La Rose
    November 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Lindsay the book shelves look wonderful! Great paint job! I can only imagine how tedious it must have been. What colour and brand did you use?

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    They turned out great!

  • Reply
    Megan {Honey We're Home}
    November 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    What a great idea! Practical and pretty! I've got a lot of books too so I can relate.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    wow! it must feel great to get that off the list! Good jobbie!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    they look fabulous!

  • Reply
    Roncy Vic
    November 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Very nice, i like how well they fit in with your existing wood trim. I like how the cornice on the bookcase matches the cornice on the doorway casing.

  • Reply
    Geezees Custom Canvas Art
    November 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    WOW! I'm so jealous! It looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Alycia (Crowley Party)
    November 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    LOVE IT!

  • Reply
    The Bonjour Four
    November 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    AMAZING work!! so impressed.

  • Reply
    [email protected] at Home
    November 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Beautifully done.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I found your blog while researching bookcases. I know you were previously hesitant about revealing the builder. Are you happy with the construction, customer support and end result? They look great and I've been planning to use a similar design with a desk incorporated into it. It would be great if you could share some of those details! Very nice!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    They look pefect!


  • Reply
    Sara @ Russet Street Reno
    November 11, 2010 at 4:06 am

    These are amazing. Painting is such a chore, but you did a great job of it!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I'm so happy I found your blog. I'm also located in Toronto and working on designing bookcases for our living room. We would like to turn the living room into a library to house our books and have an open and accessible computer and desk for homework. I'm interested in all the same things Helen mentioned earlier if you're willing to share some of the details. Thanks again for sharing the process and the fruits of your labour!


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