Spots & a Sputnik

By Kate Riley November 6, 2014

I made some changes to my home office this week, I wanted to jazz it up with a new light fixture and change the background on my bookshelves to include a pattern. I spend almost as much time in here each day as I do sleeping so I wanted it to be fun.  I’ve been crushing on spotted backgrounds for a few months so that’s what I went with, navy of course since gold + blue = my fave.

spotted besta billy bookcases

We built this IKEA Besta + Billy bookcase combo with lights for my office almost two years ago and I still love it so much, it’s one of my favorite IKEA hacks in our home. I added Lucient Light Shop as a favorite on Etsy and a few months ago ordered an eight arm raw brass sputnik from Sarah, I love the shape of it! 

sputnik lucient light shop

You can buy spotted wallpaper, Thibaut’s Tanzania is so very chic. I even considered designing my own and uploading to Spoonflower but instead the impatient-cheap-get-it-done-now side of me opted for paint. This is not a stencil, although you can buy this cheetah spot version and it is very similar although the spots are more spaced out. No I just winged it with… a kitchen sponge.          

Yeah, that’s right a good ol’ kitchen sponge. I hacked one into several different size pieces, poured some blue paint leftover from this IKEA bookshelf project, and just started randomly sponging the background of my bookcases. (Insert obvious jokes about sponging walls here).

kitchen sponge for spots

sponged spots

The spots can get specked looking in the middle using these cheap sponges so sometimes you have to go over them again (pain!) and it does take a while, I laugh how I thought I could finish in 2 hours, ha! More like 6…  Anyway, it’s a fun spotted pattern, one I love but then when I don’t anymore it’s just paint so can always change it up again. 

billy besta bookcases with brass lights


spots inside bookshelves up close


spotted background bookcase up close


billy besta bookcases brass lights


sputnik and spotted background


I also turned my desk inside the room instead of having it face out the window which I’m liking… I’ll share more pics of the other side of the room after I sew some new curtains. 

x base desk besta billy bookcases


if you want to see how we made this wall unit with IKEA pieces and added crown, base, and lights to finish it off read this post!

besta billy bookcase project


  1. Looks great! I love the navy and raspberry curtains you most recently put up in your office and have been anxiously waiting for you to release that fabric. Any chance you’re still going to sell it on Spoonflower sometime soon? I’d love to use it for curtains in my bedroom. Thanks!

  2. I have always loved your bookcases so much. It inspired me and my husband to make our very own set! People always are surprised when they find out it was a DIY with IKEA. Cute idea to use the sponges to update it!

  3. This would be my first post ever.

    Although I have been following your posts regularly for a while now.
    My husband and I are new home owners.
    Ever since we moved into our new home, I have been on a hunt for sources of inspiration for decor and DIY projects.

    Your blog is easily one of my favorites and I simply your design sense and style. In fact I am going to repaint a laminate furniture referencing your tutorial tomo ;)

    I love the mid century modern feel of the room you have got here. Ikea is the best for projects involving book shelves, closets etc. Thanks for sharing your work:)

  4. It looks great! You picked a great shade of blue. I was inspired by you and did something similar with a marble effect but I am not nearly as patient and used scrapbooking paper.

  5. Love the look of the blue spots! It really makes your bookcases pop! I also love the gold/brass comeback! Great post! Thanks.

    OMG Lifestyle Blog

  6. Wow, I liked the bookcases before but now they’re even better! The blue spotted design is such a great way to make them unique and stand out. I make sure to read your blog daily and you never disappoint me!

  7. Beautiful job. I looked back at the original hack and can’t find whether the back of the shelves was wood or not. Ours aren’t and I’m wondering how difficult it would be to paint over/sponge paint.

  8. Have been following your blog for awhile now and always enjoy your posts and love your taste in decorating. However, this might just be my MOST FAVORITE post you’ve ever done! In the process of redecorating my living room and I have shelves to paint white and a blue carpet and this is exactly what I am going to do. Thank you so very much for your inspiration!

  9. Would have never dreamed of doing the spots with a cut up sponge!!! So cool! The whole bookcase is just gorgeous – and that chandelier – I die.

  10. Just when we thought your office couldn’t get any better, you prove us wrong once again…..

  11. Kate, I love the wreaths you designed for Lynch Creek! The Glacier Bay is going to be headed to my home. Love the dots, maybe sneak in a few random gold dots…

  12. I love this bookcase! I went to make it a few months ago and I believe that all of the Ikea pieces you used have been discontinued. So disappointing! Has anyone had any luck finding other Ikea pieces that would be good substitutes?

    • Oh no Teaton! I just hopped over to IKEA I think you’re right, I don’t see those Besta pieces anymore :(

  13. Was hoping to create the same look in my home…Where did you purchase the lights that were mounted on to the shelves? They’re perfection!

  14. Where are the baskets from that you have on the bottom shelf? They are perfect for toy storage, and I need some!

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)