Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vintage Book Collection {and a decorating fail}

Do you ever have an idea that you think is going to be really great only to get it completed (or almost) and realize: not gonna work.

Well, that happened to me last week, but I thought I would share it with you anyways just for fun.

It all started with my collection of vintage books. I have a small board on Pinterest called "library" with inspiring displays of books. I enjoy when they are randomly and haphazardly arranged.

I have quite a hefty collection and they are strewn about my house in various locations. A bunch of them have been cluttering up my dining room for the past two months since taking down my Valentine's mantel. I really wanted them out of there, so I had an idea. I was going to completely fill my corner shelf with them

So there I was...scurrying around my house finding all of my vintage books, bringing stacks and stacks of them to the living room.

I will get to the "fail" part later, but for now...here are some of my beautiful vintage books. Some are in pretty rough shape, but it doesn't bother me. In fact, I love that they have been in the hands of so many others, read and reread, tattered with age. 

The outside of these books can tell stories all their own.
I have several very old French books.
And here is one of my sets of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. These ones are pretty tattered, but I do have another set in much better condition.
I have a very large collection of art books, and some pretty old bibles.
I filled and filled and filled the center shelf and was pretty pleased with how it was turning out. It was actually coming together like I had imagined. I even filled in behind them very tightly so they wouldn't collapse inward. They seemed pretty stable and secure every time I pushed on them to make sure (I obviously didn't want to create a danger for my family!).
My husband came into the room after I had almost finished with the middle section, and was impressed. He said it definitely looked cool and interesting. But then he pointed out where this project would eventually end up in the fail pile.

The shelf underneath the books was bowing. It is quite a hefty collection indeed. Too hefty in fact. The front trim, that was original to the old door, had actually started pulling away from the side. I didn't want to ruin this lovely shelf my husband had built for me.
And, I didn't want all of these books falling on us one day if the bottom gave out. So, all of that work and now all I have to show for it are these pictures and stacks and stacks of books in my living room. Until, I think of something else to do with them that is (or invest in a bookshelf, ha).

Here is a full shot after I got the middle section done. I had hoped to fill up both the top and bottom shelves as well, but that didn't happen. I do think it would have looked pretty cool, but oh well! Live and learn.
You can see it bowing here. Yeah, not good.

But...the good news is, I did finally figure out how I wanted to finish off this shelf (it is now lined with dark brown burlap) and it is already done and decorated for spring. I can't wait to share it with you! Hopefully, early next week so be sure to come back for a visit! And be sure to follow by email or other social media to stay updated!

Don't forget to check out my latest free printable for spring as well!

Linking up with:

Till next time...
~Alice W.

30 comments :

  1. It's very pretty, even though it failed. ♡

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    1. aww thanks! :) can't wait to show you what it looks like now! I think I like it even better. But I still have to figure out something to do with all those books haha.

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  2. It was a great idea! Such a beautiful collection of books. Can't wait to see what you ended up with!

    Jeanette

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  3. definitely NOT a fail. totally cool, if only temporary!!

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  4. I just Wonder...if you filled the bottom shelf first all the way to the top, the second shelf would have the weight of the books underneath to set on. Maybe that way the second shelf would not bow in the middle...just a thought! I is a really cool idea! There must be some way to make it work:) Blessings, Cindy

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    1. I actually suggested that to my husband! But he was worried about that shelf too...haha. He built the shelf several years ago with thin plywood (guess he didn't foresee all of my crazy decorating ideas!). I think I will definitely try it somewhere else...maybe inside my empty mantel just starting on the floor?

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  5. Aww bummer! That did look really awesome!! It's a beautiful collection. At least you have some lovely pictures to remember it by though! :)

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    1. Yes, I almost didn't take pics but then my husband told me I should anyways. I am glad he did!

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  6. Hi Alice, It's a shame that it didn't work out. I'm sure you came up with another fabulous decoration though. If you would like to change that in a couple of months you could try to fill only the small bottom and top shelfs with books and put something different in the middle. Just a thought.

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    1. Yes, that is a good idea! I might try it the future. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. I totally love it Alice and just had to pin it to my old books board. What an amazing collection of old books you have collected wow!
    Love that Charles Dickens one especially! Oh and of course you had to collect Alice in Wonderland books :)
    I think I would have put a small bench or something under the shelf to support it from underneath, but it probably would't have helped?
    That vintage doorknob ~ swooooooooon!!!
    Well at least you have these wonderful photos and you inspired us with you fabulous idea!
    Wishing you a happy beginning of Spring! See you on Sunday ;-)
    xoxo~ Carola

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  8. I love the idea though! Could you start from the bottom and prop the shelves with the books underneath? Just a thought. Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!

    Alison
    Nancherrow

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    1. yes, I suggested that to my husband! he said he used too thin of plywood though and the bottom shelf probably wouldn't hold up well either. Ah well. On to my next idea!

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  9. How cool this would have looked filled to the brim with your old books!!! Even though it didn't work out exactly as planned, I know you will find another creative way to display them! I can't wait to see the spring look you gave the shelf! Have a wonderful weekend Alice!

    Melissa @ Shabby Love

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    1. Aww thanks Melissa! Yes, maybe inside my mantel? We will see...

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  10. Too bad about the books. They looked great in there! Can't wait to see what you did instead :)

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  11. Your book idea is very cool and creative! I saw something similar in a magazine "Flea Market Style" this month's issue where the books were placed very interestingly into a fire place. I guess they didn't use their fire place anymore! So don't give up on the idea just yet...too cool!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

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    1. Yes, I think I may try it inside my mantel instead :)

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  12. i LOVE that, especially how some are facing one way and the others another. can you take out the bottom books and do something to support the middle shelf down there?

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  13. Oh, I hate when that happens! It sure looked great, though! I'm sure you'll come up with someithing else just as great! :)
    Susan

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  14. No fail...looks cool! I was going to suggest the same thing about filling up the bottom shelf to support, but I see a few already did that.:) ,These blips happen to all of us sometime...love the idea!! :)

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  15. Great idea to try it inside the empty mantle Alice, I'd go for it!

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  16. Oh, too, bad! It looked so cool! x

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  17. Ahhh, a Lover of Old Books....and doorknobs also..........I knew I would love you~!♥♥
    Well, please do *not* think of this style trial as a 'fail' because these photos are now posted on *my* Pinterest board~'Library', and will be there forever. Thank you sooo much for not cutting up your books just to make a statement. It looks like you have some real Treasures there. Someday I shall take photos of mine....(sigh).
    XOXO

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Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you! Due to an increase in spam comments, I have had to enable word verification. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes. ~Alice W.