In the corner of the new blue and white living room there is a built-in bookcase.

It’s the winner of the bookcase derby.

It’s been voted most likely to succeed by its bookcase class.

It received a best actor nod at the bookcase academy awards.


It’s arched and tucked away and all molded up and ready to party.

But just between us….shhhh.…come closer…..I don’t want the bookcase to hear.

Don’t you think it needs a little color?

You can kind of see it in the corner of the room before it went blue and white.

I put a collection of milk glass on the shelves.



But if you blinked?

You might miss it.

But now?

(total decorating aside:  you might want to sit down for this one.)

Hello beautiful.

Let your shelves sing.

Isn’t it amazing what a little blue paint and a couple of hours and some elbow grease can do?

I painted the back of the bookcase with leftover paint from the upstairs bedroom.

This is my go-to navy and it’s never failed me yet.

It’s called Sherwin-Williams Naval.

But all that blue and white needed a little color.

So I went out to the front of the house and cut the first day lilies of the season.

That little pop of yellow makes all the difference.

And then I just added a few pieces of my yard sale white dish collection.

Before you couldn’t even see them in the bookcase.

They just blended in with all that white.

But now?

It looks like I’m housing the modern museum of contemporary art.




My favorite kind of project.

PS  My bookcase and I would like to thank the academy and my mother for all the bookcase chapters that have gone before.

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  1. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    See... Didn't I tell you the other day that blue and yellow make a great couple?! 😉 It's all coming together beautifully!!

  2. Image for Teresa G Teresa G

    Love it! A lot of impact with a little paint. BTW I popped into my local Kirkland's yesterday that is closing. Sob! Picked up another copy of your book to gift to my friend who is painting all the furniture in her house. I'm going to turn her on to your blog, too. Can't wait to see all you do with your home!

  3. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Whoa!!! That is PERFECT! And yes, my editor keeps telling me that all caps is yelling, but sometimes it's not yelling, it's SQUEE-ING!!! You are so smart. Headed through your OLD neck of the woods today to go to Paducah. Will Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, or Kirkland's have the office-wall organizer I'm looking for? Hmmmm . . . .

  4. Image for Joy Shanor Joy Shanor

    THIS. IS. AMAZING!!! Such a small thing but it makes a HUGE impact! And I LOVE that single pop of yellow. I want to be you when I grow up!!!

  5. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Gorgeous. Love the whole living room and the book case. Blue and white wins all the time! I could easily move right in!

  6. Image for Lorri Rauscher Lorri Rauscher

    Absolutely Amazing...isnt something when you add a little color!!!! Note to self..look around the house to see what I paint to give a splash of color.😀

  7. Image for Pam Pam

    Wow! I have always loved dark blue so it's a given I would love your new color scheme, but WOW! Your bookcase looks so classy. Love it!

  8. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Love it Karianne! I was thinking when you first showed it all white how a color would make all the milk glass show up and it did - in a huge way! The daylilies make the perfect pop of color contrast too. Just beautiful. So proud of you for embracing color! :) hugs, Cecilia

  9. Image for Missy Missy

    I have corner china cabinets in my dining room that are gorgeous mahogany with leaded glass doors. Didn’t want to paint them, but they were so dark inside because of the dark wood. I ordered really beautiful blue card stock online that matches the oriental rug and used it to line the back of shelves . I used glue dots to secure. Now my dishware and glasses look beautiful! The seams are barely visible when the contents are in place! I love your navy blue bookcase and these new touches of color in your decor!

  10. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    Love the bookcase and that pillow in the chair!! I looked online at JoAnns and found the fabric. I may just have to purchase some for pillows also.

  11. Image for Debbie Debbie

    HA! I started reading and the thought crossed my mind as I looked at the first picture that you needed to pull the blue into the back of the bookcase....and then....there it was! It looks great! Would really be pretty with some silver pieces (my favorite stuff) against that Navy blue, too!! Loving the addition of blue to your decor.

  12. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Fabulous! Just fabulous! For several years I have been a regular visitor to your blog and enjoyed every minute of your neutrals, but now you're in my land - blue and white. I absolutely LOVE the Naval behind the milk glass. Against the blue, your thrifted pieces look like they belong in a museum. Really an amazing result from a simple, inexpensive change. You continue to amaze me! Keep it up!

  13. Image for Peggy Z Peggy Z

    Just brilliant! Smashingly beautiful! I'm in love with blue and white myself, especially navy and white. That looks so high end, I almost dumped my coffe! Truly, you are a Rockstar Miss Karianne.

  14. Image for Audrey Johnson Audrey Johnson

    Wow. Absolutely love it. How completely different it looks. Changed up the entire space. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, For months I have been mulling over painting my laundry room a combination of navy with white. Your academy award winning bookcase has pushed me one step closer. Did you win the Oscar for best director of bookcases or perhaps Best Production Design? Judith

  16. Image for Rev. Suzanne Rev. Suzanne

    Those yellow flowers make a statement all their own about you. They say, "Karianne is bold about color, but she knows how to be subtle with it." I marvel at your creative abilities. You never disappoint.


    KariAnne, your bookcase is absolutely AMAZING! That Naval paint just added that perfect touch -- and your milk glass looks so beautiful! You are such a fabulous decorator. I just love everything you do to personalize your gorgeous new home! Enjoy! Blessings, dear friend!

  18. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    GORGEOUUUUUUS! Gives me some ideas for my Hoosier style baker's cabinet that keeps yelling at me, "When are you gonna paint me?!!!!" Pinned to my new board... Thistle-reads!

  19. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Oh my goodness....swooning for sure over this beautiful bookcase and display!!! I'm not sure which is prettier.......the navy blue background or the milk glass!?!?!?! Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing sweet friend....Happy Monday!

  20. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Very cool. I didn't think both of these links led to the same blog.

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