Kitchen Cabinets Turned Into a Bookcase

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I’m so happy to report that the new bookcases at the beach condo are finished!
Because we live four hours away, it wasn’t a quick project.  We dedicated every single weekend that we were at the beach since early March to building these.
The wall where they are located was a big blank space and was boring, boring, boring.

Bookcase wall collagePin

The bookcases are filled with an assortment of thrifty items that I’ve been accumulating for the last few years.  Yes – I said years.  I’ve dreamt of having bookcases on this wall ever since we renovated our beach getaway.


A painting by my Auntie Syl inspired me to use orange as an accent color.  I love orange and any shade of blue mixed together.
Let me show you around just a little.
My sweet stepdaughter, Ms. B, surprised me with this painting that she did of a seagull for my birthday a couple of years ago.  I finally found the perfect place to showcase it!
I love adding a small lamp to a bookcase.  It really adds so much ambiance at night.  I found this little one lamp at Maxway for a mere $12.  I thought that I’d be repainting it somehow, but I think I’ll just leave it alone.


The little rattan tray filled with a combination of shells that we found ourselves and a bag of beach filler is sitting atop a book that has a lot of sentimental value to me.  It belonged to my mother who had such an adoration for the ocean.


I found the large coral looking thingy at Goodwill.  I “stole” it from the bookcase in my master bedroom at home.  And the metal painted container came from One Kings Lane.  I sure do wish they’d have another sale on these containers!

 Because the walls in this place are a little wonky and because I wanted to make sure that both ends of the bookcase were flat against the wall, we chose not to put any kind of backing on them.  Instead, we just painted the wall to give it the allusion of having a back.  Worked like a charm.

Now here’s a question for all of you.  Should I put knobs on the cabinet doors?  I haven’t so far because I’m concerned that it will look too busy.  I would use some sort of simple decorative knob if I were to add them.  What do you think?

 This wall has come such a long way, baby.



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  1. It looks fabulous! Love the colors you chose. I think simple knobs would be okay to use on the cabinet doors. 🙂

  2. LOVE it!!! I just love beachy things…they bring me back to nature. The bookcases really open up and completes the space! You have so many wonderful things to reuse of your Mom and aunt’s that make rooms so special. And you’re one lucky girl to have a handy man like Pookie!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You were right, they look great! You are very talented and have a terrific eye for color and detail. I’m very lucky to be married to you!

  4. Love everything about your new bookcase! It looks awesome.
    I probably wouldn’t do knobs on it, due to the way you have furniture arranged you would see them anyway. But then again I’m a person full of cabinets throughout the house without a knob on anything.

  5. Pookie rocks…err, shells, or is that nails. At any rate he is fabulous. I also thing I saw a sweet anonymous note from a rocking carpenter.
    The books are over the moon. They are beautiful, fabulous job. I love the color on the back of the shelves and you arrangement is perfect. I really love those beachy items and the touch of coral color, Wow. I have been trying, reasonably priced, coral items to add to my bedroom. I have searched the net for real coral but couldn’t find the right thing. I do love that color combo.
    Kudos to sweet Suzy and Pookie, Ginger

  6. I need to start blogging again. I’m always amazed when I look at your posts to see how similar our tastes are. We have so many of the same accessories. In fact, I bought the same bird for my beach house as well as those plates and shell filler. And, I was thinking of painting the door of my beach house that color. Love the original art work! Pookie did an amazing job! My vote is for knobs. Anthropologie has some aqua glass knobs that would coordinate nicely. I won’t tell you how I know. ;o) I heard a designer once say that every room needs a touch of red (a/k/a orange). I think it coordinates perfectly!

  7. What an amazing transformation! I love these bookcases so much! The pops of orange really make a difference!

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Lisa @ Before Meets After says:

    That looks amazing! I want my hubby to build something very similar like that for me too!

  9. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says:

    Hi Suzy….they came out incredibly gorgeous….tell “Pookie” he did a fantastic job….Will be showing this to my hubby…Love the color combinations!…I am with Kim…a white or clear knob that would just “blend in” with the cabinetry would be great…

  10. Hi Suzy, your bookcase turned out great. I also love orange and blue (colors of my fave baseball team). xo

  11. So beautiful – could I borrow your husband for a week or two??? He is certainly a talented guy. I love knobs and would probably look at clear crystal type knows or maybe white to match the bookcase. I would live with it awhile until you definitely know which path you want to go!

  12. love it – the colors are so vibrant! Love the little coral lampshade – but what is Maxway??
    I’m building a tiny beach house this year and I’m collecting art on Etsy. Love your stepdaughter’s painting.

  13. Hi Suzy ~ I think your bookcases turned out beautifully and add so much to your room. The colors you have chosen are just so much fun. I vote for knobs too, white would look nice.

  14. Suzy, Suzy, Suzy … they look AMAZING !! You and your sweet hubby make a fabulous team because you guys knocked it out of the park. I love the color you chose to paint the back of the bookcases, and the coral accents are fantastic !! I just had my parents bookcases (the backs of them) painted blue, too … truly makes white accents pop, doesn’t it? LOVE what you’ve done !!

  15. Olga@Stardust-Decor&Style says:

    Such an amazing transformation! I can feel your excitement! Great job!

  16. chateau chic says:

    Suzy, your bookcases are beautiful! I LOVE the color of the inside, especially for a beach house. You’ve styled them perfectly. I can just imagine how much you’re enjoying them.
    Mary Alice

  17. Sharon @ mrshinesclass says:

    I love the new look! Looks like the perfect getaway. I don’t know how you’re able to tear yourself away from the condo…or the beach. I’d never want to leave.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  18. I love the bookcases! They fit the room perfectly, and how you “styled” them — wish I had your eye for arranging things. I think plain white knobs on the doors would be practical and disappear basically, but my personal preference would be for burnished gold or sparkly cut glass 🙂