Hi everyone! As you might be able to tell, I’m really trying to be good with posting new content (insert sheepish emoji here). 2 posts in two weeks – that’s a lot better than 1 post in 6 months 😛 I’ll just say, the circumstances have been right the past few weeks to keep this blogging ball rolling. We moved into a new place recently, which means lots of opportunity (nay, more like necessity) for decorating. Also, I’ve been a bit under the weather this past weekend and staying inside and blogging has given me a fun distraction. But enough about these excuses, let’s get to the real reason we’re here today: DIY inspiration to make your bookcases the most glamorous, nerd-tastic (if that’s your thing), personalized piece of furniture in your place!
No matter whether you’re a well established individual with their own house, or are a young urbanite with their first condo, or are just starting to find your feet and are renting (like me!), you too can benefit from creating a statement bookcase that perfectly reflects your design style and personality. Just like our last post, letting your personality shine through in your home decor doesn’t have to be just about showing the world what your favourite colours are. Think about the interests, accomplishments, and experiences that make you YOU and let those foundational ingredients of who you are come through in your decorating! Decorating a bookcase is the perfect way to create a “centre piece” of your personality in your home, because unlike hanging pictures or painting walls, you can very easily change up the layout of items in the bookcase as you collect new items, books, and artwork. Just as we each continually grow and evolve as we “collect” new experiences and interests in our lives, a “personality centrepiece” bookshelf allows us to show those ongoing evolutions of our selves. Enough with all this “deep” talk though. Let’s get on with the show 🙂
Before you begin, do a little brain storming about what aspects of your (and perhaps your partner’s, or roommate’s) personality you’d like to include in your bookcase. Think about the interests that shape who you are.
For me, this includes an appreciation of the classics and black and white (a nod to my interests in history and the antique).I love historical novels, period costumes, black and white films and old hollywood. I tried to keep the colour scheme of the bookshelf pretty limited to dark blacks and browns, with reds and whites scattered in. This meant being pretty selective about which books to feature on the shelf (let’s just say there’s a whole ‘nother shelf in the bedroom that is definitely NOT colour coordinated, and is jam packed with books haha). You’ll see in the picture to the left here that I’ve chosen a biography on Grace Kelly (the 50s movie actress-turned-Princess Of Monaco), a textbook on costume design, and (for a little edgy flair) “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies”.
Another very big part of who I am is a lifelong love of animals. I’ve been an elephant fan since the day in Kindergarten I was asked to draw a picture of an animal who’s name also started with the same letter as mine.. Elephants and Emma have been a happy pair every since. If you look closely in these pictures, you’ll be able to spot of a couple of them.
Having met while doing our degrees in Health Science, my boyfriend and I both have an academic and personal interest in health and medicine (as well as a whooollle lot of health-related textbooks lol) so I knew this had to take up a big portion of our bookshelf. We picked some of our favourites, some that were more on the practical side (ie. the BCHealthGuide) and some that are there simply because they bring a good colour balance to the shelf (sorry pretty textbooks, in this case we chose you for your beauty, not your brains). Again, I was pretty selective in which text/coursebooks to put on the shelf – you’ll note that none of the biostatistics made it up there… I don’t want a reminder of that class if I can help it!
My boyfriend and I love the outdoors, and I wanted to bring this into our home, since high rise living can sometimes be a bit removed from the “natural world”.I found I could bring a bit of nature inside with some easy-to-care-for succulents. Depending on the type, they often don’t need a whole lot of light and watering, so I’ve found they do better than other plants sitting in a bookshelf (especially as our shelf doesn’t get a whole lot of sunlight). If you follow UrbanistaAtHome on Instagram, you’ll probably already know how much I love these little plants – my boyfriend pretty much has to drag me away from any stand or shop selling these hardy little gems. If you like them too, keep your eyes on the blog in the upcoming days, because I’ll be posting a DIY walkthrough for how I made these 2 little terrarium vases ( it took less than 20 minutes!)
And now is the point at which this post gets a bit (wonderfully) nerdier! I’ve always been pretty geeky, and used to feel a bit insulted (as I’m sure it was meant) when I was called “nerdy” by friends as a kid (I mean, who doesn’t want to sit and read books at lunch break? :p ) However, it’s now one of my favourite things about myself, and I couldn’t be happier to put my nerdy personality on display when picking items to put in this bookcase!
My boyfriend is a lifelong Starwars fan, so I knew that we had to have “The Force” with us in this bookshelf, if we wanted it to truly reflect us (Yes, that is a picture us dressed up as Chewy and Han Solo for Halloween last year… guilty as charged:) )
Tucked in the bottom shelf, you might be able to see the Chewbacca stuffed toy I made for my boyfriend for his birthday last year.
And of course, since this is a bookshelf afterall, we had to include the one book series that has had more influence on me than any other. Let’s just say I have a lifetime membership in the Harry Potter fandom (told you this part of the post would be “nerdtastic”).
The books are well loved, and they’ve probably each been read more times than I can even count, but they’re all there and I wouldn’t dream of replacing them with newer copies.
The owl plushie and the lego were gifts from my mom as a child, and they’ve always sat on the same shelf as my HP books, in my childhood bedroom. I knew I had to have them together in the new apartment as well, and so they are nestled cozily on the lower tiers of the bookshelf, not quite taking front and centre in our “adult” apartment, but still there, a relic of a happy, Harry Potter-filled youth. No matter what your childhood interests were, I know most people have a few keepsake toys or items from their childhood they hang on to throughout life. I hope this post inspires you to pull them out and incorporate them into your current-day decor, rather than hide them away in a box on a shelf. These are the things that helped shape who you are, and it’s a privilege to be able to carry them with you as you move through different stages of your life!
So take a few moments to think about the things that make you you and the aspects of your personality that can help a curated bookshelf take shape in your home, and put your own “personality centrepiece” on display. It’s my hope that this post gives you a little motivation to step away from the generic and embace your own characteristics, weirdness and quirks!
Until next time!