Furniture refresh – white bookshelf

Furniture refresh – white bookshelf

 I have been busy this week de-Christmasing my home. I adore the holiday season. However there is something very gratifying about having the clutter, over abundance of decor and “stuff” gone. My home feels wonderfully sparse. I am loving the clean lines, minimal feel to my home. Last year I decorated my home in winter decor. I loved what I did with my home for the January to March months. This year however, this blog, my writing, family, and life have made me take pause. I feel that with Halloween, then general fall, then Thanksgiving and Christmas I have holiday decorating whiplash. I need to minimize the chaos a little. So I stripped my home bare this week, keeping it with a simple, fresh and subtle decor. It has pops of color and lots of brightness!
In keeping with the fresh feel to my home I am showing off furniture I redid. This month in the Furniture refresh challenge it is all about the color white. I painted two black shelves on either side of my fireplace white. The white bookshelf is stunning and a perfect fit in my living room. I dream of one day doing custom built ins on either side of my fireplace. These two little nooks are screaming and begging for just that. For now a nice bright white paint did the job of making these shelves work just a little better in my home. You can see my previous two other furniture refresh challenge pieces here and here. Also, at the end of this post you can see the rest of the talented crew and what they did for this January challenge.
 This is the bookcase I am referring to. I liked the pops of dark color and drama these gave. I do not like the dust accumulation and my humiliation of a non-impeccably cleaned house. Lets paint these white and hide those dust bunnies!
Here are both bookshelves. This is the older living room arrangement. I will have a fully reveal of both of these pieces together with their new white paint. Not in this post though. I am making a big new art piece for my fireplace and it is not ready for its close up. My home is such a Diva and will only show off when ready.
painting shelf
This is the process of me painting the primer. These shelves are as fake as you can get with them physically existing. What I mean is they are made of particle board, cardboard and anything else cheap. Dale and I purchased them forever ago in our first apartment. So sanding them is not too much of an option. Time to lather it on with primer. I first wiped them down good to remove any grime. I have three kids and two dogs, grime exists in my home I promise you.
primer coat of paint
One coat of primer later it is time to paint! I love me some DIY, but the “prep” part of a project is never my favorite. I want to see results, see the transformation. Sanding, taping or priming gets me none of those things. it always feels like a big chore to me. Once the actual paint goes on is when I get the home decorating butterflies. I know something is happening and I am eager to see the results.
1 coat paint on furniture
The above picture is with one coat of paint down. I put  three coats on this to cover up all of the black. I wanted clean lines and no brush strokes. I achieved this by not rushing it, not putting too thick of a coat on. The final coat I am always very conscious of the brush strokes and keeping them going in one direction. I took a few pictures of me setting up the book shelf as well as the end result without things on it. However they turned out blurry. I will snap a few more pictures tomorrow to show this in its beautiful detail.
bookshelf decor
Even without the close ups to show off right now or the fine details you can see painting this bookshelf white was a very good idea!
entertainment center
This is the less shown-off shelf in my home. I am not crazy about the TV perched on this shelf. It serves it’s purpose of being able to have the Disney channel on for my kids. No joke, if Dale and I do watch TV in the evening once the kids are in bed and if we do not change the channel back to Disney for the kids to have come on the second the TV gets turned on their is hell to pay. My little dictators are not morning people. I need my coffee, they need their Disney for 15 minutes before they are ready to start their day.
When I get around to making the built ins I want to figure out a way to set the TV in the built ins and close the door when not in use. Aside from the morning and a family movie night we do not have the TV on a lot. We are not crazy enough to remove it completely, having it hidden when not in use would be great though.
I had so much fun decorating these shelves. Because I am skipping to a general decor I brought out all of my home accessories. I have a few storage shelves in the basement where I store my loot when not in use. I went “shopping” in the basement and came up with a ton of small pieces to decorate with.  I made the moss squares last year and use these all the time.
nature and coastasl decor
This branch is one from my backyard. I taped it up in a few spots and then spray painted it. I love the nature feel and a little bit of drama it adds.
bookshelf ideas
shells as decor
Growing up in San Diego, California the beach is a favorite place of mine. I spent any free time I had there. Now living in Wisconsin, I try to fill my home with reminders of the beach. I have shells, and other trinkets collected at the beach, purchased in shell shops or given to my from my Grandma.
shell decor
I tried to hold in my shell obsession, not go overboard with it. I figured I already adore using the color turquoise and did not want to be too stereotypical with my coastal decor love. It is ok though, I have come to terms with it and fly my coastal decor love flag high and proud. Which I assume is full of chevron pattern, turquoise and shells. As any coastal decor flag would be.
bookshelf decor
I know this is a furniture refresh challenge and me highlighting all of the shelf decor I added may not fit. However, with the theme of January being white some might assume white is safe or even dull when it comes to paint colors. I think not. It adds a pop and brightness to a space. Adding bright colors, textures and other elements brings out the “dull” white color in a way that makes it very vibrant to me. I never gave white furniture too much thought, it always felt safe to me. Now that I am into home decor and stalk… I mean “follow” other home decor bloggers I see white furniture for what it is. Something that can be hard to make work, feel fun and fresh without it feeling boring. I think I have figured it out. Thanks to my lovely teachers and talented ladies of the blogging world. I have come to respect and admire the way white furniture is used as another pop of color.
home decor blogger
Home decor blogger selfie! I am positive people know every nook and cranny of my home but have no clue what I look like. That is ok, I am the one with the messy hair, no makeup, chipped nail polish, wood stained hands with a camera.  I share my home, not my fashion. True story, this past weekend we went to a fancy party for my Grandpa who turned 80. The festivities required me to wear heels. I wore the tiniest heels possible, was showed up by my 11 year old cousin with taller heels, and I twisted my ankle. True freaking story! I leave the fashion to those other bloggers, I can share book shelf decor options all day, build a table, use any saw to exist…. a 2 inch heel, I injure myself.
star decor
orb decor
coastal decor
This is the new Ombre art I just created. I really liked where I placed it on the wall, but when I was setting up the bookshelf decor I needed a pop of blue.
My eyes landed on this and I think my DIY yarn art has a new perfect home.
One day those built in book shelves will be here. For now these freshly painted white ones do the job really beautifully! I am wondering why I waited so long to paint them?
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Did you think I was just sharing what I created? No, no, no… you get to see what else everyone did with their furniture refresh ideas! If you think white can be a boring color for furniture, prepare to be amazed. I have grouped up with some serious talent and they will “bring it” with this challenge! I hope you are all going to be ok with me not decorating for winter decor.  I just do not have it in me. The good news with that is I have so much to share, plan for and create I do not have time to decorate for more seasons. That means even more coming your way from this girl right here! With a twisted ankle from tween size heels. Take my decor advice, not my fashion advice!
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  1. No matter how great other colors are, but white is always the special one. Love your book shelves!

  2. I love how they look white! It really compliments your room!

  3. The bookshelf looks wonderful in white. I’ve been repainting things in white for months now. I,.too have become a big fan of the light color pallet. It’s not always easy when you have have young kids but now that they are a bit older, I’m less afraid of light colors in furniture. I have this tall bookshelf I’ve wanted to repaint for the longest time. White is the color I’m going after too…but it’s going to require at least a full day (possibly more). Enjoy your new bookshelf!

    • It can be hard to handle with kids. The one piece of furniture that I found to be unrealistic with kids and being white was the dinner table. We had one and it was forever dirty. Other than that I have notices no real issue.

  4. Wow Emily – the white made a huge difference and I love it! Your shelves look so great! I think January got the best of our group, but I am so glad you shared today! sharing

  5. They look great! I’m a huge fan of the fresh feeling after all the decorations come down after Christmas, too! Nice styling 🙂

  6. Love how they look now, the space seems bigger and brighter! I would love if you share it with us at the party we host each Tuesday morning.


  7. White is always in style! Love how it turned out!

  8. Looks great in white!!! Makes your room look much brighter too! Amazing how a coat…or two transforms furniture. 🙂

  9. Looks great!! I liked the dark grey before but the white looks much more light & bright. Great work and I’m the same way I love the end result & doing the project, but the prep work #nofun.

    Oh no I hope your ankle is doing better!

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

  10. Great update, Emily! Love the white so much more!

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