Adding Bookshelves in My Den

When I meet people for the first time and they find out I am an interior designer, one of the first things they say is “Your house must be Perfect!!” To be honest, I don’t really know how to respond to this comment! I see my house as a Living Laboratory where I get to experiment and play with new design ideas. The house has been through a few “decor” phases since we decided to live here! Our house was built in 1895, and when my husband Jeff bought it there was a lot of work to be done. We have repaired years of neglect to the electrical, plumbing, boilers, roof, etc. At some point I will give you a tour but today I really wanted to share the built ins we installed, and I recently restyled, in our den.


Below is a picture of our den when Jeff bought the house. This room is at the front of the house and was being used as a bedroom with a rickety, NOT original closet and painted plywood covering up the radiator. Nasty old brown wall to wall carpet was everywhere. We tore everything out!

styling book shelves

Here is that same wall, exposed and painted radiator, and window! One thing about old houses is the lack of closet space and storage so we added these built ins and lights. I wanted all the storage we added to feel authentic and I love having all this space for our books!

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The wood floors beneath the old brown carpet were a beautiful oak throughout the entire first floor. I had the shelves made in oak to match the floor, I love how the wood adds texture and warmth to the wall.styling bookshelves

Jeff and I have a lot of books, which we love love love! I can’t get enough art and design books and love to collect what my favorite designers publish. For the lighting, I used simple library sconces from Visual Comfort and have them on a dimmer so the room feels cozy at night.unnamed

The shelves contain items I have collected from traveling. Below is a William Turner print I brought home from the National Gallery in London. William Turner painted controversial topics for the day, I love the depth of meaning behind his work.

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Iris Van Herpen is so inspirational, I love this book!!unnamed (2)

It’s hard to believe that our light filled and cozy den used to look dark and drearie, the transformation is so satisfying!styling book shelves
styling bookshelves


Have you added built ins to your home? Are they styled with items you love? If you need to add storage it might as well be beautiful!


Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids Interior Designer

2017-05-26T18:03:21+00:00 January 17th, 2017|


  1. April January 17, 2017 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Looks beautiful!!

    • Deidre Remtema January 17, 2017 at 3:31 am - Reply

      Thank you April!!

  2. Holly January 17, 2017 at 4:42 am - Reply


  3. Andrea January 17, 2017 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Wow! This looks so good!

  4. nancy wierenga January 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Love seeing your post, keep them coming, im a friend of your mother in law and love what you’ve done in there home!!

    • Deidre Remtema January 17, 2017 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      Thank you!!

  5. Tom Mathison January 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Looks great, Deidre! What a transformation!

    • Deidre Remtema January 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Tom!

  6. Jenn January 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    So pretty! Hard to believe it’s the same room!

    • Deidre Remtema January 30, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jenn! I know it’s night and day!

  7. Joe January 31, 2017 at 5:24 am - Reply

    That before shot is creepy. 🙂 Amazing transformation!

    • Deidre Remtema January 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm - Reply


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