do it yourself
Hi there! I’m Kristin and I write the DIY/design blog Bliss at Home where I share my Do It Yourself projects and my obsession with all things home. I love to share how to achieve high-end looks on a budget. I think no matter what you can afford there are things you can do to make your home personal and comforting. I’m so excited to be a guest blogger on Style Spotters today to share with you more about my “I Did It” Library Wall.
Being creative has its faults. Let me explain…
My husband and I bought the house I grew up in and have been taking on the challenge of remodeling it from top to bottom. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, an exterior overhaul…and the list goes on and on. I have a million ideas floating around in this creative head of mine. So, when I decided we needed to have built-in bookcases in our living room, I shook the piggy bank and not a lot came out. This is a creative hiccup, but one I felt I could overcome.
I priced out building materials so we could build our own custom library wall. The cost was way out of what I was comfortable spending at the time. It came out to be over $2500. My library wall dreams seemed to fade.
Since I like to get the look for less, it was Ikea to the rescue! I started to hatch a plan to get that library wall. The Ikea Billy Bookcase was the perfect answer to my library wall woes. Four Billy bookcases, good hardware and quality wood to make them look built-in, paint and painting supplies, brass library lights on remote, and installing a sound system and speakers all came in under $600!!
We picked the bookcases up on a Saturday and got to work. It took the rest of the weekend and four evenings that week to complete the library wall. Don’t you love how I was already playing around with styling the shelves before they were even finished!?! It’s a sickness, I swear!
Once we built the frame to attach our wood panels, we went ahead and wired up our speakers and placed them on the top of the bookcases. The speakers run to the sound system that is cleverly hidden on a bottom shelf. We left the top panel open to the ceiling and it is great for sound quality.
We also made the center panel a pop off panel so we could access the cords to the speakers and the library lights in the future. Roller ball and hinge hardware made that possible and just a side note here– we use this to hide presents from the kids too!
The brass library lights were a great online find. They are actually brass picture lights and were only $14 each. The cords all run to a power strip that is hidden in the pop off panel. We purchased a power strip that came with a remote and VOILA! – lights on remote!
By adding details like baseboard and crown molding, the bookcases have a built-in look. To finish it off even more, we chose to fill in the pre-drilled shelf holes. We used a product that can easily be removed if we ever choose to change the configuiration of our shelves. Details like this really finish off the bookcases.
You can see every detail on how we made our library wall here: DIY Library Wall
To date, this is one of my favorite projects. It has enhanced how we use our living room. The kids love to read their books in here. My husband and I have coffee and listen to music here on the weekends. When we entertain, it is our go-to room. The library wall adds charm to our home. The shelves hold our memories and favorite things. Definitely time and money well spent!
Having one of my favorite projects featured in Better Homes and Gardens is definitely a dream come true! Getting that first email from editor Kit Selzer saying they would like to feature it was a pinch-me moment for sure. Stylist Lindsay Berger and photographer Greg Scheidemann were a joy to work with and I would gladly have them back anytime. I loved seeing them in action and it is an experience that has made me more and more passionate about what I do. I’d like to thank the entire BHG team for all their work! It was an awesome experience!
Hi, Everyone. My name is Danielle Driscoll and I blog over at Finding Silver Pennies. I live in a coastal New England town with my English husband, two little boys and our rescue dog. The blog is dedicated to our life by the sea, redoing our historic home, treasure hunting at the beach & yard sales and fun family ideas. When I’m not running after my little guys then you can be sure I’m down in the basement painting furniture. It was a dream come true to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens. All the more special that my sons, John & Conor, could take part in the fun.
From a very early age I got hooked on Yard Sale-ing and antiquing. Since before I could walk my mom had me by her side looking for treasures. Most weekends you can find us out sale-ing before we hit the beach.
We discovered the drawing table I created for my boys at a friend’s yard sale. The table is quite big and super sturdy. I absolutely love the turned legs, and oak paints so nicely because of the grain of the wood. BUT I almost passed on it thinking it was just too big!
How could I resist the bargain of a $5 table?!?
My sons LOVE to draw and I thought what better way to repurpose an old and unwanted table for years (and I mean years) of enjoyment?!? We completed this table back in September 2012 and it is still going strong and has provided many, many hours of fun for our whole family.
I shared the tutorial on my blog here. My oldest son had just started kindergarten and both Conor and I missed him so much. We decided to paint the table together to pass the time. Here is the before:
I first sanded down the surface because there were scratches, and then I painted the top in Valspar chalkboard paint I had left from another project. I applied three coats with a Purdy XL Glide brush. You can also use a paint roller. The vibrant green is Antibes Green Chalk Paint®, decorative paint by Annie Sloan. I applied two coats of the green and did two coats of clear wax to seal it (no wax on the chalkboard top).
As you can see, Conor started young with Chalk Paint®. Here he is painting at the age of 3!
He was so proud of himself, carefully brushing the paint on. He kept saying, “Mommy, John is going to be so proud of me. He’s going to be really surprised.” I guess it goes to show that you’re never too young or too old to breath new life into an old piece.
I hope you can pop by my blog to say hello and see some of the other painted pieces.
I’ve also shared a behind the scenes post of BHG visiting my home. This photo was taken while the crew was setting up and the kids were drawing:
The crew came through a blizzard! The snow was falling and the kids were drawing but you’d never know from the image in the magazine that the weather was so bad. Thank you to BHG for including our fun project in the magazine and on this blog!
Trend: Hand-Lettered Artwork!
I’ve long been an admirer of pretty penmanship (it was my favorite class in second grade–I still have a secret stash of the blue-line, wide-rule paper at home!), but even I can barely read my own to-do lists. I blame my sloppy script for why I’ve been coveting all of the gorgeous posters and prints covered with beautifully illustrated words.
And while I want to buy them all, my wallet thinks otherwise…but, good news! With a few free fonts and a normal word processing document, you can create a chic, on-trend poster of your very own.
It’s really simple: Find a favorite font or fonts (free for personal use) at dafont.com, Font Squirrel, or by doing a search for “free handwritten font.” (I used Mighty to Save, Fragment Core, and KG Two is Better Than One.) Download it to your computer, and add it to your fonts. Next, open up a new document, and play around with alignment, fonts, styles, and placement. Try mixing a serif and a sans serif or regular and italic, or keep things classic with one font. It’s up to you! Finally, print out your newly created wall art on a sheet of 8.5×11-inch card stock. To make it even more custom, use washi tape to mount your new masterpiece on top of a larger mat. Frame, hang, and be inspired!
–Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor