Telling a tale of a sweet little romantic cottage bookshelf.
Who loves a happy story? You know… one of those sappy stories that begin with a rough patch that later evolves into a sweet tale, and instead of concluding with a tear-tear jerker actually ends with a happy ending? That’s the kind of happy story I’m talking about. I especially love the types of stories that for a moment, make me feel as if all is right with the world.
In general, I love stories of all kinds. Between personal memoirs, legends of heroism and valor, triumph after struggle and folktales about objects, traditions and heirlooms it’s a tough choice to choose a favorite genre. Everywhere we look, there is a story just waiting to happen or waiting to be retold. I think one of my favorite types of stories might be the ones that stem from something seemingly mundane. The ones that are thought to be so insignificant that they aren’t worth re-telling and are often forgotten about. This is where this sweet little shabby cottage bookshelf sort of falls.
It really had a rough beginning, it was magically turned into a beautiful swan and ended up taking on a bit of a folktale. Okay… maybe it wasn’t magic, but more of my magic paint brush that sprinkled fairy dust paint all around. And maybe I’m a sucker for the small things in life and sentimentality.
When I first drug this diamond in the rough bookshelf home, it wore the most dreadful shade of bright fire engine red and canary yellow paint. The primary colors told the story of where this little shelf once lived.
My guess is that it lived in a pre-school classroom and it had been used to store all the children’s books. The upper part was a bird house. It had a little hole for the imaginary birds to go inside and a little peg for them to stand on their porch. I can imagine that the children probably stuffed toys inside and in awe of a bookshelf that was shaped like a bird house.
If you have read My Gustavian Style you know by now, that the primary colors weren’t jiving with me.
In my last post, Sneak-Peek Preview, I mentioned that I had organized photos…. truth be told, I was actually searching for the before photos of this little shelf, which to no avail, were unable to be found. I am really bummed that I could not find them.
For many years I kept this shelf, shuffling it around from room to room, using it in a variety of ways to store old books, collections of vintage glass bottles, housing holiday vignettes and even in the bathroom as extra storage for toiletries. When I have had overnight houseguests, I would move the bookshelf downstairs to the guest room where it became storage for items that I felt might be useful for guests; things such as cotton balls, Q-tips, washcloths, lotions and soaps. As in the photos, I set out a stack of fresh bathing towels, a few magazines or books and cuddly throw just in case they might catch a chill.
Here’s the honest truth about me: I’m one those people who feels more comfortable in a hotel than I do in someone else’s home. Staying anywhere other than my moms, grandmas or one of my best friends homes comes with a degree of awkwardness and restlessness. Because I realize how uncomfortable it is to stay in home that is not yours and the feelings that arise when doing so, one of the things I like to do is make the guest area as private, comfortable, cozy and convenient as possible.
I very much enjoy staying at B & B’s. I use my experiences with those types of stays as inspiration when setting up a guest space. I really want people to feel comfortable in my home and I really do try to alleviate any potential “weirdness” that might be felt. Even when my guest have said all the fuss is unnecessary I still see to the small details. According to what my grandma taught me- all the fuss is a necessary part of being a good host.
My grandma, God rest her soul, was old school southern lady, a stickler for etiquette and good manners. I can’t think of one thing my grandmas was wrong about… well…. maybe just one- She said all women needed to cut their hair short once they turned thirty years old and that long hair was for little girls. Yep. Grandma was wrong about that one for sure. I’m over thirty and my hair is very long. Grandma missed the mark on that one but everything else she said was taken to heart.
When I decided that it was time to sell this little shelf I needed to shoot a few decent photos. I decided to style it exactly the same way I had arranged it when I would have an overnight houseguest.
Coming to a decision to sell this piece was difficult. Often times when I complete a beautiful finish, I become emotionally attached to the piece of furniture that I’m working on. Creating art, doing finishes, pouring your heart and soul into creating something beautiful comes from the deepest part of my soul. I’m not a furniture flipper. Furniture is merely one of the canvases that I use for creating art and decorative finishes. Doing wall finishes conjures up the same feelings of attachment. Only difference is I can’t keep someone else’s walls like I can furniture. Lol.
I think this bookshelf is one of my prettiest creations. I love that it is romantic, a little shabby and cottage. It feels a bit French, and with the splintered cracks in the wood, it’s a little rustic too. I added the cherub face myself. I covered the bird hole with vintage hardware from an old dresser. The hole that the little peg went in was covered with the small dainty rose and leaves. For many years I have loved this shelf but it was time to let it go to someone else who would love it every bit as much as I did.
I had a full post about prepping a guest room all ready to go when I was told the story about where the cottage bookshelf would be going. I didn’t realize that this cottage bookshelf would sell as quickly as it did and little did I know that the there would be a happy ending for something that I had loved so very much. Regardless of changing around this article to tell more of a story, I still gave you a few handy tips to use for your overnight house guests. 🙂
I couldn’t be happier about the ending for my little romantic shabby shelf, but at this time, I cannot tell you anything about the ending. All I can say is that it’s a surprise and I’m not about to ruin the surprise.
I promise to come back to this post and tell you all about it. Until I get the go-ahead to blab, I leave you with a cliffhanger….
This week I will be linking up with the following ladies: