Monday, May 10, 2010

the family bookshelf

 family bookshelf
Every person, big and small, in my family loves to read. Books are very important to us. We have books in every room, but (until recently) the living room was void of reading material. Well, there were buckets of library books, but no shelves. My studio has a built in book wall, and the room was originally the family library. For the last few years our shared collection has gathered (burlap) dust and the children didn't have easy access to some really special great resources.  I was getting ready to build a simple unit for the living room, when I came across an old (somewhat sad) shelf with the perfect dimensions.
a new shelf before: lovely blue, but needing help
A few coats of paint later, and our library is open for business.
a new shelf after: blindingly white
We filled it last month and everyone has been overjoyed with the new access to good reads.
access to books beyond her children's books
-Cool Green Stuff
-read sign found here
-framed art: grandfather's block print, my first silkscreen (swallow), son's bird etching
-blackboard with constantly changing messages

A brand new book for the shelf arrived in my mailbox a few days ago.   Much to my surprise and delight, I was sent a complimentary copy of the soon to be released Apartment Therapy book: Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces.
Apartment Therapy's new book arrived in the mail
Thanks so much AT!  Author (and cofounder of AT), Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan didn't want this to be another book about impersonal and staged rooms. He says, "I wanted to dig up small homes with uniqueness and character, homes that are truly lived-in, ones you don't often see."
I've spent the last few nights pouring over the pages and enjoying the creativity that small spaces seem to necessitate.
Until my present home, I had only lived in tiny places or rooms. In fact, my favorite childhood bedroom was a walk in closet! My mother built a loft up top with a desk, clothes rod, and shelf tucked under the bed. I still miss that room! 
Having a book filled with fresh inspiration, directly from one of my favorite interior/design blogs, is making me look at the corners of my home with new eyes. I love mixing things up and moving furniture around, how about you? Pin It


  1. How lovely! I'm always looking for more space for book storage, and I'm praying that my little boy turns into as big a reader as his mother. Reading is just the most fabulous thing to be able to enjoy.

  2. I love reading too! As a kid there were always books around and now, there are even more! I am always amazed when I go to someone's house and don't see any sign of books, in my mind that's not even possible!

  3. what a wonderful addition to your living room space

  4. Your library looks beautiful. You did a fantastic job arranging the books in it....great post :)

  5. thanks everyone!,
    madebymegs- thanks for appreciating the "arrangement"... I can't actually keep it arranged in any order, because little hands are constantly taking books off and putting them back randomly.

  6. this is lovely, maya. I cherish my swallow- it is in my studio with several other bird prints. I use my swallow moleskine to record my shipping info so that I don't have to carry batches of boxes from my shipping prep station to the printer area- and think of you each time I use it!

  7. Your bookshelf turned out wonderful. What a great find.

  8. What a great spring addition for your book devouring family!!!!!

  9. looks great, maya! i'm going to re-do our bookshelf soon too & i'm excited to see how it all turns out!

  10. We are a "booky family" too. Now my grandgirl carries her books with her all the time -- outdoors too.

    We live in a modest home and although I enjoy home interior reading/mags, they offer so little for the "lived in home." I like hearing that the author of Small Spaces is having an eye for real spaces.


  11. What a great way to honor reading for the entire family. So simple and so perfect.

  12. Oh that book looks fabulous!!! I'd want it on my shelf too!!! Have a good week all of you!!!

  13. wonderful. my books are still trying to find a permanent place to roost.

  14. Looks great! I love your display and the prints :)

  15. love it, especially from the vantage point of your reader.

  16. all looks beautiful. Books are friends.
    have a nice day

  17. My childhood bedroom was about the size of a walk-in closet...

    Our family bookshelves have been forming on the sly. A left out book added here and there, and suddenly I'm noticing that there's a lot of kids' books about the place.


  19. i go t that book in the mail too! it was so fun to get a surprise!
    love your blog....always fun for great projects.

  20. beautiful room. I love the "read" sign. Something I need for our home as we have books in every nook and cranny of our home. I'm very inspired!

  21. Oh my goodness! Look at your floorboards!!! Thank you so much for not covering them up! Those trees need to be admired and loved for their magnificent bounty.

    I LOVE the read sign! I have a similar one in white in my sewing room that says relax (yes I sometimes need reminding - go figure? LOL)

    Good luck with the macrobiotic diet! I went gluten free last December - it remains challenging when eating out but it is fun to be baking so much again.

    Sydney, Australia

  22. do you mind sharing where did you got that chalkboard & read sign... your space is beautiful, so inviting!

  23. Thanks Megan,
    The read sign was purchased here: and the chalkboard was from a garage sale. I think it's just a piece of masonite that someone put a coat of chalkboard paint onto. It was a good find.