My $20 Mantle/Bookshelf Update

I love Christmas decorations, and I really dis-like taking them down in January. The house always looks a little sad and bare when the decs come down. I decided to use the occasion to spruce up my den a little! I have these wonderful built-in bookshelves on either side of our fireplace, and I have been using them to store…well, books. Very plain and boring, but functional! After a little over a year in our “new” home, I decided to tackle the bookshelves. My mantle needed help, too.


This is what the mantle and bookshelves looked like after the Christmas decs came down:

Bookshelves before


I headed to Pinterest and searched both, “mantle styling” and “bookshelf styling.” Lots of ideas there! I didn’t spend a penny, just took books down, moved things in from other rooms, arranged, and re-arranged. I put the DVDs and CDs on the bottom shelves in baskets that weren’t being used well in another room.

This was my first attempt, using only what I had in my house:


Bookshelves first try

I thought this was a HUGE improvement, but the look was much darker than I wanted. We have LOTS of books, and for the most part, their covers are very dark. I knew I wanted more white on the shelves, and Linda over at Mulberry House agreed that the shelves looked a bit cluttered.

While I was at Mulberry House, I picked up a set of rooster book ends ($12) and a white pitcher ($8). I especially l.o.v.e the roster book ends!!!  Here they are…




So, I took down more books, added my white Mulberry House finds, and moved in a few more white pieces from around the house. My goal is to eventually add white shutters to either side of the mirror on the mantle and re-arrange it a bit more. I also need to move the mirror up the wall a little. Here’s how the mantle looks for now…




And here are the bookshelves…


Final bookshelves


So, there you have my $20 mantle/bookshelf update! I’m loving it!!




  1. Amy Adkins says:

    Looks great Andria! Amazing what you accomplished just “shopping” around your house. The bookshelves are such a nice feature in the room.

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