Fake-it-til-you-make-it bookcase hack.

There's just something about built-in bookcases that I can't get enough of. They're truly a perfect marriage of form and function. The practical nature of ample space for books and decorative objects meets endless styling potential – and I am one happy lady. (It's the little things, no?)

Mister M. and I are still on a quest for a place to call home, as in, an actual home purchase. We've been renters for so long because it has afforded us the opportunity to travel in the Airstream without the obligation of a mortgage. We lived and worked on the road for almost a year and I don't think we could have pulled that off if we had been tethered to a house. Yet, there are times when I really yearn for a place of our own, and all of the design and cozy home decor possibilities that come with that.

I digress. Back to the bookcases. We're currently in a townhouse, which is cute – but small. I find I don't have a ton of space to display some special odds and ends, so I'm constantly trying to come up with a solution that doesn't feel cluttered. Our living room area flows directly right into our dining area, and I've always housed a white server/buffet/chest of drawers on the back wall of the room. I do love that workhorse of a piece, as it's quite functional, but it was literally overflowing with cookbooks, candles, vases, serving pieces, cocktail napkins – you name it. 

I knew that built-ins would be a terrific storage/decor solution, but we were not willing to put significant money into a place we don't own. I've seen some great built-in bookcase hacks using Ikea Billy, but I've found that you still have to gussie those up a bit. Instead, I opted for a pair of Threshold Carson 5-Shelf Bookcases from Target (in white) and I'm really pleased (despite the fact that one came damaged and I had to wait for another unit to be shipped...grrrrr).

[Before] Old pic, and shoddy image quality, but you get the idea. Not bad, but a bit "blah." Womp womp.

[Before] Old pic, and shoddy image quality, but you get the idea. Not bad, but a bit "blah." Womp womp.

[After} Hallelujah! Everything has a home.

[After} Hallelujah! Everything has a home.


[Detail] Cookbooks and serving pieces live together with mixed decor.

[Detail] Cookbooks and serving pieces live together with mixed decor.

[Detail} Eclectic items find harmony when paired in groupings.

[Detail} Eclectic items find harmony when paired in groupings.

No, they don't necessarily look "built-in" to the wall, but I do love how they flank the center chest and create a little nook for the Hatch Show Print, mini-bar, mercury lamp and lantern. I still get the overall look and feel of a bookcase "wall" while maintaining flexibility to move them around in the future. I now have a place to display some favorite items and add more functionality to the dining room with serving pieces that are useful and pretty to look at. Win win!