Picking the Pretties

This is post from back in August but I feel it’s time for a refresher on styling now that we are just two steps away from filling those beautiful built ins!


There are tons of guides out there for styling bookcases and built-ins but one of my favorite blogs- the Glitter Guide– has assembled some of the key points.

1. Group books by color or hue. It’s simply more pleasing to the eye. If your books happen to be all over the rainbow, try this trick you’ll see in Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs- flip your books binding side in. It may be a little harder to find them but they sure do look purdy! And if that’s the case, you could group by subject and then you’ll just have to remove one stack to find the book you’re looking for. And besides, we’re talking about pretty shelves like for a dining or living room, not so much functional shelves for an office.


2. Paint or cover the back of your bookshelves with a contrasting color or texture. For our built-ins, we will be painting them white but the back of the shelves will be painted the same deep navy blue that we’ll use in the half bath. The color is Newburyport Blue by Benjamin Moore.



3. Choose a style, theme, or color scheme and stick with it. I love these blue tones or the combo of ivories and pale greens and blues.



4. Create balance with books, large pottery pieces, and small accessories. Nothing is more boring than a packed shelf of books all in a row. Place your large items in first and compliment with smaller pieces. And just like everything in your house, don’t keep it unless you love it. Sherry over at Young House Love is famous for her collection of quirky ceramic animals. Check out their perfectly balanced built-ins and see of you can spot the rhino, bird, horse, squirrel, frog, and fish!


Trimming Down

Or should it be ‘Trimming Up’? Nonetheless, there’s trim on our built ins. Starting to look more and more built in, wouldn’t you say?


These rosettes were a huge selling point for us on this house. Such character. The original ones are still trimming the windows on the second floor but these are brand new. Even the belly casing has been made to look like the original though.



During the whole renovation, our goal has been to preserve the character and the history of the home but update it for functionality and beauty. These built ins are a microcosm of the entire renovation. A nod to the past with the freshness of the future. And this is only phase three!


Singing the Newburyport Blues

Ready for phase two of the built ins? Blue! Not just any blue. Benjamin Moore’s Newburyport Blue and just on the back. The rest will be painted the same pearl finish white as the rest of our trim.

It’s the same blue we are using in the half bath and we are so in love with it. It’s such a beautiful matte navy blue. Almost looks like chalkboard paint. It’s gorgeous and adds so much depth to the built ins.


Stay tuned tomorrow for phase three!


The Week of the Built Ins

We’ve been waiting for this moment a long time now… it’s the week of the built ins! Hold for applause… OK, so yes, it’s very exciting. These built ins in our dining room are a huge feature of the house. I’ve been talking about them for a while and dreaming of them for even longer (yes, I dream of custom cabinetry).

Remember the gaping hole?

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Well last weekend, Dad brought over the three base units that will house a total of six deep drawers.


And then this weekend came the top units that will have three to four shelves in each. In they came, three giant boxes at a time.



I should mention now that we are just so incredibly lucky to have my Dad helping us. Not only through this entire renovation, but especially at this stage of the game. Dad is an exceptionally talented carpenter but in particular when it comes to these finishing details. These built ins will be so well made and look original to the house with gorgeous trim and those rosettes found throughout the house at the top. It’s a crucial part of the entire renovation.

I know how hard Dad has worked on these and we so so so appreciate all his efforts. This truly is ‘The House that Rene Built.’ Thank you Dad.

The Week in Review | October 21-25

This week was a bit of a whirlwind with battling a cold and a busy week of work but I couldn’t neglect my blogs! Here’s my favs from the week.

Week in Review

  1. Pumpkins go coastal in this gorgeous vignette from Sarah at A Beach Cottage. What a lovely take on the traditional orange and black!
  2. Julia from Hooked on Houses shared one of her readers’ bathroom addition. This repurposed door lets light stream in while remaining private with some frosted film. We’ll be frosting several windows in our house!
  3. I love a good Edison Bulb! Monica from East Coast Creative shared several unique lighting fixtures including this beauty.
  4. Over at Daily Dream Decor, this gorgeous kitchen from a charming house in Saratoga Springs had me crushing. The high ceilings and patterned ceilings are just to die! Although I do have a soft spot for white kitchens.
  5. And finally, how cool is this floating bed!? Samantha from The Peak of Tres Chic showcased designer Tracy Hardenburg’s work and I can stop thinking about opening those doors and letting the breeze rock me to sleep. How fun!