Smiling Bookshelves in My Bedroom

I completed the last big part of my bedroom makeover last week.  If you have been following along, I didn’t do anything drastic to the room, but did update and refresh the space so that it would be brighter and airier.


I don’t have a before photo of what was on this wall previously. Try to imagine a very large dark cherry wood entertainment center with big doors that opened up to expose a TV. It was big and totally obsolete. Ed took it apart so we could get rid of it. The local thrift store didn’t even want it.

This wall is opposite my bed that has the floor to ceiling headboard made from paneled doors and crown molding. I needed something grand to fill this wall to visually balance the headboard from overtaking the room.


I shopped my house and brought up two IKEA bookshelves that were part of a modular unit in my basement. Since the basement isn’t used anymore except for storage, the book shelves were better served here. I don’t think IKEA makes this unit anymore or the lights that are attached to the top of each unit.  The white Ribba frames that I used to create a gallery of images from my favorite old movies are from IKEA also.


The units alone were not enough to fill the space and we still needed a place for the TV.  Ed likes to get the weather and sports scores first thing in the morning, while I like watching my favorite old movies on Sunday afternoons in the bedroom, especially during the winter months. I found the white TV online, here.


I used another IKEA piece that was in the basement. Do you remember the Tarva dresser with which I experimented for the BHG Makeover Madness Challenge last year? It fit perfectly as a base for the TV.

I painted the dresser white and placed it between the bookshelves.  Are you seeing an IKEA theme here?  I don’t have a lot of IKEA pieces, but most of what I have is now all in my bedroom.

decorating bookshelves

I loved the way the IKEA pieces filled the wall, but now I had to come up with something to fill the shelves. I wanted to keep things as serene as possible but add a little character without having to buy meaningless tchotchkes just to fill it up.


More IKEA goodness in the way of baskets and pretty pink boxes.  The baskets are called Knarra and come in a few different sizes.  This size is 11 1/2″ x 15″ x 6″.

The pink boxes come in a variety of sizes and colors. The number tags are from IKEA, too. I found them in the paper shop section. I simply tied them onto the baskets with white ribbon. I have made tags like this before which is really easy as well.  The baskets and boxes are empty, but I will fill them with something…I just don’t know what yet.


I don’t like a lot of clutter and don’t buy a lot of books. Once I read them, they go to the thrift store. I only keep ones that I really love so I had to do some more shopping around my house to fill the bookcases. I used more frames with movie images on the top shelves and for the rest…..


…I found the best thing ever…my favorite smiling faces to greet me as I wake up every morning.


With the help of Tiny Prints I was able to get some of my favorite photos of my daughters when they were little, blown up and made into canvases and acrylic blocks.  I was so happy since I only had a 4 x 6 print of each image.


When my girls were little, the digital camera had not yet made its debut.  I thought I would never be able to get the only photos I had of them blown up digitally. A few I wanted to use didn’t scan well as the resolution was wrong, but I was so happy to see how well Tiny Prints was able to get many of them enlarged from 20 year old printed 4″ x 6″ photos.

Bookshelf decorating ideas

My girls are grown and out on their own, but I am surrounded by them on a daily basis now.  I think I have succeeded in my mission to make this room a bright and airy space…and one that smiles back at me.

My smiling bookshelves may not follow all elements of design, but they make me smile and that is what I want to always create in my home…happy loving spaces, not meaningless perfection.

I have one night table still to paint and the room will be complete.  I am going to use a new recipe for chalk paint to do it. When I post it I will do a total recap of everything I did in the room and show you the full room.

XO :-)

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  1. Deb Brennan says:

    Hi Diane! Just discovered your site this morning, and I’m SO glad I did!! I have a plethora of painting projects coming up, as we just purchased a wonderful old cottage in need of ” freshening up” . Your insights will be my go to happy place for instructions on how to do EVERYTHING I want to do!! I love your beautiful bedroom, and it has inspired me to get moving on mine!! I am an interior designer who has put aside implementing personal projects for far too long! Thank you for all your helpful and timely advice, and I look forward to visiting you often!

  2. Diane, this is so clever. I always like to see pieces that have to use. The one thing I would do is fill in the spot underneath the dresser, even with white foamcore just to make it look more grounded.

  3. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    I love your room with the ‘new cabinets’. Wow to the DVD covers for decor & incorporating you two special girls photo’s so perfectly. I am planning & planning to make a combo window seat/ doggy beds & one small end a storage for me some time in the near future. Only part is that I a very afraid to make the doors myself and the good hinges appear to be very expensive. I also want to make a built in half wall on the inside wall that I want to place my also new Sceptre 19 in TV on. All of course inspired by you built in window seat you made a while back. Only thing is I want mine to be rather narrow….. window wall one will be no deeper than 17 inches and the other shelves only about 7 inches deep, just enought to hold my TV. And keep all those awful cords hidden and the outlet which is right at puppy level for chewing.

    And I am waiting for your new chalk paint recipe!!! I am so excited to read that too.

  4. Stephanie @ Casa Watkins says:

    Love the bookshelves! I espcially love the baskets and tag numbers.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Stephanie – When I saw the numbers at IKEA I had no idea how I was going to use them, but bought a few packages knowing that I would find a way. They come in black with white numbers, too.

  5. Kim Henrichs says:

    I LOVE your movie photo prints!!! So much Cary Grant. I want to do this. :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim – Cary Grant XOXO I love all of his movies since I was a kid. I can never have enough. I always tell my husband that I married him because he has the same cleft in his chin as Cary :-)

  6. Linda Weeks says:

    we have spent all this week cleaning up the yard; nice to come in and see a message from Ms. Diane in my inbox!
    Love the layout, and it looks like a very happy room to be in! I also look forward to seeing yet another recipe for chalk paint!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Linda – we have been having some spectacular weather lately…perfect for getting the yard and gardens cleaned up.