23 March 2009

Bookin' it to the Thrift Store

We have these two built in bookcases with glass doors and a gothic motif on either side of the massive fireplace in our living room. I had stashed random stuff in there but was never satisfied with the look. I have a lot going on in this room, and I realize we are teetering on the edge of busy. Then yesterday I had the idea to fill the cases with black books with the pages facing out instead of the spines/titles as I have seen in a couple of magazines. So after sleeping in embarrassingly late this morning, I put on sweats and minimal makeup and went to root around at Thrift Haven. I found some linens and a few other little things to put in my booth, then headed for the $1 book section. I pulled every black book I could find, peeling back book jackets to see if the hardcover was what I was looking for, and ended up filling a shopping cart to the brim. The guy running the place even gave me VIP access to the back room to dig through backstocked books and then he cut me a deal for buying in bulk.

I tried to fill in with mostly black items, including one of my typewriters, an old adding machine, a black bird cage, a small round footstool, a leather jewelry box and a silver tray filled with dominoes. Behind the typewriter, you can see the wiring for a DVD/satellite receiver to be connected to the flat screen we have above the mantel eventually, whenever someone can figure out the wiring that wasn't done exactly right during construction.

Good news: I am pleased with how it turned out. Bad news: That cart full of books was only enough to fill the left side. I'll have to give them a little time to restock black books and go back to thrift for another load for the righthand bookcase. There is a big chair in front of that one, so I won't need quite as many. I know the ladies working there thought I was crazy when they asked why I wanted all the black books and I explained what I was doing.



Then I turned to the kitchen a bit and finally put up the "Keep Calm and Carry On" print that I ordered after seeing one on Rachel Ashwell's blog about dealing with the shaky future of her Shabby Chic company. I can't believe it's gone under. Luckily, we're sailing along fine here but I really liked the sentiment and of course the black and white graphic nature of the poster. It's a reprint of one that was put up all over London during WW2 to encourage people to keep living normally and it's all over a lot of decorating blogs so I realize I'm not horribly original. But I love it!



I have shopped all around for a big, scrolly black frame and white matting for it but couldn't find what I wanted. I ended up buying glass for a rickety old frame I bought a couple of summers ago at a little shop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, when I was helping my Aunt Debbie take care of my grandmother in the hospital. It's just been lying around since. I may change it out to something more substantial eventually, but for now I have it propped up on the back of my stove as is.



Ryan hung my wire shelf in the breakfast nook/banquette area of the kitchen. I don't know why it didn't dawn on me to put it there until now, because I really like it now that it's up and filled with a bunch of my tarnished silver, old photos and my budding collection of ironstone pottery that had really been hidden around the house since we moved.


There is a huge window just to the right of the shelf and I have been itching to put curtains up there since the day we bought the house. I finally found some fabric I like and I guess I will attempt to make some myself having not found anything store bought that would work.

I bought about 10 other old books, including an old hymnal, today as well. I pulled a couple of pages out of the song book. Hope that's not sacrilege or something. I also came up with the idea yesterday to wallpaper the powder room with pages from old books and then put an antique glaze over it, and I found several books with fonts and yellowed pages that I was drawn to for this project. When I will start this one, I don't know, since I've never wallpapered before and the application is a bit unconventional. I won't be going for perfection, though, so I'm not particularly nervous about it, but I know it will be a big mess.

This major haul of books really inspired me to do a lot of different things, today, tomorrow and on down the road...a couple of hours digging around in the thrift store definitely worth it, despite all the curious glares I got.

2 comments:

rosecottagegardensandfarm said...

Love your ideas with the bookcase and thrift store finds!! Great kitchen ideas, too!

Happy spring!
Debbykay at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm

MickeyMFan said...

Hey Hayley--you totally inspire me to "keep digging" and find what I am looking for when I go out to different thrift stores and antique shops. I never go in with a plan but manage to come out with something! :)

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