Library Lights

So for all of you with an eagle eye, you probably noticed that although our dining room is much improved from before, that there are still something missing from the picture below:


If you noticed that a million dollars sitting out on display on our fine new buffet line was missing, I noticed that too, but alas this is not the item from the picture that we’re talking about replacing on today’s post. Bummer.

It’s the light sconces missing from above the bookcase. Notice it? Yeah, those fancy electrical boxes chilling up above our new crown.

I’ve hunted high and low and up and down for some good old library lights so our joint could look snazzy, like this picture. Swoon.


Or this one… wish I had the guts to paint our trim dark blue – amazing (but perhaps a tad darker would be even better – more charcoal?)


So since I’ve looked all over this green earth for lights, I thought I’d share with y’all some of the best (and most affordable) options I stumbled across during my hunt. I noticed that two of them popped up over $50 (must have been on sale when I started the search), but these are all super affordable options compared to some of the fancier brands out there where a library light can run well over $300 (!)

Affordable Library Lights

Electric LeClair LightVintage Retro Cage LightIndustrial Edison SconceClear Glass Shade Swing Arm Sconce | Brass Finish 1-light Wall Sconce | Modern Vintage Industrial Loft Sconce 

Right now I’m leaning toward the 5th one. Any thoughts/votes? I want it to compliment our existing light fixture in there, and I like how it would bring out the brass details! Decisions, decisions! Help me decide!



Ain’t She a Beaut?

How many coats of white paint does a built-in need? Four, four coats. My arms are weary, amigo. After we got this little beauty built, there were still some minor details to fulfill before we could check this one off the to-do list. Namely, it needed a back and it needed paint. Sounds easy. In principle. It needs crown up top, too, and a ceiling patch, but some things just have to wait for another day. Ya know what I’m sayin’? 😉

Pre-stylin’ our bookcase is looking oh so much better after those 4-coats of paint though. Don’t ya think.

DIY Builtin Bookcase

Yes. Ignore the hole in the ceiling, the lack of any finishing details (trim, etc) and the awful lighting (it’s a basement). I think I’ll eventually add some hardware to spruce it up and provide a break from the sea of white doors (perhaps something like this?) We shall see. 😉

Here it is pre-paint and paneling for some comparison action.


For the paneling behind the tv, we opted to go the easy peasy cheap route. And buy a hunka hunka vinyl siding. He he. Unconventional? Perhaps. But mission accomplished? Definitely.

We just bought an 8×4 panel, and cut that little guy down to size. The entire panel only set us back $15, so I was pretty stinkin happy with that. It’s not exactly what I was looking for (a bit more textured), but the hubby voted for it due to the ease of install, and since I knew he’d be doing most of the dirty work, I let his vote trump mine. 🙂 And it helped the cause that it was super inexpensive. Here is how it looks after the install but pre-paint.

Paneling Behind Builtin

One of the more annoying parts of painting this little buddy was getting in between all the cracks on the paneling. Since it was so textured, it took a few passes to get into all the bumpy crevices. You can see the faux grain texture a bit better in this close up shot. Faux grain, it just sounds so classy, doesn’t it? 😀

How to Paint Paneling

I’ll spare you the boring details on the painting process (trust me, it was long and not all that fulfilling). The one pointer I would give to those painting large areas like this bookcase would be to trim it out with a brush, and come through for the larger sections with a roller. Since you can often see the brush strokes when you paint the larger portions, we’ve always found we get the best results when using a roller when we’re able.

For as boring and tedious as painting this big old built-in was, it was all so worth it when I was able to bust out the long stored tupperware container of books and reunite them with the shelves they should be adorning. 😀 Here is a close up of the not-yet-totally-finished right side.

How to Accessorize Bookcase

And here is a shot of the left!

Linen Backing on Bookcase

All the little trinkets I’d been hoarding from trips to Home Goods finally found a home, too. Like my little owl bookends.

Animal Book Ends

And my stallion that guards the other stash of books nestled on the right side of the shelf.

Animal Book End

Remember little porky? He found a home too, hanging out with that fierce looking fat cat. Looks ready for a motorcycle ride.

Bookcase Styling

Here is how the whole space is looking after an evening of moving things around on the shelves. Still pretty sparse, and I’m sure I’ll continue to move things around and get rid of things that don’t mesh right. Long term, I’d love to get lots of baskets for under the TV to store all our extra goodies.

Although this project was not the quickest one to bust out, we had some pretty significant savings from doing this bad boy ourselves. Our total for everything came out to just over $400. Considering this look alike at IKEA retails for over $1,200, I’m pretty happy paying a quarter of the cost of a custom job. Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Cabinet Bases $280 (you could DEFINITELY get these cheaper at a ReStore or Thrift store that carries cabinets – we didn’t have any luck finding four matching ones so we decided to spring for it)
  • Wood for Shelving: $45
  • Crown for top: $15
  • Paneling: $15
  • Paint: $20
  • Linen Backing: $33

Bookcase with Linen Backing

Once we pop up some crown and trim out the sides, I think this bookcase is going to be a nice little addition to our basement cave. Functional and not too hard on the eyes.

Did ya notice the backs? We decided to go with a linen fabric treatment – I’ll post all the details on that DIY next week!

Linen Back on Bookcase

Tuning in for the Giveaway deets? Since we only had a few people respond – everyone’s a gettin’ a mood board!! Woooottt. Look for the virtual room renovations next Wednesday!

Thrifty Thursday