Taking a Bookcase from Drab to Fab

Bookcase done 1

How to Update and Style a Bookcase

We are redoing our bedroom as part of the #555roomchallenge with some friends here in the blogosphere. It has been a labor of love, and we are amazed at how much the room is being transformed. I can’t wait until the final reveal so you can see just how much a little paint and elbow grease can achieve. In the meantime however, here is my latest project, a bookcase redo.

Bookcase before

We have an old Sauder bookcase that has seen better days. Okay, maybe not. When it was built the back was put on backward… see? I belonged to my husband when I met him, and it was given to him by someone else, so I am shocked it is in such good shape these days.

It was never a huge deal as it was storage in my craft room but I wanted a bookcase in the bedroom and this one needed some serious love. The finish itself is fine (with the exception of the back, that is) and it will work well with some of the darker woods in the room.

Updating the Bookcase Back

P&S grasscloth 2

I wanted to cover the back of the bookcase so that that sticker was not showing but I did not want to paint it because the back of Sauder items are just cardboard after all. We decided on this faux grasscloth we found on Amazon, and one peel and stick roll is more than enough to finish the back of the bookcase. I really lightened it up a lot and gave it a bright, updated look. Watch for the grass cloth in later posts, I am not done with it yet.

Grasscloth backing

Lighting the Bookcase

We want to use it as a display unit though, so it needed some lights. I found the perfect set of four remote control LED lights on Amazon. They have four timers available and you can set them for either cool white or warm white, and you can adjust the brightness. Even better they are battery operated and have a magnetic strip that holds them to the top of the bookcase shelves. In combination with our rechargeable batteries, this is a perfect solution.

The last thing we needed was a place to allow cords to go through to the back of the bookcase. For this, used my cordless drill and a paddle bit to make a hole. I was a bit nervous it would tear up the grasscloth or the cardboard backing, but it worked perfectly. I just took my time and gentle pressure until it pushed through. Now we can add items that need to be plugged in as well.

drilling cord access

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    How to Style a Bookcase

    Now that the bookcase is ready to be styled. I want it to look great and keep with the aesthetic we are trying to create in the room. We picked several items that were decorative in nature, but you will also notice several baskets and containers that are important for the storage of the various items we frequently use but don’t really want sitting out. I hate clutter, don’t you?

    We picked up a few items from thrifting, mostly at Goodwill and Salvation Army, but many items we already owned. The fountain we bought for the aged metal look and the natural look as well as the movement of the water, which we both love.

    We absolutely love the way this bookcase came out and it looks great sitting in the corner with some decorative items on it. Best of all the lighting is perfect at night when we don’t want bright lights in the room but aren’t ready to turn off all the lights.

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