UHeart Organizing: A Really "Good"will Bookcase Makeover!

One of the many reasons I instantly fell for my friend, Anneke, is because she has this amazing gift of making over furniture.  Seriously, it is hard to put into words just how talented she is and how stunning her pieces look after she gets her hands on them.  For me, furniture equals storage.  So naturally I have an admiration for furniture and furniture makeovers. 

Today's example is no exception.  Anneke scored big when she found some thrifted bookcases; a pair I am guessing were glanced over by person after person.  Not everyone has the eye to see potential in outdated furniture, but because Anneke did, she now has great and beautiful storage.  Here she is now!

I have to be honest. Since the last time I visited here with all of you awesome IHeart Organizing readers, the stress of moving, commuting, and so-on was really starting to wear on me......so much so that I was in a major DIY slump. We recently downsized this past August from our custom-built home to our beach house rental and are truly so glad we did. However, we went from a full-size mudroom, full-size walk-in closet, full-size walk-in pantry, and pretty much large everything - to no mudroom, teeny-tiny-closet, no pantry, and so on. To say that I've been in full-fledged organizational mode is a massive understatement! With all of the day to day grind though, I just didn't want to take the time to find thrifted storage pieces that would work in our new home. I'd been burnt out on DIY. To be blunt, I just wanted everything perfectly organized as fast as possible before I literally went crazy! I didn't want to waste any more time simply not being able to find things.

Well, low and behold I walk into Goodwill one day, and there before me were these:

I just.about.died.  Kid's book storage has been on my top 5 list of "Most Important Storage Needs" and I kept coming up short on Craigslist for bookcases. These would be perfect! And at $12.99 a piece, I said, "Load 'em up!" In our last home {shown below}, we did really well when we switched to using baskets for books. The kids can easily grab a basket, {which we try to keep organized by themes such as "boyish", "girlish", seasonal, particular reading levels, etc.}, take it wherever they'd like to read, then bring the basket back when they are done. No more books piled on the shelves and disorganized = winning.

It's a system that has finally clicked for our family, so I definitely wanted to implement that same idea in our beach house.  I decided to refinish these new found bookcases, place them side by side, and then top them off with a large rustic wood board to create an instant entryway console that can accommodate our baskets of books. The thrifted finish on these were just plain awful....almost as if a stain were applied directly over the top. That just doesn't work as you can see.

I decided to have a little fun with this piece and used quite a few colors, layering them with my paint brush as they were still wet.  Since we are still getting settled into our home, I decided to take the finished piece to my sister's studio where she snapped some photos for me. Here's what this Goodwill score turned in to!

I'm so in love! As for refinishing details: I used a combination of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen, Duck Egg, and Aubusson, as well as some random light green "oops" latex paint. I also applied clear and dark waxes to the exterior and for now, actually did nothing other than paint the interior. A wood top like this can easily be cut at your local hardware store if you know your dimensions, which is super handy. Even thought we have so many tools, I have utilized this service before and am forever grateful for it. On the 2" x 12" wood board, I used two coats of Minwax Weathered Oak and love the subtle finish on it.

Now, it's actually amazing how much lighting can change the way your colors look. The photo above taken at the studio was in bright daylight, but the colors really blend with the shadows and lighting much more where it is located in our home.  I took the photo below to text to my husband and you can see how much deeper the color is in our house! Isn't that amazing?

Regardless, this DIY project has instantly relieved stress and the kids have probably one of their favorite things to do now completely in order. It probably took four hours to complete and maybe $50 total, so this mom of three is one happy camper. 

What are your current Top 5 storage organization needs?  The paper pile?  The shoes?  A closet? Which one could you focus on {even 15-30 minutes} this weekend?  Next on my list is the office/guest room, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Thanks for having me today Jen!

"Hi everyone! I'm Anneke and you can often find me working with some tools, browsing for great furniture finds, or getting all girly for a date night! Like many of you, I'm often looking for ways to make life run more smoothly amidst kids, messes, responsibilities, and limited time. I recently celebrated the awesome 3-0, ten crazy years of marriage with my hubby Michael, and have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom to 3 amazing kiddos, not to mention our sweet miniature schnauzer. We live in the beautiful Northwest, near Seattle.  Although I have a degree in Music, my brain spins with ideas about DIY projects, interior design, health, and family, all of which I blog about over at This, That and Life.  I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the wonderful contributing team at IHeart Organizing and can't wait to get to know some of you better as well!"

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