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

Modern Retro Style: Mint Green Bookcase

I go through phases when it comes to the furniture I pick up.  Most often I find myself painting dressers, but lately I've been on a side table kick [likely due to the fact they're so easy to come across while thrifting!]. I've also had a series of buffet/bars come into my life.  Now I find myself entering the era of bookcases! And this one, this one may take the cake [if that cake was frosted in a lovely mint green!]. 


This piece has such a gorgeous, retro style, so I knew I wanted to choose a color that continued with its mid century roots.  To create this color, I combined a few Annie Sloan chalk paint colors: Provence, quite a bit of Pure White and a hint of English Yellow to balance out the blue a bit. 

The piece [which I can't manage to find the before photo of eep!] was originally a bamboo or faux bamboo [I honestly can't tell the difference] finish in a chocolate brown glossy stain.  The finish was in poor shape, so to cover up the imperfections, I had to thicken up the paint [by letting it sit exposed to the air for an hour or so] and paint the surfaces quite messily, using brush stroked in different directions. 

The intricate detailing along the sides of the bookcase is what truly makes this piece unique, but my oh my was it a pain to paint! I went over the details over and over and over again. After a few days, I finally was satisfied with the coverage and overall look, but it's quite a bit more time than I'd usually spend on a piece that's a solid color. But sometimes, toiling over a project yields in a beautiful finished product!

The surface of the bamboo isn't smooth and has a fair few knots in the finish, so instead of going with a completely solid painted finish [which was my original plan] I decided to play up some of the imperfections with a bit of distressing.  I actually find this choice allows the bookcase to show its age more [in a good way!], bringing it closer to its vintage roots.


Pairing mints and aquas with blush pinks and corals are such a signature style trend, and the combination continues to feel current. I added just a few touches of a pale coral in a few shells, a bowl [my favorite Anthropologie bowls!], and a small framed painting on the top shelf.  

My favorite touch on this bookcase has to be my new trio of succulents I just potted [these pots were from the craft section at Target and were only $4.99 a piece!]. I like how each plant is quite unique, but together they create a nice little vignette for a shelf.

If you're wanting to add a modern hit to any bookcase, add a few air plants in clean, white ceramic pots. They're easy to take care of and bring a fresh touch to any bookcase.

I'm a huge fan of the mid century brass cabinet handles. They have a coppery patina that stands up perfectly with the mind green doors. 

I normally don't touch the interiors of cabinets [they're also a bear to paint], but this one just felt like it wanted, needed and had to be painted.  


I'm so thrilled with how this bookcase turned out! I've photographed and styled it for this post, but I'm already playing around with some new styling ideas for it, since bookcases like this can be so versatile. If you're looking to add some modern, retro style to your space, keep an eye out in my shop for this piece!