Monday, June 2, 2014

Bookcase Makeover from HomeGoods

Bookcases are tough to decorate. They can look really busy and messy when 
they get stuffed with books and odds and ends over time.  If you leaf through
catalogues from Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and RH you will see some
beautiful looking bookcase arrangements. If you stop and do a little analysis
you will often find that its just repetition of types of items and of colors.
This bookcase makeover was part of my involvement with HomeGoods
as one of their Pinterest Designers. Most of what you see used in this makeover
is from HomeGoods, although some things are from my own little shop, Maison Decor.
My client, Heather, is a repeat customer.  I have helped her decorate her home and 
done some window treatments as well.  She was my first Pinterest Happy by Design
client!  She asked me to help her do her bookcases over.  So lets take a look at
how the makeover turned out.  Below is a finished shot of the mantle, as Heather's
bookcases are attached to the mantle, and its all done in knotty pine, a traditional
feature in many New England Cape Cod style homes.  The task at hand was to lighten
up the overall effect of the wood paneling, without painting it!
The only thing I kept was the antique mirror.  I found this mirror for Heather
about a year or so ago, and I loved the antique green trim with the burnished gold
in the oval frame.  You can see the green linen drapery panels hanging in the 
mirror's reflection.  This would be the color that I planned to repeat in the bookcases.
 This is Heather's real life before photo, 
stuffed with old books and odd lots of picture frames.
 HomeGoods to the rescue! I always try to buy more than I need
so that I am not finding myself wishing I had picked up a few extra things.
That is tip #1. Buy more than you need, so you can play around with 
the arrangement as you start to build the design.
 Green ceramics with a bit of age were placed throughout the shelves
and on the mantle.  Baskets were placed in a symmetrical fashion to keep
balance in the layout.  Overall most shelves are balanced, left to right.
 A pair of lanterns with faux candles that can be turned on at night 
were paired on either side of the mirror.  Lime green burlap ribbon from
Maison Decor was tied to the lantern ring holds.  Green anduze style pots
holding little burlap wrapped herbs, also from Maison Decor were set on the mantle
next to the lanterns.  Decorating with symmetry is very pleasing to the eye, and its
one of the easiest ways to decorate a mantle.
The shelves have old books in faded out red covers from my shop,
and baskets with chalkboards from HomeGoods to hold Heather's books.
We will write things like "Bestsellers" and "Classics" on the little chalkboards.
Other colors added in home decor objects were repeated from the pillow and chair fabrics
in the room.  Antique reds, aged greens and washed out greys were repeated throughout
the bookcase design.
A split screen shows the symmetrical design of the bookcase.  Not 100%
of course, as that would be a bit boring, wouldn't it?  Having two topiaries 
flanking the firescreen would have been too much.  So instead I placed a garden
statue of a huge moss covered rabbit on the opposite side.
This shot shows the large window that looks out to the garden.
The finished room with the restyled bookcases~ 
its casual and effortless looking, but oh what a difference!
So next time you need to get the stuff for a great makeover
head to HomeGoods and fill up your carts with more than you 
need~you will be glad you did.  Remember, you can always
return what you don't use or want.  But if you go back to get 
that giant stone rabbit because you weren't sure you would need him,
he will likely be gone, and living in someone else's home.
Note: This post is sponsored by HomeGoods as part of the Happy By Design Pinterest Board that 
shows off designer tips, like mine! Visit the Happy By Design board to see other tips and makeovers. 


  1. You did a great job lightening up these bookcases, Amy! I know it can be tough to do that with wood tones. Love the green you brought in and I think that helped. I agree, I used to always over-buy when I bought my clients accessories at Home Goods. Just like food at a party ~ better to have more than you need than not enough!

  2. You did a GREAT job there, Amy. It looks so much brighter and better. i thought you were maybe going to put some fabric/paper backing in the shelves like you did at your house. It is all very pleasing to the eye now-nicely balanced and pretty to look at. Good job! xo Diana

  3. The bookcases look wonderful but I have a question. I love books (and have tons of them)and my bookcases create more of a library feel (which is perfect for me). Where does everyone (who does not decorate with a library vibe)put all of their books? I noticed that this homeowner had lots of books to begin with - what happened to them?

  4. Chris, the owner took out the kids books and put them in the play room bookshelves and left her own books which I then put in baskets. I like the library look too, but she wanted a more decorated finished look for the room.


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