When we first found our modular sectional on Facebook Marketplace I immediately fell in love with the L shaped bookcase console attached to the back. I knew that with the way our room was set up the shelving would be the first thing you see straight ahead when you enter our home from the front door. For me it meant two things, One - no need for a side accent table and room divider to visually separate the foyer from the great room. Two- perfect opportunity for some funky Tweak It decor to be at the start of the house and to set the tone for what else was to come.
*Side bar - I always pretend I’m on an episode of MTV cribs when making design choices... House tour mode ON always! Like, what will look good on camera when the front door opens. Meanwhile it’s just me, my husband Tyrel and our frenchie pup Jesse Jac. HA!
Any who, upon the sofas delivery we noticed how low profile it was so adding some gold 6 inch legs was a must for comfort. A few weeks later I found an ottoman on FB that was the perfect size to extend the couch a little. Oh! Forgot to mention … The previous owner gave us a roll of leftover fabric that she used to reupholster the sectional. So I used this fabric to reupholster the ottoman for a seamless look.
I procrastinated on styling the bookcase for months. I mean like 7 MONTHS! I just didn’t have a strong concept in my head that excited me. I played around with some vases, decorative bowls etc but nothing was doing it for me. Now keep in mind this bookcase is on Jesse Jac’s level soooo he pretty much owns this bookcase. Anything on it has to be either heavy or of zero interest to him - Or else it’s over!
How did I come up with book art you ask? I've been noticing this book painting trend when other DIYers paint 2 or 3 books and use them to style bookcases amongst other things ( vases, baskets, candles etc ) Now usually when I see trends like this on Pinterest too often that means it’s not unique enough for me. I need something a tad cooler. So what do I do? -TWEAK the concept! How can I make this cooler? What haven’t I seen? What colors/textures/shapes do I need to be on the bookcase to help tie the room together? What would TWEAK IT do? Ha! And just like that, it finally came to me.
Off to Salvation Army I went. I bought about 80 books ( 2 stores ) for $35 making sure to only get hardback books with removable covers. I also kept my eye out for different thicknesses and heights so it was more interesting to look at once painted. I’m sure the man at the checkout thought I was crazy. He wasn’t quite following my idea when he asked what my plan was with all these books! I responded… just tweakin’ em! :)
Once home, I removed all the covers and stacked them in the bookcase “as is” just to get the full effect. This is going to be soooooo good!
Now it was time to decide what colors and how many. I knew I wanted the color block look so I figured 5 colors would look nice - 3 on the long side and 2 on the shorter side. The mustard yellow came to me right away because of the yellow piano I tweaked that sat in the far corner. And maybe to balance yellow out with a neutral a khaki color would look nice… So I started with those two.
In the garage I began spray painting the spine and one side of the book only ( the other side you’ll never see ). Once dry I began playing with how to stack them on the shelves. Now this took some time! I wanted a good mix of vertical, horizontal and some leaning books so I moved them around quite a bit. Once they were in a good place the idea came to me to break it up a little with a random black book and black and white paper wrapped book here and there. This concept will apply to all 5 colors and give the bookcase a cohesive look. I grabbed some scrapbook paper I already had and taped on just enough to cover the book spines… Making sure the paper covered books were never on the ends so that my “cheat” wouldn’t be seen. Once the yellow and khaki sections were complete I knew I was on to something. I couldn’t wait to see it all come together!
The next day I selected the other three colors- lavender, pale pink, blue. I pulled the colors from a piece of wall art we have in our foyer over the blue boombox when you first walk in. It’s a very interesting color palette.. but I was oddly feeling it! Now at first I painted the wrong shade of blue and once stacked on the shelf I knew the color was off and had to re paint. Once my blue tone was fixed, I finished the project with both the lavender and pale pink sections.
I AM OBSESSED. Such a basic, simple and inexpensive design that brings joy to my heart every time I see it. I honestly smile outwardly whenever I turn the corner and remember it’s there. With all the other funky and vibrant decor in this space, the bookcase art really just breathes fresh air into the entryway of our home and pulls it all together. Who knew some old books, paint and ADAR FLAIR could make such an impact ?!?
Have you painted books before? Thinking about doing it? If you enjoyed this project or have any questions about the supplies I used, drop a comment below!
Until next time… Get your tweak on!