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Design Within Our Reach: Pimp My O’Brien

Love the looks of the DWR parallel shelving that I just blogged but can’t afford either the white-lacquered $1,700 version, or the $2400 find in oak? No worries. Order the sturdy Thomas O’Brien bi-fold bookcase for $239 (74H x 72W x 11.75D) from Target and pimp it! It has great customer reviews, and since I examined this bad boy in person, I know it’s nice and would be fun to alter a little with a mere can of paint.


You can white-lacquer your hearts out, or paint it bold red, black, or leave it alone because the wood is an appealing color in person. You can even do a little two-tone magic on it, like the bookcase shown above from a back issue of Living Etc magazine. Sure, the design is different, but it’s the paint job we’re focusing on here — the lovely two-tone style in white and wood. Oh wait… You see this bookcase and like it so much for it’s compact cuteness, and want that one instead? Well, this is a no-brain situation because you can order the Remsen bookcase as-is from West Elm for $399.

So my friends, we do have affordable options sometimes, ones that don’t involve lumber yards and power tools. Just add paint!

(images from target, DWR, and living etc)

Posted by decor8 in diy, furniture on July 24, 2007

Your comments...

  1. Jess commented
    July 24th, 2007 at 11:31pm

    These are great finds! And affordable! Thanks!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. rina commented
    July 25th, 2007 at 12:42am

    Hi, just your average, lurking design neophyte here. I love reading your blog; it’s full of inspiration! This post was very timely as I’ve been searching for an (affordable) open shelving unit for my new studio apartment. The O’Brien’s too wide for my space. I *love* the bookcase in Living, Etc., but that’s not exactly like the Remsen. The Remsen actually seems a little heavy and clunky to me. Do you know who makes the bookcase in the picture? Thanks!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. decor8 commented
    July 25th, 2007 at 2:47am

    Jess – Thanks for stopping by!

    Rina – No, it’s definitely not exactly the Remsen, but the lines and a lot alike, size, and of course, being two tone. The bookcase is by Russel Pinch for Benchmark (UK) and goes for around $1,800. I wrote to them about shipping a few months ago and they never responded, so I’m not sure if they ship to the states or have a showroom here or what.

    Here’s their website:
    http://www.benchmark-furniture.com/

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  4. rina commented
    July 25th, 2007 at 3:01pm

    Oh well, $1800 is way out of my budget anyway. Thanks for the information, though!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. gregg commented
    July 24th, 2012 at 6:28pm

    Does anyone know where i can find the thomas obrien shelf? I have one already and want the double wide, or another single, or both.

    Thanks,

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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