My Shelves Are Floating (and Decorated)

Did you know that decorating your house is good exercise? Neither did I, until I began arranging stuff on the floating shelves that we recently hung over our couch. This involved climbing on and off of the couch approximately 14,026 times. Good workout, no? (No. The answer is really “no.” Jillian Michaels won't be snapping this up anytime soon.)

The fruits of my pseudo-cardio:


I think one of the things that appeals to me about shelving like this is that I can change it by rearranging/removing stuff whenever I want, and it won’t cost anything. So in the event that I get tired of my neighbors’ glass bottles being on display and/or frames filled with nothing, I can change it. I like d├ęcor that allows me to be fickle spontaneous.


DSC_0481I once did a U-turn on my way to work to snag pretty bottles out of someone’s recycling bin. It’s sick, I tell you.

The empty frames were all dysfunctional in some way, with the square ones having no glass, the oval one having glass that didn’t fit properly, and the rectangular one being an old corkboard. They also used to look like this:



It’s nothing a little spray paint can handle.


DSC_0480No, those aren’t the metal fasteners that held the cork in place! You’re seeing things.

The books are from yard sales. This ancient copy of Robin Hood was $1. I can almost picture some schoolgirl named Lottie reading it in her bloomers and bonnet whilst churning butter and using words like “whilst.”


Okay, maybe not. But that same girl probably also read this next book. Who doesn’t need to study up on their Contrapuntal Harmonic Technique of the 18th Century?


Apparently not the person who put it in a cardboard box marked FREE at their yard sale. But it sounded music-y and we’re music-y around here and, well, you must know that things marked “free” are too good for me to pass up.


The shelves themselves, of course, are from our recent trip IKEA. Rick used a metal drill bit to put new holes in them so that they’d be securely attached to the studs as opposed to sagging off the wall/likely to crash onto our heads while we watch Downton Abbey. He takes issue with the fact that IKEA’s predrilled holes aren’t spaced for use in studs. Swedes these days.


As for the rest of the living room: it’s a work in progress. We’ve painted for the third and final time (I got it right this time with Benjamin Moore’s Sea Foam) and replaced the ceiling, but we still need to hang the curtains, replace the trim with moulding that looks more like the rest of the house (it’s super-skinny builder’s grade; we’re not sure why the original woodwork would have been removed), hang a new ceiling light fixture, and replace the chair rail with something that also complements our future, more appropriate trim. I’ll share updates as they happen, but we don’t currently have a Plan for any of the aforementioned items…so don’t hold your breath. For now, I’m happy that we finally hung something on the wall in this house. We’ve only lived here a year.


What home projects give you a workout? Have you ever looted your neighbors’ recycling bin on garbage night? Are you familiar with 18th century contrapuntal harmonic techniques and/or butter churning?

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  1. Love them! I've always liked floating shelves (they look so much cleaner up on the walls). I also love the frames spray painted. I've wanted to do that for a while but haven't found any good frames yet.

  2. I love your shelves!! You did a seriously fantastic job of staging them. Think you could come to my house, raid my neighbours recycling bins and create something like this for me? I love the colours and the overall feel of it. Seriously- pinning it right now.

    Well done! Have a great weekend!!

    1. haha I could do that...would you wear a disguise to accompany me like Rick does? :P

  3. If I'm ever at your house you better watch me. I've got sticky fingers...and that Robin Hood book is calling my name. :)

  4. They look so fresh and clean! I like your frame makeover. Just earlier this week our neighbor's had some piles of tile they were throwing away sitting at the curb so naturally I snagged them while still in my work clothes for fear that they'd be gone if I changed first!

  5. This is really beautiful! The collection of empty frames & bottles, as well as the great colors you picked, make it unique! (which is hard to find sometimes in the blog world!) Love it!!

  6. I love the mix of blues and greens. They pop out so well!

  7. I like what you used to accessorize the shelves. They look really great, and thrifty too!

  8. It looks so good! I absolutely love the mix of green, navy and gray! I need to work on creating more balance in my displays!

  9. I am hooked on watching Downton Abbey. I am sure when it is all said and done that I will regret the time I wasted watching it but for now it is fun.
    Shelves are good. Actually I love anything that brings stuff up off the counter or the floor. Much easier to clean that way. I have a very cluttered house. I try to de-clutter but it just comes back. So shelves are a good thing in my book! Love your color choices too. You're blog is fun to read. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I have actually appreciated rearranging upper cabinets for which I hop up and down a 24" stool, because the way my thighs and rear feel the next day, I know it was good for them. I don't think about the exercise as I do things, and get bored and resentful, like I would doing a dreary exercise routine. But darn it, I just don't redo those cabinets often enough to fool myself into a workout.

    Can't help with looting, harmonics, or butter churning... But I'm with Rick. IKEA should get their act together for those not smart enough or with the right drill bit to make new, stud-distance holes in the metal brackets! I've never thought to decorate with empty frames. They look cool.

  11. That is not a real house. That is a photo from a magazine.

  12. wow!! i am envious of your arrangement skills....these look A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! and those bottles were definitely worth the U-turn!

    all the ceiling scraping, spackling, sanding, and painting is definitely giving me a workout! weeding too, that gave me some sore buns and thighs for days!

  13. I really like how you decorated the shelves. The look is so fresh and modern. The frames are a great colour, but I really adore the glass bottles.

  14. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm -- me likes the *Sea Foam*, methinks. That's close to what we had in our Craftsmen Bungalow years ago. White trims? NICE!

  15. Looks amazing! I see you have the same glass bottle obsession I do - picking them up everywhere lately.

  16. LOVE the shelves! I need to make a trip to IKEA soon..everyone I know loves it. :) Also, I love watching downton abbey! Cute shelves!

  17. LOVE THEM SOOOO MUCH!!! The color scheme is RIGHT up my alley. Seriously looks awesome. Aaron hates it that Ikea stuff doesn't go in studs either. :-) Men.

  18. Those shelves are amazing! I love the way you decorated them..you're so creative!!


  19. You have some mad styling skills. Remember that next time you have to play those annoying games and you have to tell some hidden truth about yourself. Super excellent shelf styler.

  20. Love the colors and styling on the shelves! You'll have fun changing the vignettes with the seasons or whenever the mood strikes.

  21. I love, love this! The colors are awesome. I want this in my home :).

  22. I've been on a spray paint kick this past week, too. In an effort to create uniformity among my hodgepodge accessories...if it's still long enough, it's getting sprayed. Nothing is safe in my home. The dog better stay out of my way.

    I have a certain love/hate relationship with IKEA, not necessarily the actual Swedes. ;) I'm afraid to tell my husband we "need" to make a hopefully profitable trip to our not so local IKEA. But first up, another trip to Wallyworld to buy more spray paint.

    By the way, never be ashamed to dig through people's curb trash...it makes good blog material...I mean decor. ;)

  23. I love floating shelves; they just look so clean! And your bottles! Lordy, those bottles.


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