Okay I don't have a before picture, but just imagine our old built-ins were dark oak wood, and they made our family room feel so dark and dated. So the first thing we did was paint them a fresh white.
Amazing what a little paint can do isn't it? As soon as they were painted, I went straight to work accessorizing these babies! I really didn't want to spend a lot of money, as we had just finished installing hardwood floors and that was pricey.
The first items I gathered were books...both my favorite ones and some vintage thrift store ones that I snagged for just 25 cents each! Then I stacked those books and even collections of magazines in various ways to add interest. Then I turned my attention to the picture frames. These simple black and white frames came from Target! Next I added a few shells from our family vacations. After all decorating isn't just for show (okay maybe a little)...but I love decorating with items that have personal meaning and memories! See the small black frame with the shell print? That's just a dollar store frame with free Vintage Printable Art that I printed from my home computer...so simple! The small black chest I've probably had for 15 years or more. It was brown with painted flowers. I sprayed it black to contrast against the white paint.
And finally the splurge. With most of my decorating projects I always like to add one cool item that I just LOVE & gotta have. Here it's the metal Ampersand that I bought from Restoration Hardware! I love how it adds a bit of whimsy to the whole design. Okay, so that's how I decorate a bookcase...on the cheap! It's all about surrounding yourself with the things you love... family memories, a few thrifty finds, and some revamped accessories too.