Daisies in the Cottage Library

An Unused Room Becomes A Cottage Library

It’s funny how I still feel uneasy sharing photos of our simple cottage home with you after two years of blogging.  There is so much talent that I see everyday throughout the blogosphere that it’s a bit disheartening sometimes when I look at my home. Well, I’m going to bite the bullet and still show you my newest room re-do, even though it is far from complete.

{Oh, I totally forgot to tell you that my camera broke and I almost cried. I bought it new in 2002 so it’s been around for a few years. David is letting me use his little Canon digital that I’m trying to learn…bare with me LOL!}

Our home is set up so that you walk directly into our living room from the front door…well, if you come through the front door, which no one ever does.  It became one of those rooms that we rarely even walked through on the way to another part of the house.  We got rid of the majority of our furniture when we moved here and it’s just not part of our beach lifestyle to have any kind of formal living room set up.  Hmmmm….what the heck do I do with this lovely space which is full of gorgeous morning sunlight?

A beachy library!! Yes, I decided to make this unused space into a library.  In addition to fiction and non-fiction I have a nice collection of gardening, home improvement,  cookbooks and magazines which were piled here and there in every room of the house. There’s nothing like trying to find something when you want it and can’t remember where the heck it is.

The first step was to remove everything and then paint our old oak bookshelves in white.  A nice coat of primer and two coats of white did the trick!


Old oak bookcases



I gathered every book and magazine that we own and categorized them all…boy, was that fun :O)  It sure makes it easy to find what we’re looking for though.

Several rocking chairs provide seating as well as a large ottoman that I placed in front of the window for the girls (oops, I mean puppies).  As you can see from the photo below, Mini, made herself right at home.  She considers herself our guard dog so she perches herself in front of the window each morning.  She’s sitting on the Ralph Lauren pillowcase which I found for 50 cents at a local thrift store earlier this year!!  The navy and white pattern works perfectly in our color scheme of blues, greens and sandy hues.



David had this solid brass Captain’s Wheel hidden in a box from his Navy days, so I decided to use it as a bookend.



Baskets hold  CD cases, Coastal Living magazines plus a few favorite family photos and cherished treasures fill the remaining shelf areas.  All the bottles up on top were collected from our local beach then filled with seashells or sand with shells glued on top.



The blue and white striped pillow in the rocker is a pillowcase I made from an old flannel sheet.  I sewed in Velcro at the bottom of the pillowcase so it’s easy to remove and wash.   I finally found the perfect place on the wall for the Oyster Shell Wreath that I made last year.



This old table lamp has been in my family for about forty years and been a multitude of colors (and will probably be changed again soon!).  I bought it from my cousin for a few dollars and added a new shade purchased from Ross Stores.  Waterside Cottages is the ONLY book not in my bookshelves now as I “have” to read it over and over.


Beach Cottage Library Table Lamp

A Victorian Girl bookend is a cherished treasure as it was hand-painted by my grandmother in the 1970’s…the Victorian Boy that matches is on the other side of the bookcases.  David found the solid brass porthole window at an estate sale and it actually makes a great drink coaster!


Victorian Bookend


You may remember these A to Z Bookends that I found at a garage sale last year – I still LOVE them so much!


A to Z bookends


So…things I want to add or change would include adding a piece or two of decorative trim to the top and bottom of the bookshelves to make them look like one piece.  I have some white-slipcovered chairs and loveseat picked out from Ikea that would be my ultimate dream in this space. The carpet HAS to be ripped out and replaced with something else. We don’t know what to replace the carpet with…any ideas or suggestions?


White library bookshelves


Our kitty cat, Taffy, doesn’t seem to mind the brown carpet or non-Ikea furniture and makes herself right at home in this room each day.


Taffy the Cat

Of course, you know that I love flowers so I try to keep something fresh in the library every day of the year.


Daisies in the Cottage Library

Daisies in our Beach Cottage


So, that’s our humble little Beach Cottage Library ~ hope you liked your tour.  What new projects are you working on now??

Sharing this week at…
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Show Off Your Cottage Monday @ The House in the Roses
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Good Life Wednesday @ A Beach Cottage
White Wednesday @ Faded Charm
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Time Travel Thursday @ Brambleberry Cottage
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff & Nonsense
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground

Ocean Offerings
Unique and Distinctive Gifts & Jewelry Inspired by the Sea.



24 thoughts on “An Unused Room Becomes A Cottage Library

  1. Natasha

    You did a brilliant job! This looks incredible and so organised too. I naturally love the beachy touches too! This post needs to be pinned for sure!

    Best wishes and happy week,

  2. Katie

    I love this. It is absolutely gorgeous! I’ll be featuring this on my blog this Thursday, at littlekatieontheprairie.blogspot.com! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Amanda@relovedrubbish

    Your bookshelves look amazing! I love the sailboats and seashell bottles on top. How funny that I just bought that exact vintage lamp at an estate sale! Mine was gold and I just painted it gray.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment :)


  4. Courtney

    Your bookcase is just beautiful~ I love it. Your room is so lovely ~ filled with so much light and warmth! Bookcases along a wall is always so inviting to sit for a bit with a good read! Thanks for sharing at FNF this week! :)

  5. abeachcottage

    oh wow! Love the transformation. You did a great job! Love that it’s so beachy and there’s a lot of white :) Thanks for adding your link to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

  6. Becca

    Your room is fabulous !! The picture of your amazing bookcase, accessorized beautifully, is right out of a magazine! You know I LOVE all of the coastal accents (as well as the “new” white facelift)! Your cute pooch seems to love this room, too !!

  7. bj

    It looks absolutely FABULOUS. You did a super job and I know you and family will so enjoy your new library..
    Love it.

  8. Linda

    Darling and love your cat, too – she/he completes the library!

    Best wishes – and who knows – we may all end up on wordpress becuz those issues are still happening!


  9. Anonymous

    Love the changes you made to the bookshelves and everything else in the room! Well done Marie.

  10. Michelle

    Hunny your home is beautiful and I love your library re-do! I adore the sailboats and bottles that you added and all your coastal treasures, just perfect. I just picked up the Waterside Cottages book and I love it, so much inspiration. Your fur babies are so cute and Taffy looks like my Bosco. :) He also likes to make himself at home wherever he pleases. :)
    Enjoy your reading room!

  11. Cynthia@Beach Coast Style

    i think you outdid yourself with this redo…I love it and I like the starfish I kinda have an obsession with them. the shelves now look crisp and I love how you reorganized all of your books.

  12. Maureen Calamia

    You added some great Feng Shui to the room. It’s light and airy, feels like chi can flow around well. It’s great that you haven’t packed the bookcases. Best to have some space for chi to circulate and to accept new knowledge (a packed bookcase doesn’t allow for any new books!).

    Regarding the flooring, if you have hardwood, a simple sisal area rug would be perfect. Natural, light and comfortable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Vickie

    I love it. I added a wall of bookcases to my guest room for library space, but it is not enough. We never use our living room either, maybe I shouls put lots of bookcases in there and make a bigger library. You have got me thinking girl.

  14. Entertaining Women

    Wow! You got huge mileage out of a can of white paint and a really good eye for design. I have a feeling your ‘new room’ is going to get a lot more use moving forward. Thank you for sharing your wonderful new project. Cherry Kay

  15. Lavender Dreams

    Be still my heart! Oh, how I love what you’ve created! We decided when we bought this house in Florida that we would make the dining room into a library. We have the table and two chairs….and boxes of books! We haven’t been able to get the bookcases built! I can’t wait….and I’ll keep your photos in my mind for inspiration! WOW! ♥

  16. Victoria

    That looks gorgeous! Isn’t it amazing what a little white paint can do to transform a room? I love all your books and magazines! It’s a lovely room and I know what you mean about feeling disheartened…we live in a tiny rental apartment. But it’s home and it’s cozy:) You did a great job:)

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