We’ve learned that $99 bookshelves from Crate and Barrel will only take you so far in life.  The same shallow shelves, in expresso stain, that stored Tom’s art history books and my fiction since 1998 could not take on the added stress of Lucy’s language books or the resource volumes Tommy needed to do his homework.  The result: crammed shelves in an outdated finish that looked tired on so many levels.

Knowing that I did not want to buy another retail shelving solution, I turned to Houzz for inspiration.  We had a wall to dedicate to a serious built-in, and I was looking for something clean and modern. Inspiration found, I searched for a reputable carpenter and started the process. After seeing their trucks at homes across our neighborhood, we settled on Round-Tuit and were blown away by the result.  The carpenter assigned to our project has a long track record of stunning installations–here and in Spain, so we got a truly seasoned professional who took a photo of our Houzz inspiration and sketched it out immediately on a spare piece of wood.

Once the unit was installed and painted white, the plan was to display books in a color-coordinated way.  We had visited a historic home in Atlanta last summer and the bookshelves with books in color order were stunning!  Our new built-in also featured cabinets, so all the crazy that had typified our exposed shelves was history.  The language books neatly arrayed and photo albums chronologically arranged, our cabinets are not only gorgeous, they are functional.  Finally, with the extra cabinet space in the family room, Lucy and Tommy emptied their closets of all board games.  They each have more flexibility in their rooms and now Uno and Monopoly are easily accessible when the mood strikes!

Happy with so much white space, the plan is to only add a few decorative items to the shelves. Of course, as a die-hard Alabama Crimson Tide football fan, I could not resist the Jonathan Adler elephant.

This Type A personality is so much happier!  Thank you, Houzz and 45 Brighton Avenue for the inspiration!