My custom bookshelves – Part 3 (Finally done, well almost)

It’s been a long time since my last post on my custom bookshelves. However I can finally say we are finished (well almost). For previous post see:
Part 1
Part 2

The reason it has taken so long is that we’ve had a hiccup with the delivery of the marble. And painting with milk paint took longer than it should off. To cut the story short, our marble did not fit when it arrived. Unfortunately for me, the office sent the carpenters to deliver the marble. The carpenters did not have the tools to trim the marble and hence I had to wait till the next week after before the masonry guys can come. Learning? Ensure they send the masonry guys in the first place.

All things said, here they are. Took MANY weekends, however the finished product is all worth it. For comparison, I have pasted a photo of the original furnishing from the previous owner.  Shows the impact that styling can make.

Before - Previous owner's furnishing. Burgundy creates a "dated" look. Floor and fireplace both had burgundy/red tones.

After - custom bookshelves in Porter's Milk paint (corn flour and Sableaux). Carrara Marble benchtop

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Tips of why and how it looks good

Spoke to a friend in regards to photography the other day and he asked whether I have ever analysed any of my photos to determine why it looks good? I am more of a intuition/gut feel type of person. I can tell whether something looks however never bothered to think about “why”. So here’s a try. Let’s apply this theory to my cabinets. Why do they look good?

  1. Ensure your shelves are at least 30mm thick. It doesn’t only look good but is more durable (aka will not bend overtime from the weight).
  2. Everyone paints their cabinet “white”. It’s safe and neutral colour however can get boring as everyone does it? In this case I painted the inner sections a darker colour. This not only provides contrast but highlights objects you place in them.
  3. Styling the bookshelf – A bookshelf does not mean all you put in them are books. Consider mixing other decorative items. Also, play around with your books. They don’t all have to be vertically placed.
  4. Hardware makes a huge difference! Did you notice that I opted for the traditional hinges? i.e. they are visible. I think it’s the small details that makes the difference. I splurged a little and opted for the French made Brionne knobs and hinges from Mother of Pearl for a French Provincial look.
  5. Milk paint enabled me to mix the old with the new. For more on milk paint click here.
  6. I kept the shelves simple. As the ceiling was already intricate I did not want the shelves to compete with the ceilings. The cabinet doors also matched the doors in the rest of the house which is simple (90 degree) without the modern gradient you often see.
  7. Cabinet bench height – A traditional kitchen bench is 900mm and desk is 730mm.  Your selected bench height depends on how you will use the bench. As I wanted the option to place my port / wine decanter on the bench with miscellaneous stuff, I opted to go in between at 800mm. Please keep in mind the proportions to the rest of the shelf.
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5 thoughts on “My custom bookshelves – Part 3 (Finally done, well almost)

  1. Pingback: My custom Bookshelves – Part 2 | Pingheng 平衡

  2. Wow your cabinetry looks great. Awesome job! I was hoping you could contact me offline as i would love to get some more details.

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