We have so much open shelving going on in our new house–which is awesome! But it’s also a little puzzling as to what to DO with all this open shelving in the main room of your house.  The living room and dining room have the most–and this is the room you see as you walk in the front door.  I haven’t done a lot of prettying in our house yet–just the basics of unpacking and getting things to a general “away” point.  There’s still a lot to hang up and make cozy.
The living room/dining room is a great space, but of course I’ve still got lots of plans.  Here’s what I’m planning, even though most of our efforts are going towards the basement right now, at least here’s my plan: 

It just so happened that our smaller TV fit perfect into a shelf by the fireplace.  Personally, I don’t love TVs above the fireplace because I want to be able to decorate the fireplace, so this worked out great.  Also, this room is long and narrow, so having to find the right spot for the TV cabinet was going to be a task.  We drilled holes in the back of the shelves to make way for the cords to travel down to the bottom cabinet where there are outlets. 

The mantle is, well…it’s there.  It’s pretty misrepresented right now, but it’s there. 

I would love to do something fun in the back of the shelves like wallpaper or something cool.  Or maybe I should start a collection of white serving pieces! Or both!

Here’s what I reeeeeally want to do to the fireplace: white paneling and brick! We’ll save this one for a later date though…

Ok, now on to the other side of the room.  ALL the open shelves!!  (insert clueless face)  I love the idea of them, but there’s just too many right here.  I have things like table linens, serving dishes, and extra candles that need to live here by the table and I don’t want to have to make them look pretty–sometimes storage is just storage, no need for pretty!

Originally, I thought about taking one out, but then I thought that would be too sad.  So I had the idea to have Jarrod build some doors on the bottom sections to close off half of it.  It will be perfect because it will match the open shelving at the other end of the room.  I’m crossing my fingers that this job will get finished this weekend so I can paint it sometime next week.  Right now these shelves are sort of a yellowy-cream–they need white.

Also the walls need some Ashwood by Ben Moore as soon as I can muster the strength–this summer maybe.  I used Ashwood in my townhouse in the living room and dining room and I’m pretty sure it will be my very favorite color till the end of time.

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The other problem in this area is the lighting…like there isn’t any.  No entry light, no dining light, nada.  I think this might have been a common idea in 1950’s homes, as I’ve heard this from other people that own them.  I had an electrician here last week and they were spendy! I was originally going to have them do a lot more work, but I whittled my list down to a few things.  But the light above the table did stay on the work order, so currently we have a light over the table…I’ll show you in my next update.  But no entryway light for now…so spendy!!

Here’s a look at the whole thing.  As you can see, I picked up nothing before this photo.  Keeping things real…and it also makes for a better “after” pic if your “before” looks really bad. 😉

Here’s to a happy, productive weekend, friends!


  1. It's coming together girl. Love those built-ins! We have the most awesome electrician. Seriously I've had him out here half a dozen times for various projects. Wish I knew the name of someone there, but we never did that in MN.

  2. Love the built ins. We do not have much storage at our house. I like the idea of making doors though, hidden storage is always nice.

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