I have always loved how a room full of well-stocked bookshelves looks. There is something really cosy about a living room or study filled to the brim with books about all sorts of topics – travel, cook books, crafts, novels and true-life stories – and that have been bought from all sorts of different places, near and far. A lot of my books have been given as gifts, and a lot of them are either cook books or those full of ideas on thrifty home updates. These people don’t know me at all, clearly…
I love the use of the space here – and look how comfy it looks! (Image: Pinterest)
Stylish and functional (Image: Pinterest)
As well as functional, book shelves have got to look good too. There are so many different styles now available – high shelves, low units, thick, thin, geometric, cube shaped and even pyramid styles that make a real design statement, but all I really wanted was a set of lovely ladders. I have seen many blogs and Pinterest posts about reclaimed materials being used to create this look – which all work really well, but my choice came in the form of some gorgeous second-hand Marks & Spencer ones that I bagged for £40 on eBay. Given that these still retail at £129 in store, I am rather pleased with myself. We got the beech-veneer ones, which go well in the living room, but they also come in white, which would be nice in the bathroom.
Once positioned, they have become a home for my favourite books (ones that I flick through often when looking for recipes, upcycling ideas and general inspiration), as well as a host of graphic design books that belong to the Mr. The smaller top shelves have been adorned with lots of candles, photos and a few random knick knacks, including a piece of rock the Mr brought back after a recent cycling trip to the Lake District.
Now, we still have a huge box of books in the spare room, which are yet to have a home. But seeing the ladders has inspired the Mr to build a larger set of his own for the dining room come office at the back of the house. I think I may be rubbing off on him after all…
You may remember my post about losing out on the best John Lewis bargain sofa ever, but I must tell you that every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. I didn’t walk away from the furniture clearance in Warwick empty handed after all and managed to buy myself a lovely mid-century style sideboard for the neat little price of £15. Filled with the disappointment of losing said sofa, I plucked up the courage to ask the kind seller to give me a fiver off the £20 asking price and he said yes! You might say I am cheap, but you never know if you never ask.
The sideboard would look great as a storage solution, dressing table or chest of drawers, but after watching Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free last night on Channel 4, I have been inspired to use it as a media unit for the television we have yet to buy.
It needs a good sanding down and lick of paint before we can do anything with it, so the plan is to strip and prime it before the move and add colour when we have definitely decided what we will use it for. I would like to do it up in the style of the lovely Oliver Bonas furniture range that was launched recently and am swaying towards the idea of doing it grey with yellow and darker grey drawers. I may even remove one of the drawers completely and have it as an open shelf.
Mavis Chest, £515, Oliver Bonas
As for the handles, they will be coming off too to be replaced with some lovely decorative ones – I love the ones from Anthropologie.
Want to see the finished result? Tell me what you think…
Not one to jump on the bandwagon, I have never really been interested in photo sharing sites like Tumblr or Instagram, but I recently wrote a feature on how the internet can actually help you plan a successful interiors scheme and realised that mood boarding sites can be very useful indeed. So when tasked with furnishing the new house, I decided to finally get myself an account of Pinterest and have been pinning my way around the web ever since.
The site is a great way to collect all your ideas in one place and can really help you to visualise what a scheme will look like, whether colours and textures will work well together and if a design will suit the space you intend to use it in. It is great to revisit your initial ideas and see how they have matured and evolved, and also see whether something you thought could work well actually might not be a success. Thankfully, these ideas can easily be unpinned, which is far easier than buying something and finding out it doesn’t fit with the interior once you get it home!
So far, I have created boards for the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom and have been pleasantly surprised at how much inspiration you can get from other people’s boards and it is great to steal an idea here and there to adapt to my own space. Most retail websites also have a Pinterest page, so I have happily compiled a digital shopping list (read: wish list) of what I would like for each room. Given that our new lounge is rather small, my living room board may be more aspirational, but full of great ideas all the same.
If you’re a beginner like me, here’s a quick guide on how to start pinning…
1. Sign up to Pinterest for free using your email address and a password
2. Verify your email address by clicking on the link in a new email from Pinterest
3. Create a new board. You can have up to three secret boards and the rest are public so people can see what you have pinned. Categorise each of your boards clearly to ensure that your ideas are organised. I did mine by room, but you could try colour schemes, wallpaper ideas or even soft furnishings
4. Take a look at other people’s boards by entering a search term in the search tool at the top and click ‘Pin’ to add an image you like to your own board. You can select which board to pin it to in the pop up window
5. Collect as many images as you want and view what you’ve found whenever you’re in need of some inspiration
Have you got a Pinterest account for collecting your interior ideas? Follow me to keep up with mine…