Named by Garrett. Because of the awe-struck way he feels every time he sees it.

The Need

I’ve always wanted a built-in. Books, I love them. I don’t know why it started, but I was out one day by myself and stumbled into the book section of a thrift store, which for some reason I’ve never thought to check out. Brought home like fifteen books. A new passion was born. We started raiding everything nearby. Salvation Army, GoodWill. We would do date nights where we would time it so we could go to three different thrift shops just before closing. We’d come home with piles. Ones we’ve read and loved, classics, the occasional wild card or two we had never heard of.

By mid-2016 we had accumulated more than our bookshelves could contain. So when I was approached with the opportunity to renovate a house, thoughts about built-ins were close behind. I just needed to have it. The living room just felt like the most natural location. The fireplace and cabinet felt lop-sided. It needed a change.


The Cubbies

I was at the Rebuilding Center in Portland and found a lot of high-quality wood cubbies. They must have come from a pre-school or grade school. I bought all of them. They had hardware, shelves, and bases on them. I took all of them off during a snow day. We got snowed in at the project house and while everyone else was playing board games and watching movies, I was taking apart the cubbies and stacking them. Daydreaming about putting books on them. I had to build the top cubby custom with wood that I found down in our barn, and the wood is a little wonky, but I’m just so pleased with the finished result.



Painting this was a pain, but you can bet the books were on it as soon as it dried. This bookcase is my favorite part of the house. Painting the wall black next to it does more to make the books pop. The books add such an interesting texture to the room that I adore. Though it could do with some child locks.


We’re calling this pre-literacy ????

A post shared by Racheal Alvstad Jackson (@jackstad) on


1 Comment

  1. Angela

    The bookshelf is amazing! I’ve always gone to used bookstores, but I’ve never thought of going to thrift stores for their books. Brilliant!! Date night this week…


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