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Organizing the Bookcase

25 Feb

As someone who loves both books and design, this stop-action video made me grin from ear to ear, and I definitely pressed repeat a few times. Enjoy!


My Favorite Bookcase

26 Jan

There’s something really magical about a bookcase. It’s a very telling glimpse into someone’s personality both by what’s on it and how it’s organized, and it can be a wonderful conversation starter when you discover books you have in common, shared favorite authors, and copies of new titles you’d like to read sitting on someone else’s bookshelf. When given the opportunity, bookcases are one of my most favorite things to look at in a person’s home (tied with the art on their walls).

About five years ago when I was living in San Francisco, I dreamt of the bookcase I’d buy when I finally settled somewhere. It was at the top of my furniture wish list (you can bet I had a list), and I even drew a picture of what I wanted in my sketchbook. This is the sketch:

When I moved to Birmingham and knew I’d be staying awhile, the bookcase I’d drawn was the first piece of furniture I began hunting for. It took months of searching, but I finally found the perfect one in a local antique shop that has since gone out of business (Crestwood Antiques for those who may be curious). Here it is in my old home (left) and my new one (right). It’s a pretty close match, don’t you think?

As I mentioned briefly here, this piece of furniture houses memorable tchotchkes from our travels,¬†most of my favorite books (my Jane Austen and Armistead Maupin collections, some of my favorite art and illustration books, and other life-changing books I’ve read over the years), and my favorite magazines (a complete set of Cottage Living, copies of Domino, a handful of How magazines, and the new and utterly gorgeous Anthology magazine). It makes me uncommonly happy when I look at it.

And for those like me who enjoy browsing a little closer, here’s a shelf-by-shelf look at what makes up my list of favorites. Maybe you’ll find some common titles or ones on your to-read list. If so, let’s chat. I love talking about books.

Guest Room

12 Jan

As promised, here’s the start of our house tour. This might take awhile.

The guest room was painted the same beige color that pretty much the rest of the house was originally painted. By the time I took this photo, we’d already ripped out the white plastic collapsible closet doors, added crown molding, done some heavy patchwork on the walls, and sanded and primed the closet door frame. This is what we were working with:

We then painted the trim Valspar’s Bistro White in semigloss and the walls Valspar’s New Avocado in flat, which got us to this:

It’s amazing what paint can do. (Smoky the cat could not be tempted to move when I was taking these.)

We added white curtains to the window and closet for an inexpensive alternative to closet doors that has no footprint in the room and looks infinitely better than the white plastic collapsible doors that had been there. We also added a white duvet and bedskirt, 1-inch white faux wood blinds, and a few pieces of art on the wall. I made some pillow shams using¬†Joel Dewberry’s graphic Herringbone fabric in Pond. (That project is here.) Here’s what it looked like:

Since then we’ve added a bit more art and my favorite bookcase. More will be added (including that artwork sitting on the bookcase that obviously needs to be hung), but this is the room in its current state:

More to come eventually.