Like most people, we have a TON of books. Since we moved into our new house last May, they’ve been in boxes in our downstairs hallway… NOT PRETTY. or organized. or easy. So, yesterday, we headed over to Ikea and purchased this bad boy for our living room: To go in this spot:

We’ll still need some more bookshelves somewhere else in the house but I’m really happy with this start:
I mixed in lots of flea market/ thrift finds with the books:
I did a horizontal stack of books (these turquoise ones are some of my favorites- haha although I’ve only read one of them… it’s just the color!!! but The Golden Fleece is on my ‘to read” list) to make a little pedestal for my wedgewood bowl. The spot was looking really bare (and we need the space for books!) so I opened a pretty book behind the “pedestal.”

I love this fun monkey “see no evil, hear no eveil, speak no evil” vase (and some more pretty blue books!) that I recently found in Volo, IL for $8.

I did a combination of junky paperbacks turned page-side out (I still have all of my Christopher Pike & LJ Smith books) and beautiful leatherbounds. My grandfather has been giving the grandkids a leatherbound classic every year for Thanksgiving since we were kids. (I think my English-teacher-husband was sealed on marrying me when he found this out! 😉 😉 I also layered in a flea market painting & some prints to add some interest in the background…
And since I’ve got lots of green in my living room, I made this fun horizontal stack of green design books. I’m sure you recognize a few! 😉 I topped it with tis crazy vintage peacock soap dish ($4) that I found in Volo this summer. Again, I opened up a book to go behind it because the space was feeling bare and I loved the etchings from The Aeneid. I also tucked in a few family photos:
The two bottom shelves are for (you guessed it!) toys!!! I’m using those old wooden wine boxes again & they’re smashed in between more books. Even though it’s the living room, I like to have toys in every area (as long as they look okay when put away) so that we can all enjoy all the rooms in the house.
And I know how weird & creepy this alligator head is, but we found it at one of my favorite shops at the beach & for some odd reason, we just loved it. (This is the first time my husband actually wanted an accessory MORE than me so I was really happy to get something he was so excited about.) We haven’t named him yet…
Below is a bust that I got for around $2 at Unique Thrift Store in Merrifield (AMAZING if you havenm’t been… He was made of black-reddish-bronzey glass. Really one of the scariest/ ugliest busts I’d ever seen but I painted him white & then tea stained him. He’s been outside too & only gets better-looking with age 😉 (Ignore the blue painter’s tape!!) He’s on top of one of my favorite series of books.

I was able to stack 3 columns of paperbacks in this space above the bookshelf. It will definitely be a pain when I am looking for something but this is the price of beauty 😉 😉 I layered in a huge hurricane glass & candle because I needed items of large-scale up there:
And one last look at the new bookshelf. It practically looks built-in & I was so excited when the shelf was only 2.5″ smaller than the wall.

If you didn’t get the chance, check out this post because it explains a lot of the principles behind what I did here.
ps- did you notice that the baseboard is in around the floors too?!!! wahooooooooo (we have a little more to finish tonight 😉