Thursday, October 22, 2015

Delays, Bookshelves, and Cowhides

Wow - well, how disparate can you make a post title Artie? Hmm - let me try!


Well, I got hit smack across the face with a terrible cold and have spent the last three days trying to get as much rest as possible so I get back to tackling the challenges projects at the apartment. I'm feeling much better today, so hopefully I'm on the upswing, and I'll be able to get a lot done this weekend.


As I mentioned when I posted about upholstered walls, and the eventuality of my library/dining room, I am adding bookshelves to either side of the window to give the room some symmetry, architectural interest, and to give myself some much needed storage of my design books and trinkets. I have done several bookcase re-vamps over the years, and I figured that I would need to spend money, time, and energy making cheap sauder bookcases look more expensive. But then I stumbled upon a Craigslist ad for the PERFECT pair. They are the perfect width, perfect height, and they don't require any assistance on my part, except for the creation of two missing shelves. (EASY/PEASY!)

Initially, I thought I'd paint the shelves in the room black - but now that the room is mostly finished in the burlap, I think that having white bookshelves might actually be a better idea. When I pick them up and get them into the room tonight, I'll have a better idea of how that'll come together.

Here come some inspiration pics ...

I definitely need additional light in the library/dining room, so lighting the bookshelves is an excellent way to bring that in, and jazz those puppies up. I'm not quite sure though if sconces (first picture, or picture/art lights would be a better choice. Let's keep looking:

Two of my favorite blogger/designer friends have library or library-like spaces in their homes. Mark D. Sikes, who writes a blog of the same name, has built in bookcases in his family room off of the kitchen.

In the first photo, (the room with its most recent d├ęcor) you can see there are sconces on the wall and on the front of the bookcases. In the second photo, you can see how much ambient light they add to the space.

In another room of his beautiful home in California, Mark keeps his collection of design magazines that is I think going on 20+ years.

Here he chose art lights to cast light down on the bookcases. And even though this is quite beautiful and lovely, I have to show you how this actually looks now:

Right? I mean - WOW! And Mark removed the lights from the bookcases, too! I wonder why? I wonder if he has them in a box in the garage? Hey, Mark! Wanna send two of them to NY? Just sayin'!

Next, Joni Webb, who writes the insanely popular Cote de Texas recently (well, sort of recently) made her one-time office into a home library for her massive collection of design books.

Joni didn't go for lights on her bookcases, either. Maybe she didn't need them? The room looks like it gets a ton of light from the pocket lights in the ceiling. Hmm. Maybe she just liked the cleaner look?

On my own bookcases, I can not have sconces on the face of the case. There's no place for them. So, I would have to install sconces on the side of the bookcases, like so:

Or opt for the art light, which will shine down onto the books and the front of the bookcase like so:
All the decisions! Would you care to weigh in? Feel free! Just leave a comment on this post - and give your two cents! It can't hurt!

Part of being sick means lots of time in bed - and I don't know about you - but that gets boring. Online shopping, however, is usually not boring, so at 2:00am I bought a cowhide rug on eBay. I got a great deal on it ... crazy great deal! So, I'm not thinking that I'm going to feel too bad when I cut it up.

Cut it up!

I am thinking of reupholstering the French ottomans that I have in my living room currently in the cowhide, and putting those in the library dining room in front of each of the bookcases.

I mean really, how cute are those? Of course, you never really know with eBay. I might get the rug and decide that it's better on the floor. Then the ottomans will just have to get another fabric. But right now - that's the plan.
So, there you have it. I've got a ton of stuff on my plate, and hopefully some of it will be finished this weekend, in time to have some photos up on the blog. I'll update you Monday with the progress! Wish me luck!


  1. I love the bookcases and think the cow hides on the ottoman's is a terrific idea. Hope you're feeling better and although very sweet Gatorade does help somehow.

  2. Go Artie go !
    Did you try ZICAM ? It works! Love all your ideas and what about using some Billy Baldwin-esqe brass pharmacy lights? They sit on the floor, but you can turn the metal shade to face the books-
    I saw this done in a NYC flat many years ago and it looks great!

  3. Your photos look incredibly beautiful. I wonder whether that is possible to create something like that at home or I need a help of someone who is proficient in design? Thank you.

  4. Your photographs and articles are informative . So thanks for this post .