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A Marketplace Makeover

My mom and I like to work on home projects whenever she visits. Last time she was here, we made over a shelf I found on Marketplace for $20. You might remember the faux mantel I created for Isla's room last year that I accurately predicted the kids would eventually tear apart. Instead of redoing the faux mantel, I decided to swap it for this bookshelf to provide a little more storage while still giving that mantel shape I liked on her wall.

This is what the piece looked like when I got it. Good bones, but needed some love.

I was inspired by this dresser I saw on Instagram years ago. I loved the peachy-orange color and how the details were accentuated with white. Isla's room is a mix of warm, vintage tones and I felt like this would flow beautifully with her existing space.

We custom mixed the paint with a combination of paints I already had. It took a lot of testing and tweaking, but we finally got it pretty close. We knew there were a couple more steps we wanted to add to this project that would affect our final color so "pretty close" was good enough at this point.

We sanded, painted two coats of our custom color, then dry-brushed with a slightly more orange version of our custom color. Then I went over all the edges and details I wanted to accentuate just like on that beautiful inspo dresser with a creamy white immediately wiping it away/blending it with a separate dry brush as I went. I wanted just the subtlest highlight on those tiny details. Lastly, I distressed it a bit with sandpaper and my mom glazed it.

I didn't seal this piece which does make me a little nervous, but I love how it turned out so much that I don't want to risk altering the color or finish. For now, I'm ok with it being unsealed.

Isla has so many whimsical details in her room and many of them aren't even on display yet because I ran out of space for them. I was excited to have another place to put those special things along with a few forms of stylish storage (a woven basket where we keep extra wipes and a swan that holds her hair bows).

Here's what the room looked like before and after the shelf:

I added height to the shelf by layering a tall mirror and art. Then I filled the shelves with vintage children's books I've been collecting. I always try to incorporate books into my shelf styling. They work as a great visual filler and there are so many ways to arrange them.

I tried to use a lot of animals on this shelf to give that whimsical, fairytale feel. There's a set of gold bunny bookends, the swan I mentioned earlier, a little piggy bank, an animal cookie jar I repurposed as a vase, and horses on a carousel I bought for Isla before she was born.

I absolutely love how this shelf turned out! It was so fun to complete this project with my mom and I think we totally achieved our version of the inspo piece. The shelf works great in Isla's space now and I can definitely see it growing with the room as she gets older.


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