A Built-In Bookshelf Makeover

September 13, 2016

Do you have that one place on your house that’s the bane of your existence, that place that you’re completely embarrassed of and wish would just disappear? Lets face it, most of us have more than one. I’m elated to report that last month I tackled one of those places in my home and I’m happier for it! This place that I speak of was the built-in bookshelf in our family room. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good built-in but friends this one was UGLY! Conveniently for us it’s also located right by the doorway into the room. There was no way to miss it. What made it even worse was that our family room has been done for several months and this shelf never changed. It was the eye sore of the room. Kids toys, books, board games, you name it and it was probably there.

I’ve searched high and low and somehow managed to lose of never take a photo at all of the shelf before I redid it. I do have a photo of the shelf before we moved into the house and started cleaning and remodeling. So this is it. Just know it didn’t look much different with our things on it.


First thing we did was to relocate everything that was on the shelves. The books went into our office or in my son’s room. The board games went under our sectional. They prevent toys from rolling under the sofa and they’re out of the way until we can get our window seat built. I say that’s a win! You’ll see where the toys ended up later. 

The then sanded the shelves and the shelf. After it was sanded and cleaned I rolled on a coat of primer and two coats of white paint that matches our trim. I did not paint the back wall of the shelf. I decided to add a little unexpected touch. Remember our coat closet makeover last month? You can find it here if you’d like to see that fun makeover. I used the same beautiful wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct in our built-in. I’m absolutely smitten over it!  After the shelves dried for two days I put them back into place. 

After a little styling here’s our built-in shelf today- 



Here’s the new homes for the toys. I found these awesome baskets with lids at TJ Maxx for only $15. They’re easy for Charlie to get toys in and out and they keep the shelf clean and tidy! 





The shelf is not only a home for toys but a place for some of our favorite things. I’m so in love with the shelf now. It’s hard to believe that outdated, unorganized shelf is now a pretty feature wall. 

Have a great week friends! 



  • Reply Charli September 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    So. Much. BETTER!!!

    • Reply Amanda September 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you so much Charli! I completely agree. šŸ™‚

  • Reply Min September 14, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Hi Amanda, I’m new to your blog and have been taking a look around. Your home is really lovely šŸ™‚ Your built-ins in the family room are a wonderful asset and I can’t believe the difference some paint and wallpaper could make.! So far I’ve shied away from wallpaper, but this print and your use of it has me a little curious to give it a try.

    • Reply Amanda September 15, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much Min! I used to feel the same way about wallpaper. Lately I’ve seen several beautiful papers that I might in the future consider doing my whole powder room… we’ll see! Small spaces like the back of a book shelf are easy to put and not much to take down if you ever get tired of it šŸ˜‰

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