New Apartment Reveal: The Bookcase

 One white Expedit bookcase.  16 cubes.  How would you fill it?  This is what I did…

Two plate mirrors make up my “mirrored back.”  Books, magazines and records are stacked vertically and horizontally.   Animal figurines, apothecary jars, coral, vintage tea pots and other random stuff fill in the space.  And my prized, signed, Victor Vasarely Scarf adorns the top.

Here are some of my favorite parts.

Everything here is vintage and I love it.  
(minus the horizontal books)
I picked up the tea pot at an estate sale.
The owl lamp was a trade from my sister. (She got my blue lamp.)
And the Rolling Stones record was a gift from someone special.

I have really high ceilings, so it’s important to utilize the vertical space smartly.  At first I was bummed that I didn’t buy a taller bookcase, and then I realized I could use the top like one large shelf.  It was the perfect spot for my framed scarf from Nana.  It’s one of the first things I see when I walk in the door, and it always brings a smile to my face.

A closer look at the top of the shelf.

It’s truly hard to declare any space “finished” isn’t it?  I have fiddled with this bookshelf styling for weeks and weeks.  My sister and I agonized over the placements of my books and pretties on Monday night.  We rearranged everything at least 10 times.  (Thanks Meg!)  You see its all about balance.  Even placement of books, even spread of color, even distribution of animals. 
Oh and the mirrored back?  So fabulous in real life.  I love the reflections and the brightness it brings to this area.
The mirrored back in terms of photography and being able to shoot a decent picture?   A bitch-and-a-half.
I had the hardest time trying to shoot my shelf straight on and not appear in a reflection.  I’m still not happy with the pictures and all the random crap you see in the background.  Fudge.
Wall # 15 is done!  (For now at least.  Too much else to work on…)

Want more of the apartment?
Check out posts HERE, or on sidebar titled “Naomi’s Place”
  1. Damn girl you are GOOD, that framed scarf is the icing on this brilliant decor cake..YUM!

  2. Wow…those bookcases look like a million dollars!

  3. Really great styling. A few weeks ago I completely reorganized my expedit too. Took a loooong time. Your is much more glamorous than mine – very, very pretty.

  4. Lindsey

    I love the vintage pieces. It adds so much character. It’s so much fun reading about the updates to your place. Keep ’em coming!

  5. This is what I love about blogging – people who understand it takes HOURS to make a bookshelf look good.

    You did an awesome job. I’m stealing your mirror idea.

  6. @Rene- I actually would have preferred horizontal shelves, as they give you more flexibility in object placement.

    I think square shelves are best for beginners because you are restricted in your options in what can fit in the space.

  7. wow, you can tell so much by someones stuff. and you have awesome stuff darl. love that owl lamp, and v. clever using the mirror behind the unit. looks sensational x

  8. I love the layout – spot on to me but the crème de la crème is the mirror’s genius!! x

  9. Rene

    Your book shelf is styled to perfection! I’m wondering if squares are easier to work with than rectangles? Love, love all of your vintage pieces – really!

  10. Looks so great! Nicely done! 🙂

    Hope you have a beautiful weekend!



    P.S. I’m hosting a $100 e-spree giveaway on my blog in case you’re interested!

  11. nkp

    Haha, envious(!), the other word sounds dirty, or simply a condition of living in my testosterone-heavy household! 😉

  12. nkp

    OMG, I didn’t comment yet. How did that happen! It’s fabulous, Darling. You know, I’m getting mighty penvious of your art collection.

  13. susie q

    What a fabulous idea! Love this.

  14. This feels like a better version of Candice Olson. She loves mirrored backed cabinets and you pull off the look well! That scarf is truly stunning. Wow!

  15. @ Elyse- the owl lamp was from etsy and it’s no longer available. There are so many alternatives these days!
    This wasn’t the case when I bought it over a year ago.
    The shade is from arteriors home. I actually took it off a lamp I broke last week 🙁

  16. @Carol (Design Pages)- I took two beveled full length mirrors from Bed Bath and Beyond and ripped the frames off of them.

    Not easy, but much cheaper that doing a wall of plate mirror.

  17. This is amazing Naomi…love that scarf WOW!!!! Wall #15 should be in a magazine. Brilliant!

  18. I’ve been trying to style two meager shelves in our bathroom and failing badly and you knock it out of the park with this! Wow! Well, there’s also that teeny tiny detail of you being a Real Life Designer and me being a Just a Blog Stalker.. 😉

    Love this and can’t wait to get our own expedit shelves!

  19. It’s gorgeous! I love those little trinkets you’ve put along with the books. Have a delightful day, Kellie xx

  20. Beautiful, I love all of your choices in this design. I just found your blog, I am so glad I did it is wonderful.

  21. Elyse

    Would love a source for the lamp / lamp shade. Especially the shade!

  22. Beautiful, sweet Naomi! Thanks for sharing… maybe you can weigh in on my own bookcase dilemma!
    xo Heidi @ Show Some Decor

  23. Wow, those shelves are gorgeous! Now I want to go home and rearrange mine…

  24. The arrangement looks perfect Naomi, you have so many awesome finds and you’ve combined them all really well, love the mirror idea too…your place is really coming together!

  25. Amazing job Naomi. What did you mean by plate mirror? Bookcases are so hard and you make it look so easy. Well done, as always!!!!

  26. Kat

    Perfect! You did an amazing job:)

  27. Wow. Love the equine sculpture and the mirrored backing. I’m planning a painted pattern backing for our TV expedit so we’ll see how it turns out.
    Thanks for sharing Naomi!

  28. Following the progress of your Lady Loft is so much fun!

  29. Ashley

    Love it. Very rock-and-roll bohemian!

  30. Looks great! I am still so loving the way you post the floorplan. It helps so much to visualize the space and what is left to work on.

  31. I’m still super happy with this. Glad you are too. 🙂 Sister power!!!

  32. First off, it’s GORGEOUS! I love the mirrored backs (of course) and the styling is perfection. Adore the scarf and your beautiful trinkets. Secondly, I’m obsessed with how you’ve #rd your walls and are posting them complete one at a time- just brilliant. Love love love and will be following along happily until all 15 are complete. xo

  33. your mix of items is terrific. love the look – especially the mirrored back…

  34. I am in love with the way it turned out. Absolutely gorgeous! You made ikea look like lonny and its perfect.

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