Ta Daa!!

The bookcase is finished.


Mike has never attempted anything like this before or on this scale. He’s done a grand job.

I’ve still got to re-upholster the chair. Its twin, currently stripped back to springs and a frame, will sit on the other side of the TV. The TV itself is going to live in a cupboard, yet to be sourced. There is more structural work to be done in this room, mainly plumbing and the re-routing of the pipes that currently adorn the higher reaches of the walls. Underneath the carpet there’s an original brick floor and that will need restoring. So decorating is on hold. It will look so much better with the black paint removed from the beams.

The priority, for now, was just to find a home for all of those books.


Ta Daa!!

pin it?


2017-11-10T08:49:18+00:00February 23rd, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Denise February 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    WOW! Am jealous! lol! We have to find room for all of our books, currently stored in Bedroom 2. Think it could be a boarded out loft job…..time and patience will tell. I can always come here and gloat! lol!

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      They do take up a huge amount of space don’t they. Thanks Denise.

  2. Jacqueline February 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    That looks wonderful Jessica ….. high five to Mike ! I am a little envious as, although we live in a largish Victorian house, all of the alcoves in every room have furniture in them and wall lights making it very difficult to have bookshelves !
    …… and, I adore your chair and love it the way that it is !! A friend of mine thinks I’m mad …….. we were in an upholsterers in the Cotswolds a couple of weekends ago and I said how much I loved all of the old chairs lined up, waiting to be upholstered, as they were, and I think that she, her husband and my husband were ready to disown me !! XXXX

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      I can see where you’re coming from on the chair, and I agree. Unfortunately it sags (webbing is knackered) so it does need some work. But I have half a mind to cover it with cream linen on the front and hessian on the back.

  3. Denise February 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Well, I was going to say ‘Wow!’ too, but Denise the First beat me to it. (Must be a ‘Denise’ thing!).

    Oh, what the heck….WOW!!! Fabulous! And congratulations to Mike for such a professional finish.

    Denise the Second (also jealous)

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Denise!

  4. Cumbrian February 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    What a lot of books.

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Still a few left over..

  5. Denise February 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Got to meet Denise

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Can I come along too?

      • Denise February 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm - Reply

        I should say so!

        • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply


  6. elaine February 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    I don’t belieeeeeve it – finished at last and looking particularly splendid – well done Mike – and what-a-lot-a books you’ve got.

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Worth the wait!! Thanks Elaine.

  7. BadPenny February 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Magnificent ! Bravo Mike.

    I have a Denise joke – not sure if I wrote it down it would be funny tho ! I’ll try it on a bit of paper

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Then you must come to the party too..

      • David G Anderson February 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm - Reply

        “If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.”
        ― Dorothy Parker

        • Jessica February 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm - Reply

          Hi David and welcome to rusty duck.
          Ahhh Dorothy Parker… always the wit!

    • Denise February 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Is it the one where a man’s sister gives birth to twins. She says, ‘As you are my brother, I am going to let you name them,’ so he goes off to register the births. When he returns, his sister says, ‘we’ll, what did you call them?’ And the man says, ‘I named the little girl Denise,’ and his sister says, ‘That’s nice. What did you call the little boy?’

      And her brother says, ‘Denephew.’

      • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply


        • Denise February 24, 2013 at 8:47 am - Reply

          Sorry…in the cold light of a grey and snowy Sunday morning, I apologise wholeheartedly for the previous joke. And in recompense, here is one of my favourites…ahem – How do you tell the difference between a weasel and a stoat? A weasel is weasely spotted but a stoat is stoatally different!

          Or…I used to have a pet newt. His name was Tiny, because he was my newt.

          (Oh, shut up Denise!)

          • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

            They are getting worse Denise…

  8. CherryPie February 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Wow!! it looks fantastic. I am jealous 😉

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. It does look good. I’m planning feet up reading in the sitting room tomorrow, for the first time in ages!

  9. Josephine February 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Well done !!
    An entire wall of books, I’m so jealous 🙂
    They turned out beautifully.
    Next project, how to back down an amorous pheasant, you’ll need more than a paint gun !

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Now there’s a thought. An amorous pheasant in a delicate tone of Parma Gray.. thanks Jo.

  10. Natalie February 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Looks wonderful! What a great job!!

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Natalie. I’m really pleased with it too.

  11. rachel February 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Phew, what an achievement! But now I’m all overcome by your intention to un-black those beams…. I’m planning to paint ours in a neutral colour (stripping would reveal millions of ancient woodworm holes, too gruesome to look at) but felt too guilty to share this with the world. Until now….

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure how it will turn out. There is something wrong with the big beam in the photo. Sadly it has had extra bits of wood added to box it in. I fear ancient woodworm also. If all else fails my plan is to paint either just it, or all of the beams, off white.

  12. Rosie February 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Looks wonderful and worth all the hard work! Full marks and more to the painter . Now how will you chose which book to read? A random choice or will you work your way through from left to right and top to bottom?

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      It’s a tricky one isn’t it! I will start with the book that’s been sitting on my bedside table since Christmas. A re-read of A Year In Provence.

  13. Judith February 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    A whole glorious wall of books. It looks wonderful, so congrats to Mike and enjoy your reading day tomorrow. I think you have both earned a day off.

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      Thanks Judith. It feels good to have it done. Just in time for the gardening season!!

  14. shaz February 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    beautiful job, I am always amazed at how much less space books on shelves take up (as opposed to when they are stored in boxes)

    • Jessica February 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      So true!!

  15. Sue February 24, 2013 at 12:49 am - Reply

    A fantastic job well done to Mike and to you too, it must have taken ages to get all those books so organised once the shelves were finished but they look wonderful. Cover them well when you do the beams. Personally I think I would just paint them a lighter, matt colour, the only way I know of to get them back to their natural colour successfully would be to blast them, and that would mean emptying the bookcases ………..

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      When we decorate we’d take the bookcase apart again anyway, for its safety. I thought I’d try some paint stripping, but I think you are right, it will end up requiring low pressure blasting. There’s a fireplace covered in black paint that needs doing too.

  16. haggiz February 24, 2013 at 7:39 am - Reply

    What a fantastic job! Have a lovely day reading today, you deserve it. Make the most of the last of the quiet time, it will soon be back to full on garden mode! Julie x

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      It certainly will, weather permitting! And that I am looking forward too.

  17. BadPenny February 24, 2013 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Yes Denise – that’d be the one … my brother told it !

    • Denise February 24, 2013 at 8:48 am - Reply


  18. Heda February 24, 2013 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Woo hoo book cases look wonderful. Denise’s jokes are pretty good too. I’m still laughing anyway!

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks Heda!

  19. Heda February 24, 2013 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Meant to say if I was within cooee I’d be asking for an invite to the party too. And if I’m ever in your part of the world (which alas is most unlikely) I’ll be dropping you a line.

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      I hope you do! Me likewise… it is a dream to get to Australia.

      • Heda February 25, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

        If you do there is a guest room in Sydney that has your name on it. You would be most welcome.

        • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

          That would be great! Thanks Heda!

  20. Em February 24, 2013 at 10:12 am - Reply

    It looks gorgeous. I’d love to get my amateur upholstery hands on that chair! So pleased you’re planning on getting rid of the black on the beams…..bit of a pet hate there. Can’t wait to see it all finished. Congratulations to Mike. You must BOTH be delighted that particular project is all over.

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      It’s been a huge project, very pleased indeed that it is finally done! Thanks Em.

  21. steph February 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    the bookcase looks fantastic!!! don’t you just feel sooooooo organized???

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks Steph. I found several books I’d forgotten I had!

  22. 1gus1 February 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    That is quite a project – huge sighs of relief that it’s done, no doubt. It looks lovely.

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      Massive sighs of relief. A bottle might get cracked open! Thanks.

  23. elizabethm February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. I love walls of books. I agree with you about the beams and the black paint. Ours very fortunately have never been painted apart from the huge one which runs across the centre of the room and was plastered and painted a very long time ago. But we have to know, how do you organise your books? I will confess right now to having all the fiction alphabetised but the non fiction a bit higgledypiggledy!

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Fiction is grouped by ‘his’ and ‘hers’ and then by author! Non-fiction by subject.

      But there are constraints, like shelf height. Paperbacks at the top, hardbacks next two levels down. Then larger books. Hiss and spit at a few very large (square) books that protrude out beyond the shelves. Regardless of subject they are all at the bottom at one end where they are less noticeable!

  24. Vera February 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Nice job! Nice to be tidy too. Nice to see the books all sorted out. Nice to be able to browse the shelves for a read. Nice to be able to enjoy one’s collection. Would be nice if we could be as sorted out as well!

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      You will Vera. You are determined enough and patient enough. And when you are ready for paying guests you had better let me know.

  25. Simone February 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    You did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How wonderful to have a home for all those books. You are an inspiration Jessica (and Mike of course)!

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Mike has done all the hard work. The credit goes to him. I just provided the impetus. OK, I nagged.

  26. Viv February 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Brilliant you have finished but what a marathon! Congratulations to you both. You must be very well insulated now with that wall of books! You could start a small Library service. I would be tempted to start at one end and reread everything.
    PS What happened to the polythene?

    • Jessica February 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks Viv. Certainly a marathon and not something either of us would want to do again!
      We managed to save one piece of polythene out of three to reuse. I’m afraid the other two were coated in paint and went to the dump to be properly disposed of.

  27. Anne February 25, 2013 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Your book cases look wonderful – maybe they just need to make space to sit a stuffed pheasant.
    Apparently the latest method of blasting beams is ice blasting, which makes less mess than sand.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Our pheasant immortalised!
      I looked up ice blasting – it does seem a good solution. Thanks for the tip Anne.

  28. Wendy February 25, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

    What a terrific bookcase; it must be so satisfying to see your books lined up at last.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks Wendy. It adds a lot of character to the room as well.

  29. Brismod February 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Omg! That looks so good. I’ve been a bit absent with my blog reading, so will enjoy catching up with your renovations. xx

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks. It was hard work, but worth it. And isn’t that what makes renovating so addictive?

  30. Annie @ knitsofacto February 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Woohoo, it’s done! Well done Mike 😀

    I’d ask was it worth the sore knees and the pheasant encounters but I’m guessing the answer would be a resounding Yes!

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Annie. What a marathon, eh? It’s certainly made a huge difference to the house.

  31. ropcorn March 3, 2013 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Wow! That is a lot of books. Mike did a great job! 🙂

    • Jessica March 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Maybe too many! Thanks Alex.

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