The Bookshelf in the Living Room.

We finally have a bookshelf in the living room!

I have been planning this bookshelf for years. Click here to see pictures of this wall without the bookshelf.   Initially we were planning on building bookshelves on either side of our mantel.  We decided against this mainly because this wall runs at an angle (our house is trapezoid in shape).   After we decided where we wanted the bookshelf I dedicated my time to designing the bookshelf.  I wanted something off the floor, white and mounted to the wall which seemed simple enough.  We had many carpenters come by and give us estimates and a lot of unsolicited advice.  Most of the carpenters had very strong feelings about my plan to paint the wood white.   I had no idea that painting wood could elicit such a strong negative response!  We finally decided to go with the Elfa shelves from the Container Store mainly because they could be wall mounted.  The fact that they were very affordable and came in white was an added bonus.

The shelves are super sturdy and blend into the wall which is exactly what I was looking for.  The entire shelving system is held together by one horizontal strip of mental attached to the wall.  I was afraid that the weight of the books would pull the shelves off the wall.  Scott installed the shelves and assures me that the shelves are anchored properly.  It took us several hours to get the shelves up mainly because I couldn’t decide if I wanted the shelves to cover the outlet.  We finally decided to install the shelving over the outlets so that we could have easy access to the outlets and to avoid any fire hazards.  We had the vertical strips specifically cut to our measurements.

I could go on and on abut how much I love these shelves.  They are perfect for the space and are exactly what I wanted.  I have always admired the String shelving systems and the Dieter Rams Vitsoe shelving.  These Elfa shelves however cost considerably less and are equally appealing.

All our books fit on the shelf. The top shelves contain our Science books, Scott’s Math books, Legal books, some Psychology books and Social Sciences books that we couldn’t get rid of.  The rest of the books are our collection of novels, organized alphabetically by author (which took a really long time to do and Kiran was a huge help in getting this done).  The last two shelves contain my interior decoration collection of magazines (Living etc, Elle Decoration (UK), and Dwell) and books.

The photos are a bit grainy since I have a really hard time taking decent pictures with the light coming in from the windows.  I am so glad that our books are finally off the floor and organized.


More About Books in the Fireplace.

The two main reasons that I decorate, renovate, rearrange and work on the house (constantly) are because: 1)  I enjoy being in a beautiful space and 2) I enjoy being creative.  Ultimately life is about the creation of beauty and perception of beauty through our senses is it not?

What does this have to do with the books in the fireplace? Well Kiran and I were sick and stuck at home recently.  So I decided to color code the books in the fireplace (something I have been meaning to do).  It was a fun project for us to do together and the result is fabulous (at least it looks a million times better than it used to look). 

Being sick is never fun, but being sick and taking care of a sick child is so much worse! Little projects like this kept us sane and it was a lot of fun.

Organizing Some Books.

While the fireplace is the the major “bookcase” in our house, I also have some of my favorite books on the shelves in my room.  These books were stacked randomly and always looked a little messy.  Yesterday evening while Scott was working upstairs I decided to organize them. Yes they are color coded and they look fabulous!

I am now wondering if I should try to color cordinate the books in the fireplace as well…


On Friday it took me for ever to get dressed for work. I have a closet-full of really nice clothes but most of them don’t fit me. I keep thinking that I will go back to my pre-pregnancy size so I have not bought too many things in a larger size. Hence, my struggle every morning to look halfway decent when I go to work. On the weekends I have been wearing my pregnancy jeans with the elastic top. They are very comfortable but unfortunately (I guess I should say thankfully) they are too big for me now. I really need to spend a few hours this weekend trying on all my clothes and figuring out what fits and what doesn’t so that I am not scrambling every morning to find something to wear. I am a huge fan of organizing everything. Someone once said “for every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

The picture below shows my spice cabinet. I find that having all the spices in glass jars makes cooking so much easier. Also it is totally uplifting to open my spice cabinet and see everything lined up neatly on the bright yellow shelves. A couple of weeks ago I lined all kitchen cabinets in “Dandelion” contact paper. It took me forever to measure and cut the paper but it was definitely worth the effort.

This is a picture shows a close up of the yellow shelves:

This weekend I plan on painting the backyard wall in a rusty-corral color. I am not sure if it is going to be too cold to do any painting. I am also going to motivate my husband to finish removing the old grout in the kitchen floor so that he can re-grout it. I like the tiles in the kitchen that the previous owner installed. The only problem is the that the tiles are white and the grout is white and they get really dirty. I was told that sealing the grout will prevent them from getting dirty. However, before we can seal it we have to remove the top layer of the existing grout and re-grout it. This takes for ever. But I will be glad when it is done because it takes me forever to clean the kitchen floors. I don’t mind cleaning but it is a colossal waste of time to have to scrub every single tile and grout with a tiny brush when I could just mop the floor (once it is sealed).

I am also going to install two shelves in my room. I have a tiny room in the back of the house that I am going to use as my office/art room. I am super excited about getting that room finished.