I received many requests wanting to know more about the bookshelf in the picture that I shared on an Instagram post of my office area in the new house. I’ve recreated this bookshelf many times over in many different houses in which we have lived. It's a collection of many things, most are actual crates but there is also an old wooden drawer in there as well. It took a while to gather all these things which meant that it started out small.
Here is a picture of what it looked like back in 2012.
And in 2010 I used the wooden drawer as a side table.
Right now I feel it's exactly the size that it needs to be, it doesn't need to get any bigger, for the space that it's in. You could create your own crate bookshelf by purchasing crates at a craft store and painting them or staining them. I personally wanted crates that were painted or stained in various shades and of various sizes so I allowed myself the patience in creating what the end result would look like. It also gave me something to always search for at yard sales and antique stores over the years. As it grew and a new crate was added I was able to recreate the shape by putting it together like a puzzle.
In the mix is, as I mentioned, an old wooden drawer, several authentic milk crates, a vintage Pepsi crate that I found at an antique store, a wine crate from the first time I ordered wine through the mail many, many years ago. The books on the shelves are all mine and ones in which I gravitate to picking up and rereading. In terms of decor because this is in my home office I've chosen items that speak to me personally. A vintage Nikon camera that use to be my father's and when he gave it to me it sparked my love of photography, a wooden dancer figurine which was a gift from a college dance teacher, a glass canister marked "Joy Jar" where anyone is welcome to put their joy on a piece of paper and drop it in, a block with a Buddha quote: "What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create." And a picture from our amazing vacation in South Dakota where we got to go to the top of Crazy Horse! Sitting atop it all is a beautiful stained glass that my mom made for me when I was in college.
I encourage you to find patience in the creating of your home. Allow it to be a reflection of who you are rather than perfectly matched and color coordinated. You aren't living in a showroom, this is your home. Allow it to look like you!