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I love a good before & after and this one was an absolute blast!  My fabulous friend Melanie asked me to help spiff up her family room and I couldn’t wait to get started.  Not only is Melanie a great friend, she photographs all of my interiors, my head shots and even my family. I am always inspired by her extreme amount of creativity and use of color. But, what really surprised me the first time I visited her home…all of the black and white.  She had quite a few colorful pieces but just didn’t know what she wanted to do with them. Over the past year, we have made small changes to her home but this week we rocked it out!

The best way to bring color and pattern to a space is through accessories like pillows and personal knick knacks. But, the bookshelves in her room were screaming to be loved.

BEFORE: Even though the shelves were full of pieces, the entire bookshelf area just got lost in the room.  Melanie has quite a few pieces that are just gorgeous but they were not being showcased.


AFTER: The black and white fabric is 100% Melanie and now that we have arranged her favorite pieces, the shelves stand out and frame the fireplace perfectly.  We used Windsor Smith’s Riad fabric from Kravet….you may recognize it from HERE , HERE & HERE too.


Now let’s get down to the “how-to” part of the post. This was SUPER EASY and any diy-er can complete something like this in an afternoon.

-FIRST, you must measure the width and height of each opening. This is very important because as you know, builders are not always exact or detailed when building out shelving!  We learned this when we tried to install the second bookshelf. So…after one two hour trip to Home Depot and a quick snack we were back on track

– Head to your local Home Depot or Lowes, select the backer you need and have them cut it about 1/4″ – 1/2″ smaller on each side to allow for the fabric thickness once wrapped.  We used an 1/8″ masonite board and it was about $10 for each board.  The 1/8″ was also perfect because we were limited to a 1/2″ space between the back wall and the back of the shelves.




-Lay the fabric upside down on a smooth clean surface and make sure you have plenty of room to move around the piece.


-An electrical staple gun…with a saftey…is KEY to getting this completed.  Electrical staple guns are fast and save you from days of hand cramps. Just make sure to keep the safety on when your not using it and unplug it to re-load. We don’t need any flying staples shooting through the room!

Since this fabric was thin, I had to fold it over two times, the smallest staple I could find was 1/4″ and I didn’t want those babies going through my wood floor!




We didn’t actually attach the fabric board to the back of the bookshelves.  Once we placed the shelves, the fit was snug and kept the backer from moving around. Lazy? I like to say that it was genius on our part! We can easily remove the piece and recover it when Melanie is ready for a change!



This tray belonged to Melanie’s Grandmother and I fell in love with it…I’ve got dibs if her little girl Harper doesn’t want it!  Displaying photographs in fun frames and adding simple pops of color like this bowl really got things going on this side of the room.  Framing her children’s artwork was the next addition. They bring in tons of color and the kids can be proud to see their pieces displayed in the room!



The left side houses the television and needed to have access to the power and cable outlets. I just measured the location of the outlets on the board and cut out one large piece to expose them. I cut the fabric and wrapped it on the back, stapled it and it looks great.




Framed artwork from her husband’s collection, wine corks in a simple vase and antique books from Melanie’s family create a collected look. I love the look of the old sign layered with the modern prints and more art from the kids.  She has great books so I wanted to make sure they were on display too.


Here are a few more of the AFTER  images of the room. What do you think?  Do you love the pattern as much as we do? Now if I could only get her to photograph her own space!! My Iphone pics don’t do the room justice. THANK YOU Melanie for letting me take over you living room this week!

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  1. Quick and easy but packs a powerful punch. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve used a triple corrugated box before in the same manner… I was a renter at that time.

  2. I love everything about it, and I love Tonia’s idea about using corrugated boxes for renters. 🙂

  3. That looks fabulous!

  4. Gorgeous! Love this! I always paint the backs of my bookcases; never thought to do the fabric wrapped insert.

  5. I just cant get enough of Riad! *sigh* Its the perfect pop of both color and pattern for any room. And that green settee is just PERFECTION!!!

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