Well, I’m to the point now where I will show you what I’ve done with the book shelves and couch in my living room so far. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking, but here it is for now…

The book shelves are partially behind the couch. There is a matching book shelf that is shorter that I have right behind the couch. 

It wasn’t tall enough for my needs, so I headed to Lowes. I finally came up with an idea to help raise the shelf via the suggestion of a Lowes employee.

They have these free pieces of wood, about two inches by however long. They use them, he told me, to help do something with the forklift. I’m sure he told me exactly what, but I don’t recall. 

He said they’re free to customers, and he would cut however many I wanted to my specifications. 

Free! That’s speaking my language.

So that’s underneath the shorter book shelf in the middle. 

So all I needed was a longer laminate piece that fairly matched the two at the end, because the short book shelf was only 33 inches wide. And I wanted 48 inches so the cow painting wouldn’t be crowded. The shelf was under $10.

Israel drilled a couple of holes in the back of the tall book shelves the other day so I could thread cords through it.

I took one shelf out to accommodate lamps. They look better to me against the brown wood than against the white wall.

It was already hard to get pics before the couch got moved up a foot. So now it’s really hard. But you get the idea.

I really don’t have adequate light in here, so I opened the front door and turned on the lamps. Maybe at another point in the day I can turn the lamps off and get better shots.

I’m sure many of you thought I’d paint the shelves. I have few things that are stained that I want to remain that way. These shelves are one of them. 

Plus the color goes so well with my cow painting.

For once Charlie isn’t on the move, so I got a quick photo of him. 

Abi says: “Hey, me, me, me!” And so I stop to take a photo of her.

I think what I need on the shorter shelf behind the couch is another plant. It seems to need something from nature.

So if you want a shelf behind your couch, it is doable. It doesn’t have to look too spiffy because who’s going to see it with the couch hiding it? And if you need to raise it higher, there are ways to do that as well.

This made my couch, across from my white dresser and two wicker chairs opposite, almost the exact same space apart. Which is what they call a good conversational grouping.

I brought the white trunk in from the bedroom because it just seemed to need something white with a little more bulk there. It isn’t an exact science of course!

I’ll be showing more changes that resulted from this one later in the week.


Similar Posts


  1. Looks great. I was expecting the sofa to be against the wall since most of your inspiration photos had the sofa against the wall. Good job getting the free wood to raise the shelf.

  2. Everything looks great, you can always pull off anything, Brenda where in the world do you keep all your things, things I always loved and thought you must have gotten rid of then here it comes out. I have always coveted that red and white quilt and have looked for one everywhere, could you please tell me where you got its,

    1. I tried to email you, but seems you are a no-reply blogger, so I couldn't. I got the quilt at JCPenneys, but don't think they've carried it for years.

  3. Brenda, I love everything about your new arrangement! And I think Abi and Charlie do, too! Seriously, great contrasts and colors. A green plant behind the couch would be great, as well as maybe a few more on your shelves or maybe on top of your bookcases. There are some great faux plants if you're worried about lighting or the dogs.

  4. Brenda , I love it..You did an excellent job.[free wood to fix your shelf…yea] The cow picture is beautiful, and it has really brought beautiful things to your living room. I love all the details you added to the shelves. So well balanced.
    The green cabinet is beautiful, love the white trunk too..
    The room looks so relaxing..
    Puppies are adorable.

  5. Brenda….you should be in the design business, the precious gift you have of making use of what you've got is FABLOUS …..sure wish you lived near me!!!! Such an inspiration…..LOVE IT!!!!!

  6. Your doggies are SO cute! I like the new arrangement a lot, and I think the contrast between the darker bookcases and the light walls adds significantly to the cozy factor, and I like how their color plays against the darker color of your lovely sofa, too. The space feels anchored and centered. A low wattage bulb in one of the lamps in the bookshelves turned on in the evening will really up the cozy ante! I love how my living room looks at night with a dim lit lamp or two turned on, you may like the effect too, especially when watching TV.

    1. I don't have a TV in the living room. I have a small one in the bedroom. I'm never in the living area at night. At 6 p.m. I take a shower and feed everyone and I'm back in the bedroom to watch TV or mostly I like to read.

  7. I have to agree with all your readers–your new arrangement is very nice and so well done! I think you upped the coziness quotient by several notches! Love the white trunk. It has me looking at my brown and black trunk with a new eye! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your living room.

  8. I love how this looks! and I love the idea of another green plant behind the sofa…>I need to do that, add more green plants! I would love to know the name of the book pictured near the lamp!!! It looks amazing. Your pupsters are the CUTEST Brenda!

  9. I really like what you have done here Brenda. You always seem to know what to do ALL THE TIME…Bookshelves and books just make a room. I think too, that adding a plant (I would do faux, I have no green thumb) to the back of the couch would be nice..but you already know that…Warm and inviting, with the lamps, perfect for reading and relaxing.

  10. Very nice! I'm just wondering…is there space between the back of the couch and the bookshelves (especially the smaller bookshelf in back of the couch) to be able to get to the books that are there?

  11. What a clever use of space and color…and money! I love it when people decorate with things they already have. Beautiful job, Brenda!

  12. I like it, it's very cozy and everything looks like it is easy to get to. I really like the cow picture, it seems to tie things all together!

  13. I love it!! I knew I would because I just adore your decorating style but wow, I seriously think this just looks so amazingly cozy – what a great idea you had, Brenda!! Is that a new plant on the trunk? It looks so happy there. Of course, I would have draping pathos on both bookcases but that's me with my plant obsession. Can't wait to see the rest of the changes – great job, my friend!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *