May 11, 2013

.: Before and After: Ingrid's New Old Bookshelves

My friend Ingrid is one of those people that finds things.  Like at estate sales, on the side of the road, really anywhere.  Which, of course, is one of the reasons that I like her.  We bonded over design and DIY love. Ingrid and I, along with our friends Lynne and Leslie, have been working together for the last year as the building renovation team for our house of worship...but more on that another time.

Ingrid and Lynne

Anyway, it was no big surprise to me when Ingrid said she landed some "awesome" new bookshelf cabinets for her living room.  New to her, that is.  Awesome in that they were sturdy, the right size, and just needed "a little paint".


And so, paint she did.  Right there in her living room.  (Good time to mention that her husband is a saint!)

For the main body of the pieces, she used the same lovely creamy white that she had used on the existing sideboard in the room.  (Another sidewalk find, I think.)  She painted  the back of the bookcases with the leftover wall paint, a blue that I can only describe as the color of the sky on a Cape Cod summer day.  For contrast, she left the cabinet tops in their natural wood state.  A bonus that you can't see in the picture is that the cabinet top in center piece flips out to create a secretary.

When she finished, they looked like this.....

Notice how the one on the right is just a smidge shorter than the other two?
Yeah, that was an interesting design challenge!

But alas, Ingrid thought this was the limit of her abilities.  So, enticing us with the promise of a fresh home-made pot of soup and roasted brussels sprout salad, she lured Lynne and I over one evening to style her new bookshelves.  Once we were all warmed up by that delicious meal, she took us on a discovery tour of her home.  Out came piles of books, bins of photographs and frames, replica house collections, car collections, family memorabilia, etc, etc.  It was a little overwhelming, but we were up to the challenge.

A slow start, but it's a start nonetheless...

One of the joys of working with Lynne & Ingrid:
 they're just as OCD as I am!

We left Ingrid's house in shambles that night, as it was getting late and we both had to get home to our kids, but I went back later, and Ingrid and I finished up.  It was a long process of choosing, placing, and repeated editing of her photographs and other treasures.  Luckily, Ingrid has an amazing supply of frames, so we could switch photos in and out at will.  Ultimately, it yielded beautiful results.

Ingrid made the stunning multi-media artwork using capiz shells and sand she collected on Block Island.

The large photos on the bottom shelves are attached to the back of the units using Command Hooks.  Raising them allows the desk-top to open easily, but we didn't want to add any unnecessary nail holes.

We fudged the height difference by separating the units with a piece of artwork, then adding similar items to the tops of both pieces.  This fools the eye into seeing the tops as the same.

Now look at Ingrid's lovely, organized living room.  She is thrilled with the results.  And we all got to spend some fun bonding time with design friends.  How cool is that?!?

~ Leigh

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