Dining Room Built-In Shelves

Today I thought I’d show you how I’ve styled our dining room built-in shelves.

I love the fact that our home has these built-ins, even though I struggle with what to do with them. Oh, the irony.

Using what I had on hand, I currently have this neutral and blue scheme going on.

It’s not very dining-room-ish, but I think the table in the middle of the room kind of gives people a clue that this is where the meal consumption occurs.

Uh, oh. There goes my sarcasm again.

Moving on…
So, you see all of those pretty blue, cream and polka-dotted books?

Those would be all of my husband’s unattractive computer books that we keep moving from house to house to house. How to program C++, Perl, Java, blah, blah. I know they are useful and important, I just wish they looked a little…nicer.

I wrapped the front and spines of those books with card stock and/or wrapping paper that I had in my paper stash. Bada-bing, bada-boom! No more ugly computer reference books.

I wonder how long it’s going to take him to notice?? It’s been roughly 3 weeks so far.

I also wrapped up our entire Harry Potter collection. Eventually my kids will be ready to knock back those 900-page novels. I’m prepared to sacrifice decorating for the sake of literacy when the time comes.

I’m a giver like that.

Oh, I do have one little dining room thing going on in this space…besides the table.

This little basket is holding extra paper napkins.

I big, fat LOVE pretty paper napkins. And then I love them so much that I don’t want to use them and I offer everyone a paper towel instead. *hangs my head in shame* 😉
I have several fancy bowls that I use throughout our house, but this one is holding my glass float and rock hearts collection. Plus a random antler. It’s possible there’s a stray Lego in the bottom of the bowl too, but I didn’t look.

By rock hearts, I mean, rocks shaped like hearts. Did that confuse anyone else besides me?
This is one of 4 heart-shaped planter boxes that my mom made eons ago.

The patina on the wood just gets better with age.

Sometimes I have plants in them, sometimes I turn them upside down and use them as plant stands. Sometimes, they just hang out by themselves and look rustic and awesome.
I also have my mom’s thimble collection.

Do people use thimbles anymore?

They should. The craftsmanship and detail on some of these thimbles is amazing.

Little pieces of art.

To give you some perspective, through that doorway is the foyer and the living room entrance.  To the left, is the kitchen. I talked about that wine rack in this post. I’ll get around to showing you the actual table in the dining room at some point.


I thought the point of this post would be to just show you what I’ve got going on in the dining room right now.  However, it dawned on me while typing this post that the reason this set-up makes me happy is because the things I’m decorating with have special meaning to me.

The dining room built-in shelves aren’t filled with new and trendy items. They are filled with bits and pieces of character that tell a story about our lives. From the picture of my daughter and me at Chuck E. Cheese to the wooden box I received as a 5-year-old girl, these items have special meaning.

That’s not to say I don’t like new. Trust me. I like a little retail therapy as much as the next person! But, right now, I’m appreciating what I have and where we’ve come from as a family. It’s a good place to be.

If you’ve still got coffee in your cup, keep reading! How about one of these…

Hide Desk Cords with a Curtain 

Kitchen Refresh Part 7: The Reveal

Entry Styling with a Bench

Using Old Doors as a Jewelry Holder

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