Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Pursuit Of Pretty

In the deepest, darkest corner of my family room stands a white bookcase. 

Round things fascinate me. Can you tell?

It's been there for years. Decades even. And the contents of the shelves have evolved over time.
  • Crawling babies routinely emptied rows of board books from the lower shelves.
  • Girl Scout handbooks, songbooks, and a sizable stash of field guides, camping tips, and craft books lived here for a time.
  • Let's not forget the astronomy books, dinosaur guides, atlases, maps, medical dictionaries and copies of the United States Constitution. 
  • And a herd of photo albums documenting the glory days of my daughters' waning childhoods have held a long-standing place of honor.

I made that little yellow dog out of clay in an art class many years ago. While I worked on him, my fourth-born created a tiny black cat which sits on the bookshelf in her dorm room at this very moment.

Of course, like every other nook and cranny of my home, I've organized and tidied and reconfigured this area countless times. 

But this hardworking bookcase served a long-standing role as a no-nonsense repository of our family's resource and reference materials. 

No frills. 
No fuss.
And no fooling around.

A particularly random cross-section of my literary interests.

Until last month. 

When, out of nowhere, my brain leaped into hyper drive and produced an entirely new and profoundly radical idea.

What if, I pondered, instead of using this bookcase for practical and efficient storage, I threw practicality to the wind and just made it straight up pretty?

The bookends belonged to my father-in-law, and are made of petrified wood.

Mhmmm. You can guess what happened next.

An irresistible urge to color block swept through my soul and compelled me to immediate action.

Yellow books make me smile. I can't help it. They are so darn cute.

Within ten minutes, my family room looked like the aftermath of a tornado.

Teetering stacks of books covered every available horizontal surface.

At first, my goal was simply to empty the shelves for a good cleaning. Then, the notion of color blocking became an irresistible ideal. First, I played my own version of literary Jenga by pulling certain colored books out of my wobbling stacks, and then I dashed around the house, raiding other bookshelves for volumes that would match.

I'm not going to lie. That was such a fun afternoon.

Gilgamesh is an epic poem considered to be the first great literary work in history. It's surprisingly readable, and full of action. I highly recommend it. 

Lest I come across as completely shallow, let me note that to make the cut to my stacks, a book must meet my color criteria, to be sure.

But it has to be a good read, too. 

I made no rules about content. Fiction and nonfiction, children's novels and business handbooks, ancient literature and hiking guides; all comers are welcome on my shelf as long as they suit my fancy.

When I found the aluminum vase, it was stuffed full of  tiny fake evergreen branches. 
But why??? Thrifting can be so weird. 

And yes, several trips to the thrift store were needed to fill in the gaps.

Which led me to start a collection of sassy vases, and a fledgling collection of 20th century works in their original covers. I might be obsessed with that concept now.

When I was in high school, we read The Little Prince in Spanish class. El Principito. I'm still looking for a copy to keep company with my English edition.

And then, somehow, our old Game Cube made an appearance, and I was inspired all over again. Pretty sure I've got some components from my college-era sound system lying around somewhere, and they might make a nice addition to the arrangement. 

A trip to the attic heads up my weekend to-do list.

I took these photos twenty-four hours ago, and they are already obsolete. Sigh.

As one thing leads to another and another, I get the distinct feeling that my bookcase transformation is far from complete. 

Because seriously. When is a styling project ever done?

Never. That's when.

I expect that my pursuit of pretty will be raging on for quite some time to come. 

I'm happy to report that no dogs were crushed by falling towers of books during this project. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!