See how a DIY fan transformed an old bookcase with Farrow & Ball Railings

It fitted the empty corner of her living space perfectly
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  • Marie Kondo’s ruthless ‘hall of fame’ approach to bookshelves is something we’ll never get over. We LOVE having lots of books on display in our homes, and one like-minded DIY-er has shared her creative book storage idea.

    Related: Reading corner ideas – create the perfect place to indulge in a good book

    Fiona Potter shared her transformation on Facebook page Resourceful Living – Lisa Dawson. She took an old glass-fronted bookcase and gave it a new lease of life, and the whole DIY project only came to £30.

    She’s now using it to store her favourite books and to hold treasured items, from photo frames to the most healthy-looking fern we’ve ever seen.


    book case

    Image credit: Fiona Potter

    Previously, the piece of furniture was nothing special, and the tone of the wood made it look a little dated. It just goes to show what a fresh lick of paint and some gold hardware can do!

    For more tips for decorating on a budget, head to our piece dedicated to purse-friendly options.


    navy bookcase

    Image credit: Fiona Potter

    ‘We recently moved into our new home, a barn which we have been converting for the last 18 months,’ Fiona tells us. ‘Prior to that I refused to buy any new furniture at all, so I could save that excitement for when we were in.

    ‘Then, lockdown happened, and all the shops shut, so the best I could do was a safely collected bookcase and paint from our local decorating centre.

    ‘I just sanded it right back then two coats of Railings on the exterior and two coats of Peignoir on the interior. The handles were leftover from a past project, bought from Homesense years ago,’ Fiona says.

    navy bookcase

    Image credit: Fiona Potter

    Fiona filled it with books and styled it with a candle, books, a cosy orange lamp, £2 from Dunelm, and a gorgeous vase. ‘It’s finished off a corner of our living area perfectly,’ she says.

    ‘I just need to find a nice picture to hang above it.’

    Related: See how this drab kitchen was given a brilliant blue makeover for just £300

    Feeling inspired? Fiona’s top tip is to make sure you do the prep work, cleaning and sanding properly.

    ‘It’s boring but always makes the paint last longer. I’m no expert at all but love giving things a new lease of life and it’s much more satisfying doing it yourself.’

    Before you get rid of old furniture, which companies are now making much easier, see if you can give it a modern refresh.

    Upcycling projects like this will slowly fill your home with treasured items you have a connection with, and you’ll feel proud of your DIY skills every time you lay your eyes on them.

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