Monday, November 9, 2009

mammy harlequin romance shelf redo

Furniture Feature Fridays

My grandmother, Mammy, lived with us from the time I was 8 years old until she died at the end of my senior year of high school. She was a funny old lady who LOVED to gripe. Seriously. We all adored her, but she would pitch a fit in a New York minute….When you would tell Mammy that you loved her she always replied, “Thank you, darlin’ “…..Never I love you too….just one of Mammy’s things. Harlequin romances were another one of Mammy’s things…She loved them and had HUNDREDS of them. She had books and books and books and books and more books. My mama’s friends would come over and “check” them out from Mammy’s public library. When she moved in with us she had all these bookshelves built….There were 2 sets like mine and tons of other plain shelves without cabinets. They were custom built but inexpensive and finished in a light wood stain. Since those days it’s been a blue color and then the black shown in the picture below. It’s been in my kitchens, dining rooms, and bedrooms….Lastly it was in Hayden’s room gathering dust. Andrew and I decided it needed a makeover to a more substantial piece of furniture…..Here’s what we did:

Here she is before in all her glory….open back…..dull paint….boring doors…..






Andrew helped TONS with this project…..We LOVE to do projects together. He measured the doors and glued on cheap molding with Gorilla Glue….. Ignore that tacky hat on his cute head!




I filled in the holes with wood filler and sanded it after it dried. Try not to look at my old lady hands!


I used Behr’s antique white in a semi gloss finish. Believe it or not it only took 2 coats to cover all that dull black. I LOVE Behr paint! Here’s the top shelf removed with the first coat going on.


Insert lots of painting painting painting here…..

We bought 3 pieces of bead board from Home Depot for $9 a sheet. Andrew measured and attached it to the back of the shelves. Immediately it took on an entirely different look….. He matched the lines up PERFECTLY. I painted the bead board the same antique white after it was attached and touched up all the other areas.


And here is the after! Doesn’t she look amazing?!?!?! She fits perfectly in between my closet and bathroom doors. My only thought now it to glaze it with a brown glaze. What do you guys think? As is or add a little glaze??


We also added a piece of crown molding at the top to give it more interest. That $6 made TONS of impact. I liked the original hardware, so I just cleaned it up and reattached it.


Close up of the beadboard….


For all my childhood friends, what is that a picture of???


Close up of the door with new molding…..


Another before and after…..

101_0834 101_1475

I know we’ll enjoy this piece for many years to come…..Everytime I see it I remember my sweet Mammy and all those Harlequins that used to be stacked all over it!

Total Cost:

Shelf- free

Beadboard- $30

molding- $10

paint- $10

Not bad for $50 huh??


Anonymous said...

It IS amazing! Love the detail that you added with the beadboard and molding too. Great job! If you end up making a bench I'd love to see it. :-)

pk @ Room Remix

Wendy said...

It looks great! When I repainted our kitchen table white, I took walnut stain over top and then wiped it off. It helped to tone down the brightness of the white. If you want the directions let me know. I can send them your way! Awesome.

Katie said...


I think that you can glaze it, or leave it as is. The beadboard is the perfect touch! :D said...

I have a ton of Ralph Lauren glaze in smoke.... I am leaning towards glazing it...I think it'll make it go better with the other pieces in the room... I was ALMOST finished with my bedroom redo, then I realized I had to move my sewing stuff out of the front of the house for Thanksgiving/Christmas.... Now I have a big sewing table and a small TV stand to keep me entertained while I sew away! Maybe after the New Year it'll FINALLY be done!

Sedona @ MyDivineDelights said...

Wow!!! That looks just amazing! I think that it looks great as is with the molding and doors in your room or it would look great with the glaze too! :) I know, I'm no help. Thank you for sharing!

Tammy@InStitches said...

I love it Loulou ! I think I would probably rub some glaze on it but it looks good just like it is too.

Miss Mustard Seed said...

That shelf is a beast and you really tamed it. The moulding and bead board change the whole look of this piece. The white looks great! Outstanding job! By the way, I'm about to start working on your tray...

nannykim said...

wow, great looks really nice!

Claudia said...

What a difference with molding and beadboard and paint - fabulous!

Jen R. said...

It looks FANTASTIC! it's like a million dollar ballard's piece!

Phyllis AROUND THE HOUSE said...

projects are fun, and they are ;more fun when they turn out the way you want them, looks great..

Lara Harris said...

Wow!Just gorgeous!!

Michelle Smiles said...

Great transformation!

Its So Very Cheri said...

I LOVE DIY projects. I clicked to follow. I really love getting to know new gals.

I hope you'll come by--love it and follow too.


Mimi said...

Wow, now that is one fantastic transformation! I ♥ it.

Julie said...

Amazing!!! I LOVE IT!!

kiakai/Kelly @ Much To Do With Nothing said...

This looks soooo GOOD!!!! I love the beadboard. Aren't you excited!?!

Laurie said...

That is AWESOME! Great job.

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

WHOA!!! What an amazing transformation. I wouldn't have thought it was the same peice. Y'all make a great team! And to think I suggested moving it...shame on me!

Love you

Heather said...

That is an amazing redo! It turned out gorgeous! Well done.

Danielle @ Transforming Home said...

WOW! What a great project! It looks like something out of Ballard Designs. Great job!!
Here from Furniture Feature Friday.

Miss Mustard Seed said...

I just still can't believe how well this piece turned out. I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for a tired bookcase and do something like this to it. Thanks for linking up!

Christina said...

WOW what a difference, Love it.

Petit Debutant said...

Wow!! it looks amazing. The trim around the top really does it!

Anonymous said...

Sooo impressive...smiles.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I think that looks fantastic! You guys did a great job! I like it in the white, although it would look good with the glaze too. Sorry that's not much help!

jen said...

BEYOND AMAZING!!! what a transformation on this one! wish i had a handy husband. have a husband but he's not real sure what to do with a hammer and nail. love him though! and love this piece! said...

Thanks guys. I smile everytime I look at it...It has SUCH meaning for me. I have a couple of antiques that I got from Mammy, but this piece was always in HER room with HER books..... I was only a teenager when she died, and I wish I could have known her as a grown up. She was such a spunky woman....Ok, I'm tearing up.....She's been dead for 21 years, and I'm tearing up....Go figure. Maybe that means that Mammy likes the shelf!

Rachel said...

It looks fabulous! What a wonderful transformation. I love the beadboard!

Kim said...

@Cheap Chic Home. This is just awesome. The size is wonderful--not china cabinet size. Well done!

Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

=priceless!! What a great redo and wouldn't Mammy be proud...she'd have to say something nice!!! Beautiful piece and beautiful memories!

Stephanie said...

Great idea. It looks amazing!!

Sandy said...

Great Job!! I love it!

Leah@Storybook Ranch said...

Wow, that's really gorgeous. I don't think I would have had the vision you did for that toad. But, you turned it into a Prince! Great Job!

jona said...

No way!! It doesn't even look like the same piece of furniture! And 50.00 is such a bargain. I'm thoroughly impressed!

Jane said...

You did an amazing job on that piece. Your Mammy would be very impressed and proud. You took it from a bookcase to a family heirloom.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Great makeover! Such a dramatic change! And you've used it for a great purpose to boot.

Thanks for linking up to SNS #5 at

Funky Junk Donna

philben5 said...

Amazing redo! Great price as well.

Jane said...

Wow...what a totally fabulous makeover! I love this new wall cabinet! Great job...and thanks for linkin' up to Frugalicious Friday! I can't wait to see more of your fab finds and Diy projects!

Jane @ Finding Fabulous

kdunn said...

That is amazing...Great Job!!! Love the picture of your house in Jackson..I think about all the times we spent there everytime a drive or walk by. I live in just a few blocks away now, so I go by it all the time.

Room to Inspire said...

Seriously? This is fantastic. And for $50 it is amazing.



Related Posts with Thumbnails