Friday, April 4, 2014

Floral Bookcase Backings and more

 Today my living room looks like this. 
 It is still a work in progress, as you read along you can see
my latest thoughts on where I want to take this room.
But first, let me show you how it evolved.
   My room three years ago was Shabby Chic in style.
Very feminine and vintage decor. 
Then I got inspired by designer Annette Tatum's floral
backed bookcases and her use of the pastels I favored, 
when I saw her room in a magazine.
 Annette Tatums living room just bowled me over! 
I had to try this with my bookcases!
So I cut up some pretty floral fabric and wrapped it around foam boards
 and started backing the bookcases. This way I could take it out if 
 I grew tired of the look.  Above you can see the first panel I
 added to the bookcases, and I was loving the look.
The funny thing was that Annette changed her living room not too long after. 
This version was in another magazine spread and now
 her pink floral backers were changed out to floral with cream and pink colors. 
 She changed her slipcovers and accessories as well. I loved this version too! 
 So for all of us who are constantly changing things around, this is normal!  
So my bookcases looked like this for awhile, 
and the room was still very Shabby Chic.
About a year later I did a total makeover towards Traditional style
 and took out the floral backers and painted everything grey.
Traditional style living room. However this look
 just wasn't me, and things would get changed up again.
I painted all the woodwork white and added a formal mirror. 
The floral backers came out of hiding in my storage trunk. 
 Books, baskets and framed family photos were added to the bookshelves. 
The baskets picked up the texture in the new sisal rug
 and helped balance out the feminine design.
I actually have a different backing in mind,
 but the floral ones were ready to go so I popped them 
in place and there they will stay til I get a few days 
off to try out the wallpaper I really wanted to use.
Its Laura Ashley's Summer Palace wallpaper. 
 I have two rolls and I want to use this on my bookcases. 
Its fun and modern and still has the colors that I prefer.
I think this will look perfect (for a year anyway)!
But for now, it is the vintage chintz that lines the shelves.
 Decorating bookcases is tricky as they can hold a lot of stuff. 
Of course they can be filled with books for a library look, 
but I like to add bits of flavor with home decor items.  
Picking three basic categories,
I will repeat them for a cohesive look.  In this case it was
 books, baskets and glass/ceramics. 
 I also added a few groupings of framed family photos 
to personalize our room.  
 Some of the items on the shelves, like this large mercury glass vessel 
as well as all the baskets were purchased at HomeGoods. 
 The other items were either gifts or family heirlooms 
with sentimental attachments.

Annette's bookcases had groupings of antique books 
in the same binding colors.  
Finding good looking old books is not easy.  
I am always on the lookout for nice old books that share
 the same color bindings so I can create groupings. 
 I am sure Annette doesn't read these books, they are just there to look pretty.
And pretty they are! she also mixed in a few decorative items.  
The books don't compete with the floral backings and 
the brown color minimized the femininity of the design.
 I would love to have beautiful old golden brown leather antique books in my cases. 
 But this is the real world, and these are books we read. 
 Lots of home design books as well as books on dogs and home repair 
sit on our shelves.  This is my favorite room to enjoy a good book 
with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.  The light streams in 
from the front windows from sunrise to sunset making
 this my favorite room in the house.
 I love natural light! Its a feel good accessory all by itself. 
This morning I added some tiny white fabric lampshades
to the sconces.  I love how they look.  I got them off of a vintage
fancy crystal chandelier out of a town house in Boston.
More changes are on the way.  I want to get some new chairs  for starters. 
 The other side of the room is still in process and when I figure that side out I will share it here.  Its got a piano, and I have been pushing it in different positions to see what works best.  This room is a relatively small square shape room that opens into the dining room and the front entryway, so its a bit of a challenge. Especially when you have lots of stuff, like we do.  But stuff makes a room have a personality, doesn't it?  
As I downloaded the photos from my Canon camera, 
I saw this "selfie" of Colin.  
I had to smile, although it was with a twinge of nostalgia
 as this was Colin's last day at Maison Decor.
Colin landed a "real" job with a firm in his chosen field 
of Building and Construction management.  He helped me start
 my little business from day one while he was busy getting his degree 
at University of Massachusetts.  He would drive home on weekends 
to help me move furniture or paint walls and clocks 
and really was such a tremendous help.  When he graduated he came on full time 
now joining me and my son Justin and what a team we made. 
 He started work this week and its been 
a major adjustment for me and Justin. We are sad to see him go,
 but happy as this is the right move for him and we know
 he will be a tremendous success! 
 Thank you Colin for being such a supportive son
and awesome employee.  
Wishing you the best that life has to offer~you deserve it!

Note: Some of this post has items sponsored from HomeGoods.  All opinions and ideas are my own.


  1. Amy, I love how feminine your living room is. I have all white couches too and at the end of the night, I find myself walking around with a bleach pen. : ) That wallpaper is beautiful. It is the exactly same one I have saved on my computer. Good Luck to must be so proud.


  2. So pretty. I want to use the foam idea for my open kitchen cabinets. There are some pretty modern paper liners for drawers now and I thought it would look pretty to put it in the back of my kitchen cabinet. Did you just get foam from a craft store?

  3. That looks sooo amazing, what a perfect choice you have selected..your talent is just limitless!

  4. your wonderful bookcases are such a lovely feminine look! just brilliant to use foam core board! congrats to your son on his big life change. I know you'll really miss him.

  5. congratulations to colin! the floral on the shelves is so unique and soft looking, amy. i have never seen it elsewhere, and i love that you can change your mind! we creatives need that sort of flexibility. hope this finds you well, beautiful lady.


  6. I've admired this room since I first saw it and now it looks like the fresh breath of spring.

    Congratulations to Colin.

  7. It's so nice to see your living room, Amy. I've always loved seeing photos of your home.
    I really like the idea of the fabric for the back of the book cases.
    Everything looks wonderful!
    Good for Colin! Best of luck in his new venture.

  8. I'm sure it's bittersweet, you must be thrilled for Colin but it's sad to lose a partner in your business. You and your sons are so creative. Love the changes going on in your living room. Would love to dress up my fireplaces but right now they're very chunky - need lots of trim to make them less angular and bump out the mantel (or is it "mantle"?). That was a great selfie he took!
    ps: if you need help at the shop, I'm available!

  9. I am just loving the soft, romantic pastels you're introducing to your home, Amy! It speaks directly to my shabby chic heart! :) I'm wondering if I could use your foam board idea to cover up the black opening in my gas fireplace for the summer months? How bittersweet that Colin is leaving you! He has been such a talented help to you and your stores throughout the years. I pray that he will be very successful on his new journey!

    xxoo laurie

  10. This is just so pretty, I love it! Everything you do is so lovely.

    Congratulations to Colin!

  11. Hi Amy,
    Congrats to Colin!! Everything is beautiful. Can you tell me the name of the wallpaper that you plan to use... I love it!!

  12. Hi Amy,

    Congrats to Colin.. I love, love, love your house! Can you please tell me the name of the wallpaper that you plan to use... I love it!
    Thank you


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