I took this picture a couple months ago as part of the "virtual tour" of our new place for friends and family. I really love this bookcase. We got it free from a neighbor. We've never been sure if it's "shabby chic" or just shabby. This bookcase is really the focal point of our living room and one evening I realized that it was driving me nuts.
The top is supposed to be some kind of liturgical display area but it was sort of a mess with things piled on the two side shelves as well. The small shelf on top was crammed full of encyclicals because they fit there. The other shelves had many books tipped on their sides because the shelves are all short. The two bottom shelves were full of kids books but the large picture books on the bottom stuck way out and were mostly on their sides as well.
It's taken a pretty long time to chip away at all the things that were bothering me about this bookcase. Mostly we've been slowly re-organizing our home library. We originally put the books in alphabetical order by author without regard to genre. As time permits, we've been collecting categories and shelving them where they logically belong, and where they fit. We're not done with this project, but we've made good progress. At least this red bookcase no longer contains large books tipped sideways. I neatened up the two side shelves (the sippi cup is an occasional addition) and cleaned the encyclicals off the top shelf. In its place are our prayer materials: liturgies, family Bible, extra candles, Rosary cards. The very top has a simple frame displaying the liturgically appropriate Rosary card (Sermon on the Mount for Ordinary Time) and our prayer candles. I'm really excited about these candles. We just got the holder a couple days ago. They are simple and they match! We change the tapers according to season (so we have green ones out now) and light them for Morning and Evening Prayer and the large white one is our new Lord's Day candle, eagerly awaiting its debut this Saturday evening.
I left the board books on one of the shelves and moved the picture books back to Joseph's room. I put a basket on the coffee table opposite this bookcase containing several current favorites. There are two baskets for toy storage on the bookcase now and an additional few toys under the coffee table. I plan to rotate the living room toys slowly. I was so pleased to see Joseph able to wheel right up to his new book basket and pick one out to read this morning. And he can put the book away when he's done.
I'm even more pleased to see how just a few small changes can make my living room a much nicer place for everyone in the family.