A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Versatile Furniture Pieces for Slim Spaces: French Linen Bookcase

Whenever I see a piece of furniture that could potentially work well in a variety of spaces, I’ll almost always go for it. My mind immediately begins to make a list of the many uses for said furniture, and the multitude of ways I’d style it.  When I found this bookcase last year at a yard sale, I snagged it instantly!

I like this piece has clean lines, with just a slight curved detail at the base. Something unusual to your standard bookcase is the addition of a pair of drawers at the base. The quality of this guy is exceptionally solid. It’s entirely made of thick, solid wood, which gives it a lovely rustic quality.

When passing yard sales and thrift shops, it can be easy to pass on certain pieces simply because the condition of the furniture looks rough or it’s painted in a generally terrible color.  I weirdly enjoyed the garish bright blue of this bookcase. Since I’ve just been using it for storage in my office at the house, I just left it in its original state for ages, and it sat quite happily in my brightly colored office!

But no longer! Since I really don’t have a use for my office space in the house anymore [since the studio provides plenty of space!] I decided it was time to part with some of the furniture in that room, including this bookcase.

I went with a couple light coats of Annie Sloan’s French Linen, a wonderfully warm, mid-tone gray. I initially planned on painting the interiors of the bookcases in a contrasting color, but pieces always evolve as I work on them. Instead of using contrasting colors, I decided to do some light distressing to allow just a faint hint of the original blue to peek through.

I also went for my favorite technique, brushing on a white tinted wax. Since I was photographing this guy in my kitchen in the late afternoon yesterday, the lighting wasn’t ideal and didn’t do the white wax effect justice.  I went more subtle with the white wax, but in person, it just gives the bookcase added texture and depth, so that the gray doesn’t look too dull.

I styled the bookcase cubbies with random wintery bits, along with some bowls and air plants that were in grabbing distance in the kitchen. I could easily see this piece becoming the workhorse in a child’s room or in a living area where you need to store all their toys and the general colorful mess kids tend to leave in their wake. In this instance, I would opt for storage bins [these shelves are just the right size for all sorts of bins you could pick up at Target or Ikea]. Natural materials like seagrass and wood, would contrast with the gray and add a touch of sophistication to this piece.

Of course, the more I talk up this bookcase, the more I’m starting to fall in love with it again.  I’m going to put this one up for sale tomorrow [check back to my shop or Craigslist to see it listed!], but if I don’t find it a good home, I’m already conjuring up more ways I can make use of this gorgeous gray bookcase!