Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh-la-la Picture Shelves!

What do you do when the nearest Ikea is 313 miles away from where you live?

Ask your dear old Mom to pick up a few things from your Ikea shopping list for you before your parents drive out to visit, that's what.

So I was super-stoked when I saw the items that they ever-so-nicely bought and traveled all the way out here with from up close. 'Cause when you're picking out big-ticket items off a computer monitor you never really know, ya know? And it's not like I could just drive down the street and return the stuff. I'm usually a I-need-to-see-this-in-person-before-I-know-it'll-work-and-if-it-doesn't-I-can-at-least-return-it-to-the-store kinda person, so I was silently hoping and crossing my fingers that the things I asked my Mom to pickup for us was everything I was hoping they would be.

I was wrong.

They were MORE.

Guess what I had in mind?

Picture ledge shelf things (I'm totally a master of words, huh?).

I had long be debating on what to put on the blank wall behind our dining set. We already had a mirror up, so we couldn't do another one, and we didn't really have any big pictures or huge artwork that I'd like to stare at as I was eating every morning/noon/night. All. The. Time.

So? Shelves.

I LOVE shelves. Okay, so I don't really like dusting them (who likes to dust, anyways?), but I love the versatility of shelves and being able to change out the decor whenever I wanted. With whatever I wanted. Pictures, knick-knacks, heck, I could even throw some glasses or dishes on there if I wanted! So the shelves were PERFECT.

They even have a little lip on them to make sure nothing tumbles off.

First, we eyeballed and measured exactly where we wanted them to go by marking the wall with some painter's tape (which we ran out of and had to resort to regular masking tape).

To hang them, we studied the instruction pictures (There were no words! Are all Ikea products like that?), then measured for studs in the wall to make sure they'd be super-sturdy, marked out where the screws would go, picked up some sturdy hardware, and hung them. Easy peasy. I wish all home improvement was that easy!

But the hard part? Decorating them. I swear I spent an hour or two running around the house looking for the perfect things to put on there. I wanted it to have a harvest/fall neutral kind of vibe, but yet work with the rest of the house - hence the slightly tropical leaf pictures.

To decorate the shelves, first I gathered possible decor items from around the house together, usually keeping to a common theme of natural textures or white/light colored items. Things like candles, coffee mugs, tealight lanterns, and glass vases with natural fillers were the bulk of my possible decor findings. Then I added/subtracted each item to/from the shelf until I was satisfied with the arrangement.

I snatched a few glass display items that I had stored up in decor cabinet, poured in some coffee beans, inserted a candle, and wah-la! Instant, charming, and free decorations. And let me tell you - they smell AMAZING.

And our cheap-but-frustrating-fake-coral decor even made the "shelf cut" (check out the how-to here).

All in all the shelves really add alot to this previously barren dining, dining area. And the best part? I can change it up whenever I want! Gotta love how versatile shelves are.

And because everyone loves a good before and after, let's go wayyyy (or maybe just 1.5 years ago) back, to what the dining room looked like when we bought our house:

And today:

Ahh, much better. Gotta love DIY.

So what do you think? Major improvement? Or how about Ikea? How far have you ever gone to get your Ikea fix?
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  1. Beautiful! The shelves look amazing, and really bring everything together without looking busy or boring. That after dining "area" doesn't look a bit like the before one. Yay! And so happy that the trip from hell was well worth it. I will even go so far as to offer to do it again.....when the memory of that place has faded, that is. =)

  2. Those LACK shelves really look great and they are easy to install and yes that's how all Ikea instructions seem to be. I like the guy w/ the phone in his hand and the big ?. lol!! They turned out great! Love how you accessorized them too. It'll be nice to keep them changing with the seasons or just your moods. I have two Ikeas within 40 minutes of my house, don't hate me.

  3. I have a whole lotta furniture and accessories imported directly from Sweden, and yep, all the instructions have been like that, even the dining table. I'm not sure how you're living without an IKEA!

    Nice choice on the shelves, they look great there, and you did a lovely job shopping the house!

  4. These look wonderful! And do I recognize those prints? They look like they are from YHL's old shop.

  5. Thanks for dropping in, everyone!

    I must say, it was so odd to open up the instructions and see not one single word! We managed to get them hung, though... somehow. :)

    And yes, I'm totally envious of you guys who live close to Ikea! We've been scraping by so far with Target, where we've even spotted a few Ikea knockoffs (LACK sidetables and dining tables).

    @Sarah - I knew someone would mention the YHL prints look-alikes! :) But no... they're not from YHL's shop, although I will admit falling in love with the subtle plant silhouettes thanks to YHL. I whipped those babies up on the computer and printed them out. Cost? Free. :)

    Thanks for droppin' in!

  6. Okay, first of all, I can't even believe that is the same room before and after!! Amazing.

    Second of all, I LOVE the shelves and your "natural" decor theme! I've been wanting to do something exactly like that on the wall above our piano, but haven't found the right shelves yet. I agree; ledge shelves are the way to go because it's so easy to switch out the decor when you get tired of it!

    Third, there is no IKEA anywhere around me either. I've never even set foot in one. :( I also heard their shipping is expensive when you buy online, so it was really nice that your parents could get your shelves for you!

  7. Amanda -

    Thanks! We really love the new shelves - they're perfect there!

    We'll be the Ikea-less Blogging Buddies, then! :) And yes - their shipping is expensive - I checked it out before I asked my parents to pick up some stuff for us. We're so appreciative that they saved us oodles of moolah in shipping costs!

    Thanks for dropping by,

  8. Wow, that is quite a before and after! It looks so great.

  9. Be-a-u-tiful! Totally love the shelves. And you did an awesome job filling them up! I can never figure out what to put on shelves. Great work!

  10. Love the shelves. They really make the room look so nice. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love how the shelves look there. Great choice! And you did a wonderful job accessorizing them.
    I have never been to Ikea. I had never even heard of them until a couple years ago, but I would really love to go! Our nearest store is 3 hours away, and we plan on making the long trek out there to get butcher block counter top for our kitchen this spring. I think it will definitely be worth the drive!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend

  12. Oh, I love it! Ikea is my FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD. Seriously. I love your decorations--and you found them at home? Great taste!

    Hope you can join my giveaway going on now!


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