The Apartment Bedroom Shelves are Gone!

I will admit that sometimes I make major errors in judgment and experience lapses in taste. Sometimes the vision in my head does not exactly gel with the realities of how something looks in real life. The bookshelves in our apartment bedroom? One of these times.


These shelves went up almost three years ago in a fit of panic, when my modest book collection collided with Max’s enormous book collection and and we found our new, co-habited lives together overrun with books. People can wax poetic all day about how the presence of books makes a house into a home and whatever, but in a small New York City apartment, this many books can be hugely challenging. At the time I tried to think of as many places as I could to stash the books, but all of the solutions either meant kissing goodbye to a few prime art walls, or another necessary piece of furniture, or a window, or my sanity. My friend Maya had constructed these super amazing wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling shelves (pic here) with nothing but 2 x 12 pine lumber and steel L-brackets, and some part of my brain decided I could replicate the look with 1 x 12 pine (first mistake), not wall-to-wall (second mistake), and not floor-to-ceiling (third mistake).

It did not pan out well. What I ended up with was a mess of shelves hanging too high with ugly hardware above my desk, back when I still entertained the notion that I’d ever use a desk facing a wall in my bedroom (fourth mistake).

Because I put a fairly significant amount of effort into building them and really did a number on the plaster underneath in the process and they served their function reasonably well and there weren’t loads of other options, I went through all the stages of regret and remorse that one does with these kinds of things. At first I tried to like them. They weren’t overbearing; they were bold. The hardware wasn’t ugly; it was utilitarian. The books weren’t overcrowded or cluttered; they were cozy. And so on.

Eventually, the desk went away and a much more practical dresser took its place. The dresser is really pretty and, like, a real piece of furniture instead of something I cobbled together, and I think the shelves started to look extra bad as a result of the pairing.

At some point, I went from pretending I sort of liked the shelves to despising them with every fiber of my being. I don’t know when it happened—I don’t recall any defining moment—but the transition was swift and aggressive. Every morning I woke up resenting the shelves, the books on them, the fact that they hadn’t collapsed during the night and crushed me in my sleep”¦my hatred knew no bounds. I try not to apologize for things in my home when people come over, but I got in the habit of always apologizing for those shelves. In retrospect, maybe the shelves weren’t even that bad, but I wasn’t really seeing things rationally anymore.

Admittedly, I feel a lot of disappointment in myself that I never really solved the shelf issue in any commendable or creative way. I had a couple half-baked ideas, but by the time I had kind of stopped improving the other spaces in our apartment and would have maybe circled back to reevaluate the shelf situation, we decided to buy a house and relocate the vast majority of the library there. The rest went on these little shelves in the corner of our bedroom, re-purposed from old Elfa components from my childhood bedroom. Hooray for me. I’m so clever.



But! With the books either gone or relocated to these little shelves, I could finally just take down the original offenders. I don’t even think I have a single picture of it happening, or the wall repair that ensued afterward. Since I hung the brackets with big toggle anchors, and there were four holes in each bracket, and there were 16 brackets, there were 64 large 1″ holes to repair (fifth mistake—wtf was wrong with me?). I ended up having to repair the holes with fiberglass mesh tape and skim-coat the wall before re-painting it. I never stopped kicking myself until it was over.


But now? BLANK WALL. LIKE THEY WERE NEVER THERE. I know this picture is kind of super lousy, but the lighting in this room is tough. I TRIED.

I don’t know. I kind of got so used to seeing/hating those shelves that I’m really enjoying having this wall completely empty right now. I thought I’d hang a reasonable painting or something on it once the shelves were down, but I don’t think we really have anything that I like that’s the right size and would play well with the enormous pieces over the bed. I know. Cry me a river.

But seriously, at night when the thrifted block lamp is on and brassy candlesticks are lit in front of that big blank white wall, it kind of looks like some kind of Scandinavian villain lives here. I dig it.

Maybe I’ll hang a mirror there or something. Maybe I won’t. I can’t predict what I’ll do. It doesn’t really matter, in the scheme of things. Someday we’ll all be dead.


ANYWAY. That’s basically the deal with the bedroom. Aside from obsessing over the idea of painting the whole room black and reupholstering the bed in canvas drop-cloths and finding new side tables and maybe new bedside lights, I finally feel generally happy with the bedroom. So that’s nice and stuff.

Ignore those slabs of burl under the bed. I HAVE AN IDEA FOR THOSE, OK?

If you want to see more pictures of the apartment bedroom, here you go!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 3.31.14
    Nicole said:

    Wow it’s like lifting a giant weight off your shoulders. So much lighter…I love it!

    I know how you feel about the book situation. My boyfriend has an insanely large book collection and insisted when we moved into our apartment that we build a library, I was ok with the decision but didn’t really plan on having so many shelves with books a few layers deep in some spots. Thankfully our library actually makes sense though, while your shelves were lovely, the bedroom was for sure an odd space. I look forward to seeing what you put there….if anything.

    Also, i love your blog, i always get super exited when you post renovation updates! Super inspiring!

    oh ya if you’re interested, you can see our library situation here: and also here:

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Oh wow, perfect use for that space!! It looks great! That’s so many books!

  2. 3.31.14
    Katharine said:

    Must feel so good to have that completed!

    Here’s a total plaster newbie question: what do you recommend for simply hanging things up without causing too much damage (and what will I have to do to repair it once I move out of the rental)? I’ve spent a year in a rental with plaster walls just kind of leaning pictures against walls because I’m scared/lazy to start hanging things, but I want that to end.

    • 3.31.14
      Cate said:

      We have crumbly plaster walls and I’ve found the OOK brand picture hangers work very well for art. They come with super sharp nails and are meant for plaster, not drywall. So far, no crumbling. But don’t use them for shelves or other heavy objects. I hung a mirror in plaster over a brick wall with a special thing called a lead anchor and a drill bit specially made for masonry.

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Yep, I second all of that!

    • 4.1.14
      Ryan said:

      I use the same kind of picture hangers in my house and they’re really easy to hammer in the wall, don’t chip the plaster, leave a small hole, and really hold pretty big pictures. I even have a mirror hanging on one (it’s about 18″ round in an old wood frame and it’s been hanging there for a few years no problem). And on really large frames I just use two.

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Don’t fear the plaster! I just use totally regular picture hooks for hanging normal pictures and paintings. For heavier-duty stuff, a regular plastic anchor and screw seems to work best for me. Toggle anchors are great for REALLY heavy things but definitely require a large hole (which has to go through both the plaster and the lath) and are a harder repair later on. For just smallish holes and stuff, I find Ready Patch to be the best spackle compound (it dries very hard and doesn’t really shrink), and for larger holes I use fiberglass mesh (either tape or a square screen”¦whatever will cover the hole) and a few layers of joint compound feathered out to the surrounding surface and sanded.

  3. 3.31.14
    H said:

    ‘Someday we’ll all be dead!’ This paragraph just made me laugh so hard I started to cough, and now my entire family thinks my cold has morphed into pneumonia and wants me to see the doctor. Also, that’s my new personal design motto. Thanks Daniel!

  4. 3.31.14
    Mimi said:

    Someday we’ll all be dead. Ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha. Best.

  5. 3.31.14
    Cleshawn said:

    haha, Scandinavian villain, oh you! Another job well done!

  6. 3.31.14
    Ginger said:

    So I recently redid my daughter’s bedroom. She wanted purple (GAG). I wanted navy (YAY!). We went with purple because it’s her room…but it’s on inoffensive purple, ok? Like almost grey purple. I wound up kinda loving it. ANYWAY…I repainted her platform bed black and made a new duvet cover and pillows with mustaches painted on them (she’s 8…don’t judge) out of dropcloths. LOVE IT. Seriously. That chick who drags mud in everywhere, including on top of her bed. I throw it right in the washer and it just gets better and softer and more awesome-looking with each wash. DOOOOOOO EEEEEEET, Daniel. You won’t regret it.

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      I’m sure it’s great! I’d be upholstering the bed, so spot-cleaning only, but I think it would be awesome. The wool blankets I used the first time around are holding up well, but the woven texture is kind of a dog-hair trap, and it’s hard to ever fully get clean. My big hesitation with redo-ing it is that I’d have to paint the walls! (also, that the upholstery job was kind of hard and boring the first time around”¦and maybe I don’t love this bed enough to do it all over again”¦)

  7. 3.31.14
    Brent said:

    I too, audibly laughed at “Someday we’ll all be dead.” I employ a similar view when I start to obsess over a certain area and can’t come to a solution that satisfies me right then and there.

    I did some digging to see where the duvet is from- Muji, yes? Is it the washed cotton? Is it soft? My bed has had a naked duvet on it for a year and a half now, and it’s definitely time for a cover.

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Yes, that’s the one! It looks like they don’t make the grey color in any size other than Twin anymore (weird!), but the other colors are nice too. I LOVE it. It isn’t super soft I wouldn’t say”¦kind of closer to a linen texture? But maybe softer than linen? It’s really nice”¦weighty, and seems to just get better with every wash. I have nothing but good things to say about it!

    • 4.1.14
      Gillianne said:

      FYI, the H&M Home Store now offers washed linen duvets in both light gray and dark gray:

  8. 3.31.14
    Rasmus said:

    I’d put a round mirror above the dresser. With a matching wooden frame. My link is to a quick mock-up, where I’ve superimposed one onto your photo.

    …would also move the radiator, so it “fitted” with the window. To my Scandinavian, bauhaus-mind, it seems out of place ;-)

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Ha, you crazy! But yes, a round mirror is something I think about a lot. I think it would help brighten up the bedroom, too, which might in turn make me not want to paint it black so much”¦

      You have no idea how much I wish moving the radiator was an option! Alas, it’s attached to century-old steam pipes that stretch up 5 floors”¦it’s not an option at all. I wish!

    • 4.1.14
      Rasmus said:

      Yeah, moving radiators is a pain, but as a gung-ho diy-apartment-plumber, I was somewhat surprised at the ease.
      1) Turn off and bleed the system related to the pipes feeding and draining said radiator (which is usually done in the summer anyway). If you’re not on the top floor, ask the people on the top floor to open their vent to empty that part of the system.
      2) Cut the pipes where they enter and exit (have cloth and buckets for safety)
      3) Install threaded ends
      4) Install valves, so the radiator can be moved without trouble in the future
      5) Install radiator

      Alternative: Radiatorskjuler. Or radiator cover. It is a lovely radiator, but you can overrule the visual lines by installing a bench. New illustration in link ;-)

  9. 3.31.14
    Sterling said:

    I was in the camp that didn’t think the shelves looked bad when you first did them…now that they’re gone, I’ve switched sides. You were right the whole time, they looked rough. The blank wall makes the room look spacious, but I’m too much of a maximalist to leave prime real estate like that sitting for long. And I don’t even want to talk about my book situation. 1,500 volumes and growing. Don’t go into academia.

  10. 3.31.14
    Lisa said:

    Daniel – It looks fantastic!! Just wondering, what products did you use to skim coat? I have the same walls / hole problem and your walls look great!!

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Thank you! I just used regular self-adhesive fiberglass mesh drywall tape and regular all-purpose joint compound (pre-mixed from a tub). Three layers of compound with a large spackle knife, feathering out to the surrounding wall surface, and lots of sanding smooth when the third layer is dry. Old plaster walls are very forgiving with these types of repairs because they’re already sort of lumpy and irregular, so it wasn’t too hard to get everything blended and looking OK. Skim-coating can be sort of challenging at first (and the first coat is always like OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE!), but it’s not too hard, especially for stuff like this!

  11. 3.31.14
    Senora H-B said:

    Oh, @Sterling, how you speak the truth!

    Love this post. I really appreciate that you show us where you feel like you screwed up and then write an amazing story about how you fixed it. Basically you’re brilliant!

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Well, I don’t know about THAT, but I’ll take it! Thanks! :)

  12. 3.31.14
    Elin said:

    Good for you – that looks so much nicer :) I personally never liked the black brackets.

    I don’t know if these pictures show the entire bok collection, but it’s always cracked me up that you call this an “enormous book collection”. We currently have 60 feet of bookshelves in our (two bedroom) apartment and it is not enough – we have books piled in closets, in the basement, on our nightstands, and recently donated several boxes to thriftshops.

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      The first before picture shows most of the books, yes! There were more stashed above the kitchen cabinets and on a few surfaces, but anyway. I guess it’s not THAT huge, but it definitely FELT huge in relation to a) how much we actually read and b) how little space we had! The options for book storage in this apartment are just sort of bad, no matter where they’d go”¦I don’t think I would have cared as much if we had a little more space or even just a better wall!

  13. 3.31.14
    Jean said:

    Thanks for posting. I’ve missed the apartment!

    • 4.5.14
      Nancy said:

      Me too.

  14. 3.31.14
    Kirk said:

    +1 for the mirror ;)

  15. 3.31.14
    Anne said:

    It’s good to finally scratch an itch.

    (Looks great!)

    • 4.1.14
      pericolosa said:

      Yeah. I didn’t realize how much anxiety I was having about Daniel’s shelving myself until I saw the photo of the blank walls. Such an enormous relief. Whew.

  16. 3.31.14

    Your life is so sexy and designed! I love it. My room is a shameful room of blah.

  17. 3.31.14
    Jamie B. said:

    I’m a big reader and book lover, but since I moved into a small apartment my rule is, if I haven’t read it at least three times, it’s culled from the collection. I have always had packrat tendencies but I’ve finally learned, it’s just not worth it!
    Anyway, if you don’t want your bedside tables, DIBS!!

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      3 times! I don’t think I’d have”¦any books left. I need to read more!

      I know how hard it is to get rid of books, though!! I hold onto them for all sorts of reasons. I hold onto books I didn’t even like because they might be good references for SOMETHING (what, I have no idea”¦) or just because I remember what else I was doing at the time in my life when I was reading them. Letting them go is really difficult, even knowing I’ll never read them again. Congrats on learning that it’s OK to pass them on sometimes! :)

  18. 3.31.14
    Jo said:

    Y’know, I liked those bookshelves when you put them up.

    Keep in mind, I am speaking as a woman who grew up as a child in a more-than-huge house with bookshelves behind every door, along every wall, and actually running down the middle of my dad’s study. I am from a line of people (the ‘rents) who will BUY A DIFFERENT HOUSE just so there’s room for the bookses, Precious. (No, seriously: they bought a house in Seattle, then discovered it wasn’t big enough for all the books, so bought another one more than twice the size.)

    That said, I’m glad you’re happier with the way things are now. I have to admit that it makes the “likes bare walls” part of my brain much happier as it is now.

    Please come be my friend so I no longer design around my books. I have only three bookshelves now, a total of about thirty lineal feet of space, so it’s not a big deal. I promise. Just don’t put your grubby little paws on my first-edition OZ books, or there will be bloodshed.

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      I would never!! I want to see those books, though! I bet they’re beautiful!! I have an early edition one with color illustrations”¦sigh. So beautiful.

      I don’t think I’m the right person for the job, though! I *did* design around the books, and the result was not good! My solution was just moving them somewhere else!! Not very practical advice, I recognize. :)

  19. 3.31.14
    adam said:

    Canvas drop-cloths are gold. I have one hanging as a pseudo-curtain separating my bed from my living room in my cookie cutter studio for the time being. As a toy with the idea of a move, I’ve been pondering how to re-purpose it in a new place.

    As always, a big fan.


  20. 3.31.14
    Cate said:

    That corner with the new shelves: So. Cute. How did you do that?

    • 3.31.14
      Daniel said:

      Thanks! They’re just standard components from Elfa! Nothing complicated! I reused these pieces from shelving I had in the room I grew up in that was probably purchased about 10 years ago”¦I think the walnut-veneer shelving has been discontinued at this point, but the system is the same. I love it! ClosetMaid makes a verrrryyyy similar modular shelving system for way cheaper, which we might use up at the house with long pieces of standard lumber for the shelves.

    • 4.3.14
      Cate said:

      Thanks, I’ll have to check it out.

  21. 4.1.14
    Simone said:

    O Daniel, so pleased you got rid of that. I felt it was misplxaed from the beginning (I think I advised you to take them down and look into buying an Expedit from Ikea) Anyway, I am happy you are happy, it feels as if there is more breathing space in there. You could try to cover the bed not by stretching the new fabric over it and then tacking it in place but by sewing a sort of envelope-cover that you just pull over it. In the areas where you want to “close” or attach it you could use velcro. Makes the entire thing washable as well. If you use Ikea’s Aina fabric (100% linen) a bit of bagginess sort of fits with the nature of the material. Paola Navone upholsters sofas this way and even turns the seams inside out (but I think that may be a tad too rustic for you guys).
    Have a lovely day!

    • 4.1.14
      Simone said:

      PS I would paint the wall behind the bed black (it woould make your art really come out as well), but leave this wall white, because it gives you spaciousness, especially if you look towards the bedroom from the livingroom (not sure that explaines what I mean).

  22. 4.1.14
    Anne said:

    just wrote “someday we’ll all be dead” and taped it to my computer at work. :-) Thanks Daniel for starting my day out with a laugh and some reality!

  23. 4.1.14

    you always make me feel like I’m repairing and hanging plaster way wrong, ha. Like I’m all about drywall screws and spackling mistakes. Granted I’ve never had a hole much bigger than a screw hole, but it seems to work for me! What do you recommend for the cracks plaster seems to get every once in awhile. I have one on my ceiling that’s bugging me, nothing structural, just a crack.

    • 4.1.14
      Daniel said:

      Ha! Well, I guess it if works, who am I to tell you it’s wrong! Do your thing.

      For cracks, what you’re supposed to do is sort of dig out the crack a bit, fill it with joint compound, cover it with fiberglass mesh tape, and cover that with like 3 more thin layers of joint compound. Basically the idea is that the fiberglass mesh isolates the top layer from the plaster underneath, which will continue to move and shift and crack over time. If the crack is being caused because the plaster has come away from the lath (common on ceilings), you might need to use plaster buttons to hold it back up. If you’re really interested in plaster repair, I highly recommend reading the plaster repair series over at Old Town Home!

    • 4.1.14

      thanks! I don’t think it’s come away from the lathe but thats handy to have! I’m pretty sure my house is at least 40% spackle and caulk at this point, gotta love old houses.

  24. 4.1.14
    Laura C said:

    Is your bedroom ceiling wavy? Upper left corner of the last picture looks like it, but maybe that’s an optical illusion. In any case, the room looks so much better without the shelves. I have a huge Cado wall system installed on one wall of my bedroom, chock-full of books. I love it, but at the same time, I feel like it’s too oppressive to have all those books looming over me when I’m trying to sleep. Can’t wait to move it all to my someday second home…

    • 4.1.14
      Daniel said:

      Yes, it is wavy! Apparently that part of the ceiling all caved in at some point and was reattached, but maybe not very well! This whole building is probably falling down, no big deal.

      Cado is so pretty! I don’t think I would have minded having all the books in the bedroom, it was more just an issue of the ugly shelves and the awkward placement and all that. I bet yours looks great!

  25. 4.1.14
    Tiffany said:

    Hey Daniel Kanter! Are you saying that I’m NOT COOL because that’s not cool…dang it…you know I work from home and I live in the country so I’m as isolated as a person that does exactly what I just described…really isolated.

    I come to your blog because I’m an old house person too (1890 farmhouse) and low and behold you’re telling me the shelves I put in 2 years ago drove you mad mad and that they were bad taste on your behalf.

    Can’t a girl get some love! All I wanted was a library…in a farmhouse which doesn’t exist and if there’s a designated room in someone’s farmhouse for a library then that farmhouse is a liar because we know they are much too modest for that nonsense…but I wanted it, so I decided to put in my entryway. I couldn’t have shelves allllll the way to floor because we have ugly broken baseboards and we need them so we don’t die in the winter…though truthfully this winter I saw some angels.

    Nothing works right in that space because of the baseboards — so I settled on “new” elfa shelves and made due. This is what they look like — like I said it’s been 2 years and some things have changed in the room, plus of course I have loads more ideas for that space….but now I’m not sure how to feel about them…and that’s on you! Yep…just set it right there in your lap. :) Though aggressively put — I really am only kidding…kind of…I might have to depend more heavily on my dog thinking I’m cool than usual today.

    • 4.1.14
      Daniel said:

      Wait, wait, wait, SLOW DOWN WOMAN! I’m not saying anything about your shelves! I’m only talking about my shelves! My ugly shelves over my dresser, which were just crappy wood and standard steel L-brackets spray painted black! My shelves that were NOT GOOD AT ALL.

      I happen to really, really like Elfa shelving (and similar systems!)—that’s why I put it up in the corner of our bedroom (which I’m super happy with!), and why I think we’ll probably use it at the house, too! We saw Elfa being used EVERYWHERE when we were in Sweden and Finland (it’s a Swedish company!) and it looked amazing and gave me all sorts of ideas. I think your shelves look great!!


  26. 4.1.14
    Tiffany said:

    he he he…maybe. ;) you’ll have to excuse my aggressive tendencies…it’s the isolation — its made me paranoid and nell like. well my shelves have a ways to go, as does my entire home but I appreciate the compliment and effort to confirm your Elfa love. xo

  27. 4.1.14
    Rob said:

    How about centering the smaller picture over the bed and centering the larger picture over the dresser!?!? Just sayin…………


  28. 4.1.14
    Elise said:

    I snorted my coffee out at “Someday we’ll all be dead.”

  29. 4.1.14
    Merissa said:

    The room looks so much more open without those shelves! Can’t imagine how relieved you must feel.

    It sounds like you’re not really looking for anything to hang up on that wall, but just in case you are: I’m starting to make large-scale prints of vintage stamps. Super big, up to 3×5′! You can really appreciate the detail in the designs at this size, and because they’re super high-resolution, you can even see the fiber in the paper it was printed on! I have some info about them here :

    But, your room is so lovely I couldn’t help but do a quick mock-up of my fave stamps in your room:

    (don’t worry – I’ll take the page down tomorrow, don’t want to steal your picture!)

  30. 4.1.14
    oh holland said:

    The bedroom looks great! Steer any urges to paint it to your house. Someday we’ll all be dead, but before that happens you probably won’t be renters any more.

  31. 4.2.14
    Luna said:

    Ahhh, a breath of fresh air!

  32. 4.2.14
    kerry said:

    I like the nihilist twist in the middle. I LOVE the wall. I like one blankish wall in each room so I have somewhere to look when I’m thinking my deep thoughts. Nothing as deep as “someday we’ll all be dead” mind you, but I try. Seriously though, I do like something calm to stare at when brainstorming for work or whatever. I find I can use it as a mental whiteboard. Plus when I look at spaces like that, I swear I breathe a little easier. (but I grew up in tchotchke central, so that might just be a personal issue)

    Also, I think I love the idea of a canvas drop cloth headboard and might be stealing it. Thank you.

  33. 4.2.14
    Thel said:

    Brilliantly written post, Daniel! Just what I’ve come to expect from you, of course.

    I would leave that wall blank – it’s more soothing when you’re facing that way when trying to get to sleep. Perhaps a plant on the dresser though? Not big, just green. Green is also soothing when trying to get to sleep.

    By the way, if your new dresser had a head and a tail, it would be called a buffalo. Or a bison. Either way, it’s a beast! Good choice! Just what I’ve come to expect from you, of course . . .

  34. 4.3.14
    Christiana said:

    Nice! I NEVER say this… but I am digging that wall blank.

  35. 4.3.14
    Patience said:

    The wall looks great! I can relate to those lapses of taste. My entire kitchen is like a museum to my bad choices. As for drop cloths, I recently slipcovered two couches with painters drop cloths and I’m pleased with how they turned out. I sewed them myself, so they definitely look homemade and unprofessional, but that’s fine. They’re old couches and we have dogs and kids who get dirt everywhere, so it’s great to be able to wash everything.

  36. 4.3.14
    amey judd said:

    i think just empty zen meditation space is at such a premium in NYC that the clean white awesomely skim-coated space is what i’d keep. maybe get one of those silhouette candle shades to throw romantic shadows up on it at night. or have that be a space for evanescent things. flowers.

  37. 4.3.14
    Angie said:

    Wandered over here from apartmenttherapy and must say it’s stellar how you’ve done so many before/afters the way they SHOULD be done – a photo of one exact spot before and after – rather than just random photos from all angles of the room.
    Will definitely be coming back here. Kudos!

  38. 4.3.14
    Erin L said:

    Congrats on getting rid of those shelves you hate, and the awesome wall repair job!

    Is it ok to admit that I envy your bedroom floor? We have boring rental laminate floors, which our landpeople didn’t even install correctly (they didn’t bother to take off the baseboards everywhere, so some of the flooring slats slide around when stepped on!) I can see brick flooring underneath some of them (WHY would they cover that up? Unless there some really bad foundation damage maybe?)

  39. 4.3.14
    zola said:

    of course this post appears just as Im about to put up shelves in my bedroom on the weekend…….. gah !
    I think Im OK tho ……. they will be long and low on the wall opposite the bed. Ive chosen to do them in unfinished MDF ………. so they dont clash with the wood floor and with simple white brackets. …. very scandi/minimalist/

    wish me luck . Hopefully only 30 holes necessary for 3 shelves :)

  40. 4.4.14
    gretaclark said:

    Hi Daniel, I know that you are a Cute Overload fan. Did you see this one? Scroll down to the Finnish man with the otter. He has some real styling going on in his cabin.

  41. 4.5.14
    jill said:

    what kind of pillows are on your bed and do you like them?

    • 4.5.14
      Daniel said:

      They’re the GOSA PINJE pillow (for side sleepers, but they make ones for back/stomach sleepers, too) from IKEA! They’re really nice and wayyyyyyyyyy cheaper than feather/down pillows from anywhere else.

  42. 4.5.14
    gretaclark said:

    Now the Finnish cabin is here. Scroll down to Kaikki Adorbs

  43. 4.7.14

    More proof that a little imagination and elbow grease can do wonders. Bravo!

  44. 4.10.14
    jess said:

    I don’t read here often so got confused, you moved to a new house and still have the apartment with your stuff in it? Which place do you actually live in?

    • 4.10.14
      Daniel said:

      Yep, about a year ago we bought a pretty run-down old house in Kingston, NY, which is about 2 hours from Brooklyn. We both have fairly flexible work hours, so we split our time about 50/50 between the apartment and the house, just depending on what we have going on during any given week. We moved some of our stuff to the house (like a lot of the books!) but it’s mostly a crazy renovation zone right now.

  45. 4.14.14
    Penley said:

    I think it looks great. My solution to blank walls when I have no appropriate art? A plant. Or a vase that’s big enough to stick a few elephant ears in as they last for ages and don’t die immediately like flowers. Then you’ve bought yourself some time to think about what’s going to go on the wall.

    Great room by the way. Being of Scandi blood myself I loved the villain reference. Immediately thought of that guy from True Blood (Eric?) and got a bit too excited for a Tuesday morning at work.

  46. 6.8.14

    I can’t believe there were ever shelves there, your patch job looks incredible! Question about the Elfa shelves on plaster walls: did you use toggle anchors to hang those? I too have very crumbly old walls, and while I hate making monster holes for the toggles, I’ve had trouble getting plastic anchors to hold in the past. I want to put in a shelving system above my desk to house my craft supplies and so I can style it all pretty like a real blogger.

  47. 1.29.15
    Rose said:

    Do you know roughly what dimensions the lamp has? I love the style of this pendant but am worried about which size is best for my space. This one looks perfect!

    • 1.30.15
      Daniel said:

      This is the medium size!