FROM HAVOC TO HARMONY

For years I’ve lain in bed studying the right corner of my bedroom. The mini alcove proved impossible to furnish, not for lack of trying though.

For nearly a decade a redundant large bookcase lurched out of the gap, encroaching into the room, looming over. It became an overbearing presence in the harmonious room.

Earlier a small hanging shelf fitted easily between the chimney breast and the wall, yet with only two shelves there was still the problem with the wasted space beneath. A small antique wooden box moved in for a while before becoming recalled for other purposes in the neighbouring room. Furniture seems to be itinerant in my house … restless, always on the move.

Enough is enough and one day I decided to take charge! A yearning cried out to be fulfilled, my vision for the corner, quietly resting in my mind longed for existence. It was time!

It never fails to astound me how one small plan leads to so much upheaval in a house! As I sketched my very rough outline for a fitted bookcase, my husband and I decided to invest in a new bed at the same time! And, oh yes, didn’t the paint need freshening up?!

By this time you might have realised there are a lot of books in my house … many of which needed to be moved for the project. The dining table and chairs moved into the living room (see what I mean about restless furniture!) With a heave and ho, with muttering galore, with logistics reminiscent of a battle plan we set forth!

We have a dog-legged staircase and on the middle landing are two beautiful bookcases both filled to the brim with books. Before any big furniture could go down and up these needed to be moved to the dining room. Gosh, did we add to the daily step count with these books alone! Over a hundred Encyclopaedia Britannica books moved down along with an old bible from my husband’s family as well as an abundance of fiction novels.

As the leather-bound Encyclopaedia Britannica books sprawled across the floor, their numbers seemed insurmountable as they lay in unread heaps. With thoughts to decluttering it was decided to sell them all … thank goodness for eBay and a lovely chap bought them and came to collect them the day after the auction ended. I bade the collection a fond farewell but no regrets and in the process greeted the extra space for other books!

Next to join the already burgeoning ad hoc library in the dining room (why does this post remind me of the game of Cluedo!), all the books from my old-fashioned bookcase and desk came downstairs. I cradled my children’s books in my arms, hello Heidi, ahh, the Children on the Oregon trail, there you are gold-embossed Ivanhoe!

Next step was bed removal and I’m always happy when one can donate to charity and the British Heart Foundation were only too happy to pick this up, along with the old bookcase! At last freedom … the painting soon got underway, the new bed was chosen and I’d found a carpenter for the bookcase.

A skilled craftsman, he immediately ‘got’ my vision for the corner, shared my enthusiasm for the design, adding his own additions to blend with existing old-fashioned bookcase and desk! I was skittish with excitement as I received the sketches! Perfect!

Four weeks later, the room had been reassembled and I am overjoyed with the result. The bed is a haven of comfort, I’m sleeping the cosy slumber from childhood, the corner bookshelf is a delight to see. Just as I imagined, sitting snugly into the gap, bringing light and warmth into the room!

Next came the most joyful of chores … arranging the books across the bookshelves in all the rooms of my home! Uprooting books from my study, the living room to create a cherished cohesion that I’d lost during numerous moves. I mulled over the location of books, their groupings. Where the Encyclopaedia Britannica books had resided I’ve now put my reportage and journalism books, memoirs and biographies! Already I’m finding my time going downstairs has exponentially lengthened as I take a halfway break, pick up a book, glancing through it. I’m having a wonderful time revisiting my old friends!

Unread books are safely stacked in the new bedroom bookcase along with inspirational books, poetry books ready for a perchance read are behind the glass doors, fiction books are scattered with my unusual known-only-to-me organisational skill! Ask me for a book, if I have it, I can find it!

The four weeks of havoc at home was more than worth the chaos, and I’m overjoyed with the peaceful harmony in the new bedroom with its enchanting bookcase.

138 thoughts on “FROM HAVOC TO HARMONY

  1. maryannniemczura says:

    Kudos to you and your husband, Annika. This was a monumental undertaking to say the very least. Our downsizing includes lots of German books. Fortunately, a new German teacher and former student came to carry off about 12 boxes over his December holidays. I am a big fan of built-in shelves which my father installed in our Sturbridge, MA and in our Pueblo, CO homes. They don’t take up floor space. You are brave to have started this project and finished it! Once winter is over in our neck of the woods, we will move belongs and toss those we no longer want. We donate many items to charity which is also time consuming as you know. The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight! oxox

  2. Julie Holmes, author says:

    Oooh, love that custom bookshelf! I would love to display my books, all of them, because I love looking at books, but there’s this thing called lack of space 😀 Maybe I can get hubs to build a custom shelf for me 😀 😀

  3. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    Oh wow, what a transformation! Joys of decluttering are priceless, and one can certainly get carried away. 😀 Congrats, Annika. It’s not easy to let go of books, but it’s absolutely worth it to let go of some, from time to time. I can feel a sense of calm by just looking at your new and enchanting bookcase. 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Khaya, I’m touched by your joy! 😀 You’re right the transformation has been amazing, the new room instils harmony within me as soon as I enter – just what I’d dreamed of! I think I’ve unleashed the decluttering being within me as I’m ‘weeding’ out more books to give to charity – but it gives one a lift and sense of satisfaction! It’s great to be able to see all the books on the bookcases and not have them stacked double any more and at the same time becoming reacquainted with my beloved books!

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Wishing you a lovely week, my friend! Happy Writing! xx

  4. throughrosetintedglasses54 says:

    That bookcase is really creative Annika, what a talented hubby you have. I totally understand the ‘moving furniture syndrome’, its something I have always had to do to lift myself out of the duldrums at times. Its amazing how a small change can affect our mood and give us a new skip in our step. Hope you enjoy your new room as you admire all your work.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Alison, you’re right about redoing a room can be a lift to the spirits and I hope your changes give you lots of joy for a long time. This time of year it is easy to fall into the doldrums and hence partly the reason for this project. My husband and I moved all the books, furniture and painted the room. The bookcase was built and put in place by a gifted craftsman who is the third generation to work within carpentry.

      I’m loving the new look to the room … and still having fun arranging the last of the books!

      Wishing you a great weekend, may it be one of no storms! Xx 😀🌺

  5. Miriam says:

    How absolutely wonderful. I can feel the change of energy in your home through your words Annika. Isn’t it amazing how the movement of furniture, the addition of a great looking bookcase and the culling of items to make room for newer more relevant loves, aka your much loved books, can uplift us. Happy days! Enjoy it all my friend. xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Miriam, bless you for your wonderful comment! 😀 I love that you can sense the change of energy in the house through the post … it has meant a lot to me and I agree, I never fail to be suprised how relative minor changes can affect the atmosphere of a whole house. The bookcase is such a joy for me and yeah, the books are closer than ever! I’ve also ended up moving ornaments around the house and see those with fresh eyes too … lifting my spirits anew! Hugs xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, Radhika! 😀 The bookcase is a pure delight and I love the corner now! The books are so precious to me, and i is a joy to revisit them as I’m rearranging all the book shelves around the house – this is not a job to rush! Yes, I realise I was lucky to sell the encyclopaedias and the guy who bought them fell for them straight away which is good to know! Hugs xx❤️

  6. michnavs says:

    Its such a joy to see books Anika…and i am even ecstatic to see how you transformed the area….i might as well take your trick too of giving/donating books we dont need anymore. Like you we have massive sets of encyclopedia too.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mich, I say go for it! 😀 If you have books you think you could give away, including encyclopaedia sets, people are very appreciative … and in the process you free up space for more books! This is makeover is something I’ve been pondering over for a year or two and wish I’d started earlier! All perfect now though and the difference to the room is incredible… the cosiest corner in the home! Happy Sorting & Reading! 😀

  7. Clare Pooley says:

    I am chuckling at this job that began as a need to change a bookcase and ended in a total redecoration of a room, a new fitted set of shelves, a new bed as well as a major furniture change and a re-arrange of all your books! We have a new bed but I am finding it uncomfortable, though my husband loves it. Ah, well!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Clare, first I do hope your new bed becomes more comfortable… it is miserable if a place one spends so much time is not relaxing and cosy. Is there a chance you can change the matrress? With our new bed we have a month to make our minds up. My husband (like so many men!) can sleep anywhere so it’s more a matter of how I find it. Just perfect so far!

      Oh, the laughs and hysterics we’ve had with the upheaval of this small job! 😀😀 You are right, those jobs which seem so easy quickly become tricky and convoluted … luckily we both have a sense of humour and I love project managing! I’m sure I did hear groans from the furniture as yet again they were shifted back and forth across the house!

      • Clare Pooley says:

        Thanks, Annika. I’m afraid it’s too late to change the mattress and we bought it from a company that doesn’t replace items. I don’t sleep well because of my arthritis anyway and despite Richard buying a mattress topper it’s still uncomfortable 😦 I will get used to it, I hope xx

  8. anotetohuguette says:

    What a gorgeous bookcase! When my father passed away we inherited his two bedside tables that have both a deep drawer and open shelf area…what a joy it is to put precious books there, each time I see my small stack (I’ve been decluttering!), it makes me smile. We also finally found spots for some of Dad’s books on other shelves in our apartment and it feels good…

    • Annika Perry says:

      Kim, I’m touched and can understand how your father’s bedside tables are a connection to him, that gives your spirits a lift as you see your precious books stacked there. It is special that his books are intermingled with your own, surrounded by memories and love. I think decluttering is all well and good but some things do matter, carry their own intrinsic and spiritual value, holding our memories within them. Thank you so much for sharing here. hugs xx

  9. D. Wallace Peach says:

    Perfect, Annika. I love those built-in bookcases; they’re so functional and aesthetically pleasing. And they stay where they are! I’m glad you got rid of the encyclopedias. With the internet, they’re just not necessary, and they do take up tons of space that you can fill with….books! Ha ha. Thanks for sharing your project and enjoy your new bedroom! Sounds like a great place to read. ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      😀😀 Diana, you got it in one! 😀 I needed the space for extra books where the 106 encyclopedias stood! Being practical it was years since anyone looked at them and they were rather dark! A lovely selection of bright-spined books now adorn the landing space!

      Having commisioned the in-built bookcase I hadn’t realised how much I would like it and that it was here to stay! Rather silly of me, but now I really won’t want to move!😀

      Oh, the bedroom is heavenly – full sunshine in the morning, so soothing in wall colours. A perfect place to relax and read! I feel very luck in life! hugs xx ❤️

  10. Book Club Mom says:

    Oh I want that so much! What a beautiful bookcase, Annika. It looks great tucked in there. I love how it’s flush with the wall. And that color blue on the wall is so nice. Congratulations on finishing your updating project. And happy re-reading all the books you have rediscovered!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Barbara, do you think anyone would notice if I disappeared for a long time to just read the books again?! 😀 They were all so inviting, calling out to me! I’m glad you like the bookcase and I couldn’t believe that my rough idea worked so perfectly and I love how it is flush to the wall. Just perfect! I’m still walking up to the bookcase, to admire it, stroke a shelf or two, last night picking out a book from my unread stack to read! 😀

  11. debrapurdykong says:

    Your bookcases are absolutely beautiful! We’ll be downsizing in about 5 years and I’m going to pay far more attention to the bookcases I want to create than I have in the past. You’ve given me some inspirational ideas. Thank you!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Debra, I’m glad if my post has helped give you some ideas to your downsizing in five years time! 😀 Over the years I’ve had to give away a lot of books (my husband and I both had our own places when we met and LOTS of books between us!) It can be challenging yet at the same time rewarding … makes one look at which books really are special, have that emotional energy attached to them. Good luck with your future downsizing and have fun making plans for bookcases!

      • debrapurdykong says:

        Thank you, Annika! Two years ago, I gave away ten boxes of books, and have tried not to buy too many since then, but hey, I’m a book person, so….but yes, I’m really going to have to decide which are really special to me.

  12. Erica/Erika says:

    Hi Annika, My husband loves moving things around and I don’t. You made me smile on how one small plan leads to upheaval. I like how you use the term “we” throughout your story. A family project can be fun. Wow, retro and memories on the Encyclopaedia Britannica. My Father made certain we had this Encyclopaedia and I recall using it for research for school.

    Oh my goodness, Annika. You mention Heidi. Heidi was my first book gift and my family knows I still have and treasure my original copy. I don’t know how many times I read it as a child.

    You remind me of the concept of Feng Shui. As soon as I read “haven of comfort” and “peaceful harmony” I began reconsidering how I don’t like change and moving things around. I am in awe as to how this was only a four week project.

    You may be just the spark I need to create some new Feng Shui around here.🙂

    Your results look amazing! 💕

    • Annika Perry says:

      Erica, bless! How wonderful that we both have our original Heidi books – I too read mine endlessly.😀 It is red with gold edging and the prettiest of pictures! Books so dear to one are precious beyond words! I also grew up with encyclopedias and loved to just browse through them, I must say it was fun owning the 106 EB books but they were a bit too much! I’m happy they found an enthusiastic collector to house them all.

      Ahh … I love how you mention feng shui – it is not something I’ve ever thought about but ever since young I’ve had a room that was harmonious, light and peaceful. A sanctuary where I would retreat with a book or two. I am so happy if my post inspires you to make changes in your own house. Or maybe it just doesn’t need any! Oh, my husband is now quite used to my small plans morphing into general upheaval but a project like this is not too often! We enjoy working on the projects together which if fun! The bed had served as a trampoline when my son was younger so needed replacing and that corner just kept glaring at me! I was glad that it was just four weeks … it was tight but it worked perfectly. I think if one keeps the end goal in sight it helps a lot (and I did retreat to my mother’s for a few nights here and there!)

      Wishing you lots of enjoyment when you come to make changes in your own home, Erica! Maybe you will even post about them! hugs xx ❤️

      • Erica/Erika says:

        Annika, I don’t want to take up much room on your blog site and I think you can delete after you have seen/read. I feel compelled to send you photo of my first and favourite book. I had photo in a WP file since I wrote about books approximately one year ago. For some reason, I feel we are on a book/writing/sharing joy wavelength. Okay to delete.xx❤️

        • Annika Perry says:

          Erica, there is no way I’m deleting this!! I love how you felt compelled to share this cover of Heidi … it is adorable! I bet you took a short break to read the book whilst taking the photo! Thank you so much for sharing! 😀❤️ I’m smiling at the wavelenght name – sounds just right! xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you, Ann … the new bookcase was an even better solution than I had hoped … we measured it to fit normal paperbacks with ease and I love the breaks between the shelves for ornaments. Oh, what is one to do with so many books!?😀 How do you solve this positive/negative dilemma in your home? A library would be ideal if there were enough rooms … and we mulled over the idea (for a few minutes only!) of taking out the dining table and creating a dedicated place for books!

      • Ann Coleman says:

        We just have a lot of bookshelves in our house! But I do have a rule that helps me from getting completely overwhelmed with books: I only keep the books I love, and the ones I would happily read again. A book that I read and think, “that was okay,” is given away. That helps, because our house isn’t very big. If I could have a library in my home, believe me, I would!!!

        • Annika Perry says:

          Ann, I’ve just started adopting that rule as well … although a few of the okay books talked their way into staying for now! 😀 It is amazing how many books are special and loved though!

  13. Lori says:

    How exciting. How nice that you were able to get someone to build the exact vision you had for that corner. When things are changed around and redone, it feels like a new house. Sounds like the present harmony was worth the havoc.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Exactly, Lori! 😀 The joy of moving house without the actual hassle of doing so! The bedroom feels wonderfully new and different — definitely worth all the havoc (though I felt to the contrary some moments here and there during the past four weeks!) The bookcase turned out so much better than I’d ever imagined and it looks like it’s always been snugly tucked into the corner. Exciting times indeed … it’s good to relax a bit and enjoy the peace and harmony of the bedroom and its books!

  14. Curt Mekemson says:

    Few things are more fun than working with books, Annika. I am right there with you. Every room in our house gets its share. Even the guest room, where we have chosen books we think the guests might like. And you still had a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I was given one as a child for Christmas. Later, I leaned that it had come from my great uncle, Edison Marshall, who was a very successful writer starting in the 1920s and extending up through the 1950s. It disappeared ever so long ago. 🙂 –Curt

    • Annika Perry says:

      Curt, what a great idea to leave books in the guest room for visitors to enjoy … I imagine there is a variety of genres and subjects! One room not ideal for books is the bathroom I found out when many of them suffered from the steam. I am not at all surprised that books feature in your home and I feel a house without them is missing some soul.

      Wow! How interesting to learn about your great uncle? Did he write books? Have you read any of his work? Sounds like there should be a biography about him … or one needs to be written!

      Have you ever been interested in investing in another set of Encyclopedia Britannica, or is it best to keep the memories of that set secured within your heart?

      • Curt Mekemson says:

        We had an earlier EB from Edison Marshall as well, Annika. It was from the early 20s. In the map section he had traced in routes of where he had traveled around the world doing research for books (mainly historical fiction). It was one of the early influences that encouraged me to wander.
        I’ve read most of his books. 11 of them were turned into movies starting with silent movies in the 20s going all the way up to the 50s. The last one was ‘The Vikings’ starring Kirk Douglas. –Curt

  15. Jacqui Murray says:

    I love when a room comes together. I don’t think you’ll need any more changes, Annika. Books are so decorative. I feel better just knowing I can touch them in so many rooms. I was aghast (still am) that my daughter who loves reading decorated her house with books that had their spines turned away from sight, so all you see is the white pages. Who thinks that’s a good idea???

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jacqui, I was telling someone the other day about the spines of books being turned away from sight and we were both equally surprised/shocked! I knew I had heard it here on WP but didn’t realise it was your daughter. Hasn’t she changed her mind yet? How can she find any books she wants? I do agree that books are partly a decorative feature in their room, but with spines showing! I can relate to feeling better knowing you can touch the books and also I love being able to read the books that people keep in their homes, it shows a lot about them!

      Thank you, yes I think the bedroom is now finished! 😀 My husband sighed with relief when it was over … and I don’t he’s quite ready to hear my next plan!😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Janice, thank you … the bookcase is wonderful! 😀 I agree, it is funny how one small change can become the catalyst for so many others. I now think I’ve caught the home improvement bug and have a few other projects in mind … though my husband is insisting on a bit of break! I have no idea why!! 😀

  16. watchingthedaisies says:

    The upheaval was well worth it Annika. Your new book shelf looks great. I remember the joy of leafing through those Encyclopedia Britannica in my youth. I guess the Internet has become the go to place for a lot of learning…

    • Annika Perry says:

      Brigid, it was so worth all the mess and havoc … although there a few minutes I began to question our project!😀 Just seeing the bookcase in the bedroom makes me so happy!

      How lovely that you experienced the joy of the encyclopedias as young … a fount of knowledge, learning and leafing through was always best. You never knew what adventures your finger would land on next. Giving them away was a matter of pragmatism, the text was tiny (or so it seems to me now!) and taking so much space when other shelves in the house were double-stacked! I was happy they have a good home. Personally, I use the internet a lot to research but do still like looking up information in books etc.

  17. Behind the Story says:

    It sounds like you have a good feeling for feng shui. Your new bookcase is beautiful. And I love the blue wall.

    I’m surprised you so easily found a buyer for your encyclopedias in this time when everyone looks things up on the internet. We gave away our encyclopedias a long time ago.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Nicki, I like the thought of having a sense of feng shui – if I do it’s by instinct alone as I haven’t ever studied the subject. My sister-in-law did and transformed her whole house one year!😀 I’m overjoyed with the bookcase and it’s been such a lift to the spirits this bleak winter!

      I hadn’t realised quite how lucky I was to find a buyer until reading the comments here. I think it sounds as you did well to be able to give them away … that was going to be my final option but realised that 106 books are a lot. I was pleased to see the van when the buyer pulled up – it was too many boxes for a small car!

  18. Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    What a perfect solution, Annika, fills the corner right as a fresh cupcake! Your new book case is a beauty, and I like the arrangement of books and favorite things. We’ve also been moving and redo-ing, heaving the old and unused. Now that our oldest son is in his own home, many years now and with two half-grown kids, I finally realized that his old bedroom is perfect for my own new space – now it’s a computer cubicle, writer’s nook, and artist’s studio, a musical wind chime outside the window. No excuses now for not getting anything done. Oh look, there’s a hummingbird in the garden!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Shari, you paint such a beautiful picture of your new work space … the wind chime and hummingbird sound magical and whimsical at the same time! Enjoy these before settling down for the serious business of work!😀 There are advantages of the children moving away from home after all! I must admit, part of the reason for not doing the bedroom earlier was we needed my son’s room for storage and his bed for me! With him away at university this was the perfect opportunity to renew the bedroom! I love your expression that the new bookcase ‘fills the corner right as a fresh cupcake!’ It was a lot of fun to place the knick-knacks and books on the shelves – some of my teddies even made an appearance after many years stuffed away in a cupboard!

  19. Jennie says:

    How wonderful! That alcove became a bookcase that didn’t overtake the room. Brilliant! I love how everything looks, Annika. You must feel at peace with you books. 🙂 I must read Children on the Oregon Trail!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jennie, for many years The Children on the Oregan Trail was my all-time favourite book and I read it so many times it’s almost falling apart. It’s a bit too grown-up for your young pupils but a terrific read for you. Yes, I do love my books and it means a lot to me to have those children’s books close to me!😀

      It is fantastic how the alcove has been transformed and my one concern was also that the bookcase might take over the room. No fear … all scaled to proportion and with the light touch of ornaments in between the books makes sure it isn’t too ‘heavy-looking’.

  20. insearchofitall says:

    The new bookcase is beautiful and obviously done by a master craftsman. You have accomplished what my daughter calls fluffing the Chi. I have 6 bookcases left after donating almost that many. My daughter has 3 in her room alone. Once you start a project like that, everything is affected and you end up with a feeling of freshness in your home. Since I bought this place almost 7 years ago, we have fluffed a LOT of Chi. It always feels better and I’m always well exercised when it’s done. It’s worth the task, I’m certain.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Marlene, I LOVE your and your daughter’s phrase “fluffing the Chi”! 😀 It’s wonderful and captures the essence of the room makeover perfectly! The freshness is indeed so welcoming and even my old-fashioned desk and bookcase got an extra super-clean; it was as if I could hear a sigh of contentment. 😀 I imagine your whole home is equally contented and nurtured. It must have been tough removing the bookcases and all those books from your home yet hope you were quickly enjoying the newly fluffed Chi of your surroundings!

      The craftsman is very skilled and proud of the fact that he is the third generation of carpenters within his family. He learnt alongside his father as a young lad before starting in the trade properly. Having worked for many years within the timber trade he and I had a great time discussing timber from around the world.

  21. Clanmother says:

    I LOVE your bookcase – it is a tribute to your love of reading and writing. It is also a brilliant way of bringing a sense of peace Into your home. Your title from havoc to harmony reminds us that in the midst of chaos, there opportunity to create.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Rebecca, I’m touched how you see deeper philosophical elements within my post, my creation of a renewed bedroom! 😀 With a room slightly out of kilter, I longed to bring harmony – one just forgets the havoc this can create along the way! Yeah! I’m so happy you also like the bookcase; it is better than I ever imagined possible!

  22. olganm says:

    Fabulous, Anita. It’s very difficult these days to get rid of big books, let aside selling them (people no longer have the space), and finding the right place to accommodate all of our treasures is tricky. It’s a gorgeous shelf and your bedroom sounds perfect now. I’m sure the four weeks’ disruption were well-worth it!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you, Olga. I was concerned that the encyclopedias wouldn’t find a new home and consider myself lucky that they were bought quickly by someone who was delighted have them! Reading the comments here I realise that it is extremely difficult to sell or give away such a large collection.

      The bedroom is now the haven of harmony and serenity and I am overjoyed with the final bookcase. I keep finding a book or two to add, an ornament here and there finds its way onto a shelf!😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jacquie, thank you! 😀 When I look at the bookcase now, I feel as if it has always been there, the fit is so snug and perfect. As for the colour, that is all down to my mother and her eye for colours! It buzzes with serenity and tranquillity!

  23. balroop2013 says:

    Thanks for a peek into your bedroom Annika, I am reminded of the time I had to donate all my books though they looked so beautiful in the special bookcases I had got made in my house but I kept telling myself, with tears in my eyes…they have served their purpose, they have been read, it’s time to let go and bask in the new glory being offered by life. 🙂 Relocation is bitter-sweet!
    Your story of reorganizing your room is as beautiful as your bookshelf. Happy reading dear friend.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Balroop, I feel sad about you having to give away your beautiful and precious books! 😔 It is so hard to make that decision. I’ve given away quite a lot of books and it’s tough … they hold close emotional memories for us. Were your bookcases also in-built so you couldn’t take them with you when you moved? Yes, indeed, relocation is bitter-sweet, a real upheaval.

      I’m glad you enjoyed a peek into my bedroom, now especially warm and welcoming. It was fun to share about the project. Wishing you happy reading too, Balroop – a constant gift in life! ❤️

  24. robbiesinspiration says:

    This book shelf is lovely, Annika. I have a lot of books too. We now have 2 000 as I did a huge clear out a year ago. I have to confess I can find all of mine too as they are all kept by author in alphabetical order. Except for the history, science and geography books which have their own sections. OCD or what?

    • Annika Perry says:

      Robbie, you have 2,000 books after the clear-out?!😀 Was that hard to get rid of so many books?

      Oh, not OCD at all, just organised and I assume the fiction novels are all alphabetical and the other subjects in alphabetical order within their group? At one stage when I was living on my own and before a family, I had all my books entered on a database … then life with its full and wonderful force hit me and I was just happy to find the time to still read!

      • robbiesinspiration says:

        We had 3 000. Most of the 1 000 books I got rid of where children’s books. All sorts of series like Goosebumps and Beast Quest, that my boys have outgrown now. I gave a lot of them to Michael’s old school and the rest to charity. They will be used and enjoyed. I am highly organised, but otherwise you can’t find the books when you want them and I often refer to a children’s book when I blog and go and pull out the hardcopy book.

  25. Mary Smith says:

    What a project! I did the bedroom last year and a little room next to it, which I though could become an en suite but couldn’t because of plumbing so it’s now a dressing room, so I know how much time and effort small projects around the house can take. I also keep unread books in the bedroom and some poetry books. Your new bookshelves look wonderful and I love the idea of you pausing as you go up and down the stairs to browse what’s in the bookcases there. Great you found a buyer for the encyclopedias. I’ll suggest a friend tries eBay as she had no luck selling hers in any of the second-hand bookshops she tried.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mary, if my encyclopedias had not sold on eBay second-hand shops was my next stop and I had some London bookshops lined up to contact. I wish your friend best of luck with selling them … good photos and a realistic price seems to be key!

      It is funny how those small jobs around the house take so much effort and cause a lot of chaos! I bet your bedroom is lovely and how wonderful to have a dressing room! I’m smiling that we both keep similar types of books in the bedroom … before I had the unread ones all over my study but now they’re happily residing together!

      The landing books I must admit lighten up the area (the encyclopedias were a block of black) so it’s so tempting to rest and read for a while! I’ve found my husband doing the same … the time to fetch something from either level has at least doubled!😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mackay, thank you so much! 😀 I was going to write about a journey to an old National Trust property but the weather was so dreadful we never got there! This home improvement journey I reckon was a lot more amusing and a joy to share here! Ahh … so glad you like the bookcase …I still can’t believe it’s real!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jan, I’m chuckling away at the old saying! 😂 How true … yet, it seems we forgot in between just how much chaos will be the result! Maybe this is a matter of self-preservation?!😀 I love the final bedroom and couldn’t be happier!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Than you so much, Neil! 😀 I love to take on the role of project manager in any work inside the house and have a very willing and able assistant a.k.a my husband! The final bedroom and bookcase is amazing and gives me so much joy!

  26. ParentingIsFunny says:

    It’s GORGEOUS! What a terrific job that person did! So obviously made to fit that spot so perfectly. I can’t help but feel sorry for your poor dining room during all of this. I’m sure once another piece of furniture was shoved into it and the humans left, the others greeted it with a sigh and, “You too, huh?” 🙂 Congrats on the happy conclusion!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Betsy, I’m laughing out loud at your comment!😂😂 So that was the sound I heard as I left the dining room, the commiserations from the furniture to the next entrant! I’m sure there is a book here!😀 Thank you for your great comment and congratulations … it feels amazing to have all in place, and it looks better than I ever thought possible! Phew! A hectic month over but what a joy. Now I can potter away with my books!

  27. Natalie says:

    Annika, The new bookcase looks beautiful and fits so well. It’s amazing that you were able to sell or give away what you no longer want to keep so quickly. Congrats on a project well done while having your sense of humour intact 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Natalie, a sense of humour is essential! 😀 I think at one stage my husband and I collapsed in hysterical laughter as we’d gone up and down the stairs so many times with books! I too was pleased to sell the books to a welcoming home and donate the furniture. All in good condition I would hate to have thrown them away.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Kamal, thank you so much! 😀 I’ve had years to mull over the plan for the corner and I’m just so happy to have been put in contact with a carpenter who understood exactly what I wanted and then to improve it even further! Stacking the books was a pure delight … I could take my time, savouring the books, reliving memories, stories!

  28. Mike says:

    The new bookcase looks great Annika (as does the old one). It is often the case that what appears to be a relative minor project suddenly becomes much more. Looks like it worked well in your case and I hope all your books have now found a place on your shelves.

    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mike, thank you so much and I too love how the old and new bookcase stand in perfect harmony next to each other! Oh, never again will I underestimate the havoc of a small project … but I’m overjoyed with the final result! And yes, most of the books are now in place, although I can see a few on the move again! 😀 📖

    • Annika Perry says:

      Ahhh … thank you so much, Lavinia … I am more happy with the final result than I ever expected. My heart gives a cheer of joy every time I enter the bedroom! I must admit I’ve never seen small ideas in home improvements remain small once everything is underway! 😀

  29. Ally Bean says:

    It never fails to astound me how one small plan leads to so much upheaval in a house!

    No truer words, ever. I love how you’ve transformed your shelves, but I know it was a process to do so. Good job.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Ally, knowing the impending upheaval was the reason I dragged on this project for a couple of years! Finally, the time just felt right and I had to smile how the whole room was transformed and the house in upheaval from adding a bookcase!😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jennifer, you are most welcome! 😀 How about some homebaked scones and proper English Afternoon Tea! I find I’m browsing my books a lot more now they are in different places … and putting some aside to read again! Where will I find the time?!😀 So glad you liked the old and new bookcases – I feel they are well-matched.

  30. Retirement Reflections says:

    Hi, Annika – This is such a timely post. Richard and I are currently in the midst of a small (but-becoming-larger-by-the-day) home improvement project. A few weeks back, Richard saiid he’d like us to paint a couple of rooms. Then it was decided to add new flooring….and some new lighting. I fear that his list is continuing to grow as I type this. But your new bookcase does look very inspiring….and a new bed too. The genie is definitely out of the bottle. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Donna, bless! 😀 I’m so glad if I can give you some inspiration! I must admit I was daunted before we started, mulling over the project for a while but I am overjoyed with the final result. I’m smiling at how your small home improvement project is morphing into a much larger one by the day … that happens so often! It’s also a matter of coordinating with outside contractors/deliveries etc. I wish you and Richard much fun with your decorating in between the hard work/angst/stress! I found having a couple of rooms untouched on the main part in which to retreat was a healing and relaxing break!😀

  31. Jill Weatherholt says:

    It’s kind of sad how the encyclopedia has been replaced by the internet. As a child, removing one of the many numbered volumes off of the shelf in my father’s study and scanning the pages was like taking a trip to a far away land. The new bookcase is gorgeous, Annika! Enjoy! ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jill, you paint a vivid and tender image of young you exploring the wonders of your father’s encyclopedia … they are incredible founts of knowledge, learning, adventure! The ones I had, I bought fifteen years earlier on a whim, having longed to own a set and thinking my son and I would enjoy browsing them together. I always treasured them but must admit they were not often used – for my case the print was minuscule and I had trouble reading it and then yes, the internet replaced a lot of information searching … for better or worse! I’m just happy the books found a good and welcome home. The sight of the bookcase warms my heart … Wishing you a lovely start to the week, Jill! ❤️

  32. delphini510 says:

    Annika, I thank you for this excellent morning entertainment.
    I feel it almost becomes a short story …titled ” The Wandering Furnitures”.

    Your little plan that affected the whole house in the end with books and furnitures
    moving around or in some cases, totally vanish. I bet your husband prays you won’t have another bright idea to soon.
    That said, the result is beautiful and harmonious and you needed to get those treasured
    books in order.

    I do love both book cases; the old fashioned one and the new one. So the little plan became
    A great success. Keep smiling. 🤗.

    Miriam

    • Annika Perry says:

      Miriam, heartfelt thanks for your wonderful & poetic comment that has me smiling! 😀 The whole room oozes with peace and tranquillity, the two bookcases sitting in harmony with each other, both bringing me joy, as does the whole renewed bedroom!

      Haha! 😀 You are right about my husband looking forward to a decorating break … when I mentioned a spot of colour on the guest bedroom he visibly paled. Yep, it would involve another house re-organisation to empty the room for this task. A break is probably best! 😀

      I love how you found my post entertaining, I wanted it to be just so! Talking with family and friends about the last weeks had them in laughter and hence realised many would probably enjoy this home improvement story/farce!

      Oh, I’m smitten with the title of a possible short story, ” The Wandering Furnitures” … it’s been with me since I read your comment. Who knows, one day perhaps! As they say, watch this space!

      Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, may the sun shine upon us just a little. hugs xx ❤️

  33. Anne Mehrling says:

    The new bookcase is delightful. It was a huge effort, but now everything is in order. How satisfying! John is the book-owner in our house. When we moved five years ago, he organized his books that had been crammed in his basement office. One bedroom is called the ship room, and another is the train room. Books and wall hangings are now coordinated.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Anne, I love the name for your rooms and they sound lovely. How wonderful to combine the themes of the books with wall-hangings! 😀

      You are right, my small plan became a big effort but so worth it … I’m smiling each time I go into the room and keep pausing by the new bookcase. It looks like it has always been there!

      Wishing you and your family a beautiful Sunday! xx

  34. Darlene says:

    The new bookcase looks amazing. I’m so pleased you were able to sell your set of encyclopedias. I couldn’t give mine away when we moved to Spain. A house without books is like a body without a soul. Not sure who said that but it makes sense.

    • Annika Perry says:

      “. A house without books is like a body without a soul.” Darlene, exactly and more homes than ever seem to have no books and I feel almost lost within them! I realise how much I used the books to guage a person, fascinated by their reading history!

      Do you mean you were not able to give your encyclopedias away since you couldn’t find anyone interested or that you were too emotionally attached to them?

      I love the new bookcase and every time I look at the corner now, I feel a leap of joy and surprise in my heart!😀

      • Darlene says:

        No one would take them. I tried to donate them to a seniors centre, and even a school, thinking they could use the pictures for projects. but they all said no. I had to pile them up beside the garbage, hoping someone would take them. Such a shame.

        • Annika Perry says:

          Yikes! Darlene, I feel for you. That must have been so hard to put the books out with the rubbish … it is strange how the other places had no interest in them at all. One can hope someone picked them up – these things do happen.

  35. markbierman says:

    The new bookshelf looks great! I remember those encyclopedias when I was a kid. I used flip straight for the ‘D’ (dinosaur) pages. 🙂 I guess they’re kind of obsolete with Google being the current ‘know it all.’

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mark, I’m chuckling at young you heading straight for letter “D” in the encyclopedia! I bet it soon opened at the dinasour pages by itself! 😀 I had to be pragmatic with my set of encyclopedias here … I loved the look of them but could physically not read the tiny print anymore! Colourful book covers now give extra light to the middle landing.

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