Thursday, April 28, 2011


You may remember our little dining room area looking like this before:
It was definitely a bit cluttered and random. We had dishes on the bookshelf due to lack of room in the kitchen along with a lot of knick-knacky things like  car made out of floppy disks, dominoes, ducks, cookbook holder, frames, toy cars, stuff that we just stuck up there while passing by ect. Our landlords were very nice to leave their handmade bookshelf but we were also a bit concerned for it toppling over. It's very tall and not anchored to anything. 

Enter phase two. We nixed the gaudy lamps on either side which didn't even work. They are being stored in the garage since they are not ours and we couldn't throw them out. Secondly we received the china cabinet from my moms house which helped us out tremendously with space issues. The downside: now we have two large pieces of furniture crammed together for even more dysfunction, not to mention that we now have a dog cage in the corner by the door.

To clean up the bookshelf for a more uniformed and less cluttered look, I took down all of the knick-knacky things. We put the cooking book holder away). Next to help anchor the bookshelf with more weight on the bottom, I put the heaviest books down there: my southern living cookbook collection. We put to light things on top: a cow head and a wooden board that I use on the table sometimes. From there I grouped books in different directions to break up the space.

I fondly refer to the light as my nemesis because it's downright evil. I can't tell you how many times i've hit my head on that thing. In my imagination it looks something like this:

I turned my gaudy-not-to-cool sci fi books facing the wall so that the light colored pages show. This might annoy some people, but I know exactly which books are where if I need to find them. I covered some of my hardback books in need of a little repair in brown paper, writing the names of them on the spine with a white paint pen. Now we have groups of similar colored books.

Next I added the smaller Items back onto the shelf. We nixed the ducks and cars and traded them for more adult friendly items such as the little vase with grass, candles, and Charley's board carved with peoples signatures from a memorable trip he went on as a kid. Also the little white ceramic dog seen here and Juneau's cookie jars (which usually have white rawhide in them not icky red bones).

 I'm such a dork that I drew a picture to help me while rearranging.  It  helps to get a feel for the negative space. The bulky items and large blocks of space, such as a row of books, draw the most emphasis. By making those items (the books) more muted, I can use my interesting items as the focal points (i.e cow head). Even looking at my little drawing I can tell that it's still a little to cluttered. I think it's going to be one of those things that I walk by from time to time and move things again. We probably should go through and do a "book weeding" and get rid of the ones we have two copies of or will never read again. It just seems sort of sacrilegious to get rid of books. The funny thing is that I noticed that we have 8 or 9 different versions of the bible on the shelf, mostly in different languages that we don't speak.

Whew! all that work for a bookshelf. I might be a little crazy for worrying about bookshelf arrangements but it sure does help the OCD bit of me.

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