Fabric Lined Bookcase

The first time I walked into this house, I saw exactly what the little area at the top of the stairs was destined to be: a cute little reading nook. Faux built-ins, a comfy chair and fun lamp were all I needed for hours of reading fun.

It was one of the first spaces I “finished,” meaning put in some cheap Big Lots shelves, styled them to the best of my ability, added a flea market comfy chair and pretty lamp and really enjoyed it.

For awhile. Then I started to crave more. Those wow details that were missing. While my shelves were styled ok these were still plain old Big Lots shelves that needed some love. I made lofty plans to cover the backs. I bought (and returned) gift wrap, searched fabric after fabric, and even decided to paint it the same color as my office hutch. I changed my mind every single time. It was paralysis. Nothing was “the one” so it remained plain.

Until I found this lovely fabric at Joann.

You might remember that from my little casual Fall tablescape and while orange was not what I was thinking, it just so happens they had it in black. You know what is even better? This was quilting fabric that was on sale and I had a coupon taking it down to just over $2.50 a yard. Yep, you read that right just over $2.50 per yard. Nothing better than cheap graphic fabric.

So I recovered it. I actually did it! I made up my mind and I made it happen. This takes some time, but it’s a really easy process.The result: it was worth the wait and paralysis. 

Seriously, this cost less than $20, took a couple of hours and it is one my most favorite results ever. A few things about the details…

  • I heart graphic black and white- always have and always will. I have phased it out in some areas of the house in favor of more muted geometrics and greys, but when in doubt that’s where I need to go. All those fabrics and papers considered, returned or doubted were florals, too colorful or too “much.  They were not me. This is me.
  • But it’s not too bold. The small scale of the pattern keeps if from being too much. It doesn’t get too crazy with all the books and goodies on the shelves. Graphic and dramatic up close, muted and calm from a distance- perfect!
  • Bonus points for anyone who noticed I haven’t finished the middle shelf yet. It took a trip to two Joanns to get enough fabric and I haven’t finished it yet.
  • Double bonus points for anyone who is super crazy observant and noticed the shelves are NOT in the same place. I got crazy a rearranged the entire room, but that’s a story for another day.

Once I pulled the trigger, this was an easy project. I could not get to Joann fast enough to use that coupon; however, the process was long and taught me a lot:

  1. If you don’t feel it- wait it out. It really is ok. Look around, test your options and the waters but if you don’t love it, don’t do it.
  2. When you finally make up your mind- just do it! Go all Nike on it.
  3. Go back to what feels like you. For me it’s black and white graphics, for you it may be pastel florals but that’s what makes style so personal.
  4. If you love it, walk by it daily and tell it. This means people, pets and fabric lined bookshelves.
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