Even though we had finished our nursery makeover before Maya arrived in August, there was one project that remained on the to-do list: some bookshelves. There remained a blank wall between the doorway and the closet that was the perfect spot for some slim bookshelves (the area to the left of the closet which you can see in the pic below).

DSC_0299

When I helped design my friends’ nursery last year (check it out here), we used IKEA spice racks as bookshelves andI loved the way they came out. Easy to assemble and paint, and it’s nice to have the books facing outwards. Cute, right?

nursery-after-9

Well, I knew these would be the perfect solution for our little sliver of wall – the narrow profile was going to be just right. So I made a trip to IKEA a few weeks ago to grab four ‘Bekvam’ racks at $7 a pop, and pulled out some spray paint that I already had on hand. I started off with a layer of primer, and then did quite a few coats of a flat white. I did end up doing a light sand between coats with a fine grit paper to get the racks more smooth. They really soaked up the paint, so be ready to do quite a few thin coats (5 or 6, maybe?).
DSC_0752

The back is all ready to be mounted to the wall, but you need to have your own mounting hardware.
DSC_1103

We used one of Maya’s bigger board books as a guide for how much space we wanted between the shelves (14 inches). We centered the shelves on the wall, and placed them so that they would be low enough for Maya to grab at when she’s a bit bigger.
DSC_1121

DSC_1126

The light switch was in a weird spot, but I didn’t want the shelves to be off-centered on the wall, so we just made sure that the switch would come between two of the shelves and still be easily accessible.
DSC_1127

Then I popped in some of little miss Maya’s books – all ready to go for bedtime stories.
DSC_1131

Sorry about the bad lighting in these photos. It was overcast here this weekend (we even got our first snowfall!), so not much natural light coming in from the window.DSC_1132

The design of the spice rack really is perfect for holding books up. I kept it to 4-5 books per shelf, but there is still plenty of space to add a few more books per shelf if I decide to.DSC_1133

DSC_1137

DSC_1132-edited

It’s so nice to have some of the books out of our big basket and up on the wall. Aren’t books just the best? If we had a really huge room, I would have loved to do bookshelves across a whole wall. Whatever the colour or size, I just think they make a room look cozy, don’t you?

Have you guys done this spice-rack-as-shelves trick? Do you display lots of books in your home? Are you bedtime readers? Do you have a favourite children’s book?

Linked up to Living Well Spending Less, The BrambleBerry Cottage, the DIY Dreamer

  • Andrea

    You KNOW what MY favourite children’s book is! ;) Looks great Gem.

    • gemma

      And it’s quickly becoming mine, too! :)

      xo,
      gem

  • lori

    That’s awesome. My plan was to do the exact same thing on our wall between the door and closet. We just move at a lot slower pace than you. Our shelves are sitting on the radiator ;o) I like your idea of using spice racks.

    • gemma

      Haha – we’re moving at a slower pace these days with the projects too, Lori! It only took Dan like 15 minutes to install, so not super time consuming. Maybe motivate with a cold beer for afterward? :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.one21design.com Elaine Rushlow

    I have almost the exact same racks I am painting right now in my sons room they were hand made..but hey now lets think about this I have two “chrome” spice racks ready to be put up (had them for two years lol) but now that you’ve got my thinking bone working…hmm they could go in my newly renovated bathroom beside the toilet…hmmm

    • gemma

      Oooh fun idea! Would they be big enough to hold magazines? That would be great!

      xo,
      gem

  • Catherine

    Love it!! We love love love books in this family! Léa is so crazy about books.. she always goes to bed with one or two.. they are all tucked in with her between a teddy bear and a baby doll!

    I wanted to do something like that for her new room, but ended up recycling a old IKEA Expedit bookshelf (its white… but I just found out IKEA came out with a hot pink and a turquoise versions.. bummer!! haha!) it holds a lot more books… so we were able to move her collection of books from the living room to her bed room (to make space for baby toys!).

    I’ll keep the spice rack idea for little Miss 2′s big room in a few years!

    Oh and as for favorite books.. Léa really really likes the “Splat the Cat” books.. you should check them out if you don’t know about them already.. I personally love the cat illustrations.. they look so fuzzy!!!

    • gemma

      Yeah the expedit is definitely great if you have the space, and it holds more books for sure (especially good for older kids!). I will definitely check out the “splat the cat” next time I’m at Chapters!! Thanks for the tip :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://house-pretty.blogspot.com Amelia @ House Pretty Blog

    Looks great! I love that you were able to make use of some otherwise wasted space. So smart ;)

    • gemma

      Yes exactly – now every square inch of that room is covered! :)

      xo,
      gem

    • gemma

      Haha – love that! I have a feeling I will have quite a few children’s books memorized in no time… :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.thelearnerobserver.com Thalita @ The Learner Observer

    Great idea!!!! Those spice racks can be used for so many things. I happen to love that the light switch is camouflaged by being right beside the books! I thought it was intentional until you mentioned otherwise :)

    • gemma

      We can call it totally intentional and planned out, right? ;)

      xo,
      gem

  • jitka

    Yes! I love this idea. And that wall is the perfect spot. I like that the shelves are kept low to the ground for when she’s able to reach. good job

    • gemma

      Yeah it was really the perfect little nook. Thanks Jitka!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/ Jo-Anna

    This is a great organizing idea! Our kids book storage is a terrible mess!

    • gemma

      It’s super easy to do (and budget friendly) – I totally recommend it!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://rubee-rubee.blogspot.co.uk Rubee

    I love this idea. I’m currently decorating our nursery for our baby girl due in January and I’ve been wanting to do something similar. Now I just need to figure out if I’ve got a big enough wall space.

    • gemma

      Amazing! Congratulations on your upcoming little bundle…!!

      xo,
      gem

  • Allisa

    This is adorable. I read another blog where the mama did this same thing and she said they had to use the metal butterfly brackets so the racks were sturdy enough to hold heavier books (like board books). Can I ask what your experience is with this? How did you guys hang the racks and do they seem to be sturdy enough? Thanks so much for sharing your project with us step by step!

    • gemma

      Good question, Allisa! We didn’t use metal butterfly brackets (would have been overkill for us), but we did use our own, sturdy, drywall anchors. I can’t remember if there were any anchors that came with them from IKEA, but we also use other ones from the hardware store (we like the ones from Rona, in Canada). If you can mount into studs in your wall, that’s even better. We couldn’t in our case due to placement, but they have been totally fine for our books. We have a mixture of board and soft cover books in there.

      Hope that helps!

      xo,
      gem

      • Allisa

        Thanks so much for the response!! I appreciate the feedback about how they are holding up. I can’t wait to do this project!!!