A Built-from-Scratch Bookshelf Is the Cozy Hub in This Living Room

published Jan 26, 2024

A Built-from-Scratch Bookshelf Is the Cozy Hub in This Living Room

published Jan 26, 2024
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Bedrooms
Square feet
1600
Sq ft
1600
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Emily Raciti; her husband, Evan; and their 1-year-old daughter, Mila, have owned this three-bedroom townhome for two years. “A job opportunity led us out to California after a long time on the East Coast, and we’ve tried to really lean into the West Coast vibe when designing this home,” Emily writes. “With a one-year-old baby and two parents working from home, creating functional spaces in our somewhat cozy townhome was a must.”

Emily explains that the family moved into their home with a lot of the furniture that’s here now (save for the coffee table, which will be explained more below), but she says they did update the kitchen a bit. “[W]e did a lot of DIY and it was about $8K for new countertops, backsplash, cabinet painting, and a few new appliances,” she describes.

Credit: Emily Raciti

Apartment Therapy Survey

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We have a living room that also functions as a playroom (the dozens of toys usually covering the floor were tucked away for the photo), and a dining room and guest room that also function as office spaces for each of us. Although it’s not a huge house, we love living here — there’s lots of sunlight, there are outdoor spaces off of every room, and it’s a great location close to downtown.

Credit: Emily Raciti

What is your favorite room and why? The living room! We love all the sunlight it gets through the big bay windows, and we spend the majority of our time as a family there. As book-lovers I knew our bookshelf would be a focal point in our home — I built ours from scratch at six months pregnant (my daughter had very strong opinions about the saw noise based on her kicks). It’s far from perfect, but I think it adds a lot of character to our living space, and it was such a fun challenge figuring out how to put it together when I had never built anything bigger than IKEA furniture before.

Credit: Emily Raciti

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? (Include links if you have them!) We were sad to part with our old rectangular coffee table when our daughter started walking around (the corners were a little too sharp!), but I absolutely adore the new round table we got from Masaya Co. It’s solid mahogany wood at a great price point and the company has a really inspiring sustainability mission. Most important, it’s very toddler-friendly!

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: Warm cozy Californian.

Credit: Emily Raciti

What’s your best decorating, shopping, cleaning, or organizing advice? Don’t be afraid to try new things! I would have never thought I would be able to build a bookshelf or install tile backsplash myself, but figuring out how to do these things has been so rewarding.

Resources

Thanks, Emily!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.