Monday, January 30, 2012

The Challenge is (Mostly) Met

Today I am happy to unveil my new family library.  (See previous related and progress posts here)  I have to admit I could have used another couple of days... I can't say it's completely complete, as Hubby is still working at getting the top trim on the larger bookshelf (3 sections of 7 shelves each at 21" wide).  But I gladly forgive that, since he was so nice to build me a whole other unit (1 section of 7 shelves each at 24") to add on the other side of the room when the first one was filling so fast. (And he's been busy working on the legs for our island.)  Added 2/1/12:  See finished pic at Under the Wire

Labels thanks to our
Brother PT  Labeler.
I hope to change to transparent labels
with the black lettering.
Also, since the new shelf section was installed just this weekend (its top trim included), I just painted the shelf edges yesterday (Sunday), so I can't label the book sections it holds yet.  

Still thinking... Along with those 2 minor issues that could already keep it from being considered 'finished,' I am noting some foreseeable challenges that means this project will likely continue to evolve over the next few months.  
First of all, I have noticed that we could use a few more categories, namely Business, Finance, Humor, and Politics.  I'm also not convinced that I like the flow of the categories, or that I have room to add even one more book to some of the shelves, so any new purchases or discovery of other stored books will require changes.  Like with our kitchen, I'll use it for awhile and make changes, as needed.

As a functional tool... I have to say that this is the most and fastest we've ever completed a project from beginning to end.  Our books are reasonably organized by category, and we can now use or read many books I'd forgotten about or couldn't get to in cramped and crowded storage.  
The "Before"

This is much better than having a haphazard mixture of books on the floor lining the walls of our dining and sitting rooms, while others were crammed under the stairs.  I am happy.

As home decor... First of all, it's good to have our dining room table back, as it's been
 mostly covered in books, shelves, and tools for the last couple of weeks, so our family dinners have suffered, as has the overall neatness of the house!  

My original vision for the bookshelf was to make it as 'invisible' as possible, since its necessary 9 foot height could easily overwhelm the smallish room.  I kept the lines hefty and simple, and thought painting it the color of our walls (Benjamin Moore Gettysburg Gray), but in BM's Satin Impervo alkyd enamel, would help.  

I originally wanted the whole cabinet in the gray, with the shelves in wood, to give an appearance of floating shelves.  But it was easier for Hubby to lacquer the whole inside, so I settled for gray on the exterior and shelf faces.  I think I might still like to have the back wall of the unit painted, so I can always go back and do as Kristin of My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia showed in her post, My Bookshelves are dressed!  A very lovely result.

I'd always viewed paint as a quick and wonderful way to change the personality of a room.  I've now made it a little more difficult to ever change the wall color of our dining room, since it will mean the bookshelves will contrast, or need to be repainted, too.  One thing to think about before you decide to match built-ins to walls for this monochromatic look.

I am happy to link this post to the "Imagine the Impossibilities" party graciously hosted by Thistlewood FarmEclectically VintageA Sort of FairytaleThe Space BetweenIt All Started With Paint, and The Cottage Market, who also challenged us all to accomplish a difficult project in the first place.  I can't wait to see ALL the different kinds of daunting tasks taken on by many, many different bloggers.  Should be fun, and full of great inspiration for the many-more challenges awaiting completion around here!

Party on!!!  --I'm also joining the Link Party at One Project Closer!

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