Shelf Shuffle

Since adding some brightly colored pillows:
ikea stockholm rug, blue velvet couch, picasso line drawing, silver tray, ikat curtainsGiving the lamps a fresh aqua makeover:
 And transforming our new lamp into a beauty:
living room, HomeGoods We’re pretty darn pleased with this side of the living room. True, I’m constantly on the hunt for white slipcovers, and I may at some point want to change up the lampshades (or give them a DIY treatment), but for now you could say that I’m satisfied appeased.

So, of course I turn my attention to the other side of the room.
matisse, ikea expedit, ikea striped blanket When my eyes flicker around this side of the living room, they constantly alight upon the most prominent feature: Our Expedit bookshelf from Ikea. We have loved this little workhorse that has housed our books, magazines, random knick knacks and baskets of clutter. It has served us well, to be sure. But I have a couple issues:

  • It’s too short for the space. This has me constantly piling stuff on top of it to compensate for its lack of height. Nothing wrong with wanting to showcase some beloved treasures on top of a bookshelf, but when you start arbitrarily plunking stuff up there to compensate for its Napoleonesque stature, you’re in trouble.
  • The 13 x 13 inch cubbies are extremely limiting. True, you can place baskets in them, but lately I have found them very constricting to my decorating aesthetic. When one is yearning to make one’s home open, airy and serene – dark, imposing cubes are anathema. Lately I’ve found myself singing “Don’t fence me in.”

Where this bookshelf would be perfect is the basement. In my craft area I have desperate need for organization, and the Expedit would be perfect to house all my supplies! But what is to go in its place?

This is the Billy bookcase (also from Ikea). After measuring carefully, I discovered that two of these bookcases will fit perfectly on this wall. They will come to just below the top of the widow frame and will fit the horizontal space with about 1/8 inch to spare. Risky? Sure, but my next adventure race is over two months away, and I have to get my adrenaline rush somehow.

I know the picture above doesn’t exactly inspire choirs of decorating angels or anything, but at just $69 a pop, this is going to be an easy way to bring some much needed light and openness to the space. And if you want to get your creative juices really flowing, check out what Kate from Centsational Girl did with four Billy bookcases:
Holy moly! You’re seeing that right – she (and her überhandy hubby) took four freestanding bookshelves, added trim and moulding, primed, caulked and painted them and voila! Super impressive! Our space won’t allow for the wall-to-wall built in look because of the window on the right and the radiator on the left, but this picture definitely gave me something to think about. If nothing else, I could combine the two units and finish it off with decorative trim. This has me excited!

Could you see something like this in our living room? Has anyone ever attempted a project like this? I’d love to hear about any tips and advice!

TGIF! Holla y’all!


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About C.A.

I'm the daughter of a Marine and a "Bond Girl" type of mom who bestowed upon me a wealth of wisdom. I want to bring that courage, purpose, intelligence, resourcefulness, glamour and joie-de-vivre into every aspect of my life.
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5 Responses to Shelf Shuffle

  1. Kate says:

    I have a Ikea Besta tv/bookshelf mammoth that has lived in two apartments with me. I have books across the top of it, with a wall shelf above for more books (I like books!). But I dream of my next move where I can finally kick it to the curb and create my own built-in-looking Billy bookcases. The TV can live somewhere else, and I’m tired of dusting the dark brown fake wood. I just can’t decide whether to go blonde or white, but I really like how the one Centsational Girl made looks!

    My mom got an Expedit for her basement craft room about 10 years ago, which did come in handy. She measured before I put it together and found that some of her scrapbooks and paper wouldn’t fit into the cubbies though, so I left out two of the top row of dividers. It held up fine and let her store everything she needed to–that is, until their basement flooded! I would warn against putting anything but solid wood in a basement if it is vulnerable to flooding, because wood will survive flooding but particleboard will just swell up and turn into a mess.

    • C.A. says:

      Either blonde or white-painted wood would look amazing and would instantly lighten up your whole space! Exciting!

      Good tip about keeping the Expedit away from flood prone areas – swollen particleboard is the last thing I need! Luckily the side of the basement where my craft table is located never floods. The other side occasionally gets a little a little trickle when we have serious storms roll through. I will keep composite furniture away from this area! xoxo

  2. Hi C.A.! I’m loving the improvements. We’re using a black Expedit half the size of yours as our TV stand (laid horizontally, of course), and I’m ready for it to go! You should definitely go with the Billys. We have two white ones in our bedroom, and two black in our living room and I love them. We painted the backs (make sure to paint the cardboard side, not the black or white side– learned that lesson the hard way!) and they look great. Now I’m itching to go out and get some molding!

    • C.A. says:

      Thank you! Thanks for the vote of confidence about the Billy bookcases. It’s good to hear that you like them because we went ahead and got two at Ikea! I’ll have pictures up soon! :)

  3. Pingback: Ikea Billy Bookcases! | How To Be A Heroine ™

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