Makeover: Living Room Shelves

I documented how I started a small makeover of my living room by changing some pillows and a lamp last week. It’s amazing to me how such a small change made me happy whenever I saw it and spurred me on to continue making changes.

Living Room Shelf 1 Before

So last weekend I tackled the bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to declutter these shelves, as it seemed like things had accumulated mysteriously on their own over the last few years.

Luckily, this urge to declutter coincided with Finer Things Clutter Challenge, so I got to check off numbers .36 to .72 on my way to loosing 365 things in my house this year. Actually, there were more things I got rid of, but since it was an embarrassingly large stack of magazines (old Do It Yourself’s- whoa late 1980s decor was really different), I just counted some of them. It seemed to go against the intent of challenge to have half of the clutter be magazines.

Here’s the right shelf (pictured above before) after painting the back a light green and decluttering:

Living Room Shelf 1 After

I think I like this, though I’m not done, as you might notice – I’m looking for a basket to fit in the open spot on the bottom shelf.

Here is the left shelf before:

Living Room Shelf 2 Before

Again, books out of control, though I had moved all our photo albums before the picture was taken (hence the empty spot), so you’re missing the view of the huge books overhanging the shelf by a good two inches. Really, I don’t know what I was thinking.

Here it is after:

Living Room Shelf After

What is it about decluttering that seems to make you breath easier? It’s seems more soothing to look at, to me. I’m still working on this, and I’m not really sure what I’m doing on the bottom shelf, but I know I want to add some more black elements. Maybe some cool bookends?

What do you think- better before or after?


This is linked to DIY at A Soft Place to Land


  1. It looks so good! I find that when things are decluttered and put away neatly that I get a soothing feeling. It really does make things better.

  2. What a fabulous decluttering job. It looks great now.

  3. Wow! It looks nice! I like the shade of green that you picked, its very subtle but makes a nice impact.

  4. WOW!! That looks like a magazine! Beautiful!

  5. Thank you, thank you, guys! And it is so subtle, Anne, that I have to tell people I painted. :-) That’s why I think the whiter paint will help…

  6. I love that color of green. I think you did a Wonderful Job!!! Makes me want to get some paint and do some projects of my own. Like the Kitchen. I have been looking at greens for my kitchen and I wonder if you can tell me the paint color? Thank you! Suzi in Medford

  7. Suzi- It’s one of my favorite colors of green and I had it in our other kitchen with creamy white beadboard. Ah…I still dream about that kitchen. I also painted a cream and green check on the floor with it- yeah, I do like it. :-)

    It’s called “country moss” and it’s by Behr paint from Home Depot. Hope you like it!

  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know the color. I think I am inspired to strip wallpaper (circa 1980′s fruit) and paint. I have looked at so many paint strips with green. It is great to actually see a color painted and know it looks good. My kitchen is so small I think this light green will be perfect. Thank you! Suzi

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