As some of you may know I have been working on the small apartment space for the past few weeks, and will continue to do so for a while yet. You can see the whole series on the bottom of this post.
So far, I shared with you how I painted the bookcases with milk paint. The photos in that post were styled to show off the two bookcases. Pretty pictures but not reality. And certainly not practical!
Today I will be sharing the reality photos of the bookcases. What it actually looks like and what I have done to make it functional.
Pretty and practical bookcases the easy way, because we don't want thing to be too hard!
In our home we have lots of magazine files. They are easy to use for storage and organization. However the ones I had from Ikea, were dark colors and not in keeping with my new bright and cheerful philosophy for the look of the new space.
What did I do to add bright and cheery? Why I painted them of course! Why not? A little chalky type paint can go a long way and easily transform these dark magazine files into blue stunners. I simply mixed in a little white with the blue paint color I already had. (If you'd like to see which products I recommend, I have an affiliate link below.)
Below you can see where I have placed a few of them. Had I kept the original look it would have been too dark and created a very busy bookcase. Now I have pretty plus practical.
And the tins were all painted with similar colors to create a bright and cheerful look.
As we move down the first bookcase we see more magazine files which have been decoupaged with maps. In this case they are New York maps. I use them for holding paperwork, files and also random receipts. We are very big here in Greece on collecting receipts. "wink"
On the bottom of the first bookcase I have a strawberry crate which was painted white. And a big cardboard box. The pattern will of course be familiar to many of you. I decoupaged the box with this fabric to give some unity to the area.
You can also spot my Empire State building wood pieces. They were pieces of wood that were found out on the road. I believe they may have been legs to something. But I think they look like my beloved Empire State Building and so I use them as decor.
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And moving onto the second bookcase. The top area has more magazine files in blue and in map decoupage. There's that fabric again! This time on a phone book.
More maps, this time of Greece and the Aegean Sea. Can you see the blue that is sprinkled throughout?
Right below is another crate and my pretty cookie tin cans. I have a tutorial for them here.
The magazine files you see next to the books are a darker shade of blue than the previous ones. I wanted to mix things up a bit. And below them, another box, this time decoupaged in... you guessed... it maps!
I managed to create a variety of colors, textures and patterns but all within the same soft blue scheme. I wanted it to be relaxing and calming. So that when my tired eyes rest on it, I won't get a headache. I think that the gray and white paint job of the bookcases also adds to the overall calm effect. Pretty and Practical!
I was all done but then I found a gray box. See it next to the mapped files? I liked it so much I glued on an image from a calendar I had. Yes, I keep old calendars from years gone by for their pretty images. Am I bordering on hoarder status?
I then added a few branches off our pomegranate tree. I just love those orange colored blossoms and use them every chance I get.
Does it look nice with the orange or is it too much?
And the simpler version!
So you can see I've been able to create lots of storage space frugally. What did I use? Old magazine files I already had and a few cardboard boxes. With a little imagination and creativity, and a bit of paint, fabric and mod podge I have given the bookcases a unified look while at the same time giving myself lots of storage. Upcycling at it's best!
I hope that I was able to show you that pretty and practical doesn't have to cost much. And it can be done quite easily by upcycling! In fact if you look around your home I'm sure you can think of lots of ways to create a unified look to your bookcases as well.
Which version do you prefer, with or without the pomegranate branches?
If you like what you see, share it with your friends, or save it on Pinterest. Above is a Pinterest worthy image!
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I'm Mary and I recently moved to New York from beautiful Greece. I like to re-purpose and up-cycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece and New York.
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