Design

Project Book Shelving: The Plans

November 11, 2013  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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We mentioned after we painted the reading room, that we wanted to revisit it soon. Our books are still boxed up in the garage and we are anxious to give them a more permanent home. Now that our costume party is over and the bathroom is done-zo, we’re ready to build some shelving in here.
The plan is to build floating shelves (although we’re not above disguised center support if needed) on the far wall.  I gathered a ton of inspiration photos, but this one below we loved the most.
The big difference is ours will go from wall to wall.  I’m glad the photo illustrated how an even number of shelves (instead of the usual design should be in odds) can look good, because that’s how many we felt would fit comfortably in our room. And then, of course, we tried to decide on the color of the shelves by quickly mocking some up in photoshop.
The same green as the wall? (no)
Stained wood. (warmer)
But white seemed to win us over.  Since the shelving will butt up against the window moldings, painting them the same white feels like the best, least busy choice.
The last thing we’re trying to figure out before diving in head first to this project is lighting.  This room currently has no lighting at all–not even an overhead.  So while there will surely be a lamp or two, lighting the book shelves is something on our list. We currently feeling inspired by the sconces in this photo (where can I find them!?):
To be sure the lights come out far enough and don’t just light the top shelf, we’d have to build out the wall at the top to mount the lights to.  While I am trying to think of a way around that, Chris feels confident.  Still a few measurements to crunch behind the scenes, but we’ll be sure to walk you through the whole process as we go.
Project book shelving–commence!

What do you think?

  1. Thanks so much for featuring our project! We hope your floating shelves go well.

  2. I used floating shelves in my office! LOVE the lighthing you’re looking at!

  3. I love the natural wood. I think they go with the great wall color.

  4. Cindy says:

    Please tell how you are going to create long floating shelves that are wall to wall. We want to do something similar in our office and I need a tutorial!

  5. I wish you hadn’t dismissed the natural wood or green shelves. They could look really elegant in the same shade (only in a glossier finish) -especially if you are going for a cozy library feel (which is how those brass lights read). White open shelves could read “kitchen” in there because of the lack of other architectural elements, unless they are pact to the gills with books. Hope you don’t mind me putting in my two cents. ;) -Caitlin

  6. This room is going to be awesome! I would love a reading room!

  7. I can’t wait to watch this project come together! The shelves will look so good when you’re done!

  8. Sara says:

    i think building out the wall will be really special and make it look sophisticated and custom

  9. Catalina says:

    I like the natural wood version better! It might be more expensive to get a nice look (vs just painting any shelves white) but I think it looks much more high end. Either way it’ll be gorgeous, I’m loving this room!

  10. Kari says:

    I read your post and was on Pinterest and saw this and thought of your room!
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/202450945722842002/

  11. Those lights (which are awesome) are usually called library sconces .. I think? The ones in the photo are one arm (instead of two arm which have more articulated joints) I think these are pretty close:
    http://www.bellacor.com/productdetail/visual-comfort-and-company-sl2922hab-antique-brass-boston-functional-library-fixture-355675.htm?partid=googlePLA-DataFeed-SwingArmPlugIn-355675

    Sadly they are awesome… and not ever cheap.

    I hacked something similar, but unfortunately the wiring wasn’t as easy as I had hoped so I had to change the plan and it didn’t end up looking like what I hoped for.

  12. we are lacking book shelves for sure in our place right now and it drives me crazy! So many books packed away. That second picture of the bookshelves and the cozy couch in the middle makes me want to curl up and read a book asap! That color green is still making me weak in my knees. So beautiful.

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