The last time I tried using a sewing machine was in 8th grade Home Ec. at Locust Valley Junior High. I made a very lame peasant skirt and an even more lame tennis dress, and I never looked back. I have no patience for "close work" like that. Gimme a creme brulee torch, a paint brush or a sledge hammer, and I'm a happy girl.
In a perfect world, I'd tear down the ceiling, take off the paneling and rip out/rebuild the closets and shelves. Oh, and have baseboard heating installed. But that's not happening since I directed "many zeros" toward repointing the brick and re-stucco-ing the entire outside back wall. And so, we spruce!
The bookshelves are too plain.
I was going to wrap the shelves in fabric and call it a day, but instead I decided to paint the shelves (tops and bottoms) and inside walls with glossy black paint. I put toile-patterned contact paper, more formally known as "self adhesive decorative covering" on the back wall and finished off the front of each shelf with trim. I used trim called "gimp" which is a woven band of fabric, but you can use "rickrack" which is a zig zag, or trim with pom poms (go nuts!) or plain ribbon. Or use nothing. I like the finished look of the 1/2" gimp, and the contrast against the paint...so everything's not so dark.
Supplies you'll need:
Paint, brush and rag (I used leftover glossy black that I had from repainting a wrought iron railing)
Craft Glue (dries clear)
Straight Edge Razor Blade (to make the final cuts to the contact paper once it's in place)
First, open the window a crack to ventilate!
Paint the inside walls, tops and bottoms of the shelves, and leave the shelf fascia yellow, for some contrast when the trim is applied. Leave the back wall unpainted---no need to waste paint or energy. The paint was thick, so I only needed one coat.