Media Cabinet Makeover {Bookshelf Styling}

Hi all!  Hope you had a great Monday!  Over the weekend, I spent some time rearranging the media cabinet in our living room.  I was getting bored with how the bookshelves were styled, thinking it had too few books and needed more color.  I’ve gotten asked before about where we purchased the cabinet, but it’s actually a built-in unit. You may remember how it’s looked for the last year.  I painted the back Jamestown Blue by Sherwin Williams when we first moved in.

The blue in the first picture isn’t a good representation, but rather a result of poor camera settings. But it’s not actually as dark as the photo below either:)  
Anyways, I think you get the idea about what the shelves looked like.  So after shopping our house for more books (brining some cookbooks out of the kitchen and into the living room- a previous faux pas for me) and buying ten used hardcover books at Half-Priced Books for just $1 each, I had much more visual interest.  I also ditched the paper covers and went solely with the books themselves.

One of the biggest differences is that I took out the shelves at the very top that were relatively empty, and filled them with books.  I also added a couple of decorative vases and boxes (already owned from Home Goods).  I like keeping the photos in the shelves because seeing them just makes me happy.  Here’s a closer peek.

In keeping our bookshelves practical, the Pottery Barn clock counts down to nap and bedtime, and the kleenex are essential for a baby’s constant runny nose.

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My favorite row of books is below.  I love the colors and two of my favorite books (Interior Wisdom and Food to Flowers) are housed there.  The Christmas book is awesome too, and I was surprised to find such a pretty patterned book (the brown links) when I took the cover off of Nate Berkus Home Rules.

And all again at a glance.  

Better, huh?   


  1. January 31, 2012 / 3:23 am

    Very pretty! It looks much cleaner yet more interesting I think. I also like your swap for the large family pictures on the sides. I think bookshelf styling is pretty tricky…you did a marvelous job!

  2. January 31, 2012 / 3:47 am

    I'm surprised you didn't throw in a few Torts, Con Law, or Property books! They are groan inducing (now, after living through it), but have pretty binding.

  3. January 31, 2012 / 4:22 am

    I also took the covers off my hardbacks. I used them on my mantle for color and visual interest, perfect. A room without books can be a room without a soul. You did a wonderful job with the styling!

  4. January 31, 2012 / 5:32 am

    Looks gorgeous. And hubby just looked over and said, "hey want to get one of those media cabinets?" So I owe you a huge thank you! 🙂

  5. January 31, 2012 / 7:00 am

    looks great. Taking those top shelves out was a great idea!

  6. caycee
    January 31, 2012 / 3:21 am

    Love it! It really looks awesome girl!

  7. Carmel @ Our Fifth House
    January 31, 2012 / 4:02 am

    I like shelves filled with books too. I almost always take the paper backs off too. Love your styling – looks great.

  8. Elsa
    January 31, 2012 / 4:02 am

    Adding those books at the top sure did make a difference. It's crazy to see those pictures of baby James…he's so big now!

  9. natasha {schue love}
    January 31, 2012 / 4:16 am

    Love the color the books bring into the cabinet! And all of the baby pictures are darling!! 🙂

  10. Courtney {a thoughtful place}
    January 31, 2012 / 4:47 am

    Oh, James . . . so little in some of those. I love the new look. I think the added books make them look fantastic. And such cute little vases {I always ditch our covers as well}

  11. January 31, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    I like it! It looks warmer and homier to me…but maybe that's because I like books? This is going to sound crazy, but I'm not sure I knew Nate Berkus had a book! And I love Nate Berkus! Guess I'll need to check out amazon!

  12. January 31, 2012 / 1:18 pm

    Much better! No one in blogland seems to use enough books on their shelving units. I love books and therefore love seeing them out!

  13. January 31, 2012 / 1:57 pm

    It looks fantastic. I love all the color the books bring to the space! Also, I must got check out Nate Berkus's book now!

  14. January 31, 2012 / 3:00 pm

    Great job, Megan! It always surprises me how much small changes can make a big impact. And now I'm heading home to look at my bookshelves and remove the jackets 🙂

  15. January 31, 2012 / 3:23 pm

    That looks fantastic!! What is your wall color?

  16. January 31, 2012 / 3:45 pm

    Great job! I reall y like how you placed everything without making it look cluttered. And I especially like the blue accent color, such a great idea!

  17. January 31, 2012 / 3:46 pm

    So much better! The top shelves especially! I love the white decorative urns!

  18. January 31, 2012 / 3:49 pm

    So much inspiration! Your styling is always so classically beautiful!

  19. January 31, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    Looks lovely! I particularly like how you took the shelves out of the top cubbies. Great colour mixes in there too!

  20. January 31, 2012 / 4:44 pm

    Gorgeous. It looks really good.

  21. Jenny @ Simcoe Street
    January 31, 2012 / 2:06 pm

    It looks fantastic! Great job 🙂

  22. Amanda
    January 31, 2012 / 2:51 pm

    It looks great Megan! love the white vases and of course all the cute pics of the kiddo.
    Hope you are doing well.

  23. Carissa @ the Fabulous Design File
    January 31, 2012 / 3:00 pm

    Wow Megan! What a difference! I thought they were pretty great before, but now they are fabulous! I constantly re-style my bookshelves too!

  24. January 31, 2012 / 9:01 pm

    Love the new look! Random question? Who did your built-in (I'm also in the Houston area)

  25. Stephanie
    January 31, 2012 / 6:01 pm

    Books are a great filler for bookshelves, you did a great job! So where did you put the mirrors 🙂

  26. February 1, 2012 / 12:18 am

    Oh yeah! So much better. By adding the books at the top/center and removing that shelf, you have added visual height. It looks great!

  27. CAS
    January 31, 2012 / 7:55 pm

    Really looks so much more inviting with the added books. I, too, removed book jackets from most of our books, & they look so much better. Most have such a rich color. Looks great!

  28. {Hi Sugarplum!}
    January 31, 2012 / 10:34 pm

    It looks great! I'm ob-sessed with shelf styling! Especially now that I have decent looking bookshelves! I love the pics too…and who's a Porshe fan? 🙂

  29. February 2, 2012 / 11:25 pm

    Looks great! Wonderful.

  30. April 24, 2012 / 1:48 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have struggled with ideas for arranging items in the shelving of our media cabinet – it's very similar to yours, only in black. Your pics have given me the courage to try to tackle it! Thanks again!

  31. April 30, 2012 / 11:10 pm

    L.O.V.E your cabinet. Now I'm inspired to makeover ours this weekend 🙂

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