Friday, September 6, 2013

In Progress: Built-in Bookcases

We are still working on the exterior of our house but a few weeks ago, there was a week-long stretch of rain and started a new project inside. We tend to always have a couple of projects going on at once, it keeps us from getting bored and the time to think about the decisions being made.

The backroom in our house is an addition the previous owners put on. This is the listing photo of the space, they used it as a very large dining room. You can see the lovely air conditioner they put in the wall. Don't worry, there were 4 other sconces to match that black & teal one. :-)

This is the wall to the right of the french doors. You can see all the empty, wasted space.

Since that layout was not working for me, our dining table is in front of this window now. We had to move the chandelier back to where it was originally and of course replaced those sconces. Here is a quick pic.

Okay, back to the topic at hand.. since we moved the dining table over, we were able to create an extra living area in that space where the previous owners had their dining table. (This pic is pretty old, but was the only one I could find before we started the bookcases.)

To the left of the french doors and behind the pair of linen chairs, we wanted to do some sort of feature on that wall. We tossed around the idea of adding a gas fireplace, a TV unit, or a wall of built-in bookcases. We decided on the built-ins since a gas fireplace would be a pretty big job to run the gas line over there ($$) and nixed the idea of the TV because we like to use this space for entertaining and we usually don't have the TV on when company is over.

I thought about building from scratch but that would be pretty time consuming so we went with a pre-made option from IKEA. The Billy bookcases come in a couple of different sizes and have the option for a height extender, doors, extra shelves, etc. so that we could make it to fit our space perfectly. We chose 3 units @ 31.5" wide and added the extender for a total height of 93". Assembly wasn't too bad, only about 30 minutes for each unit. 

I like the look of the doors, so we picked up 3 sets of those for the bottoms. We installed one pair so we could see what they looked like. 

I wanted these to look built-in, so after screwing them together and to the wall, we added some trim pieces to cover the seams and also to make the shelves look chunkier. We used two different size lattice strips from Home Depot.

We still need to add the baseboard & crown molding, then fill & paint all the raw wood to match, and hang the other doors. Even though we are not finished, when you walk into the room, it really draws your eye to the back wall. Love them so far and can't wait to start filling & styling!

Do you also have project ADD? What are you currently working on?



  1. These look great! I have a question: did you attach the lattice strips all the way down, to the bottom? If so, how did you attach the doors with the lattice strips there.
    Also, did you attach one strip across all three bookcases horizontally and then nail one strip vertically on top of the horizontal strip? Or did you cut strips to size to cover each hole?
    Sorry for all the annoying quesitons. This really looks great

    1. Hi There, we installed vertical strips first, all the way to the bottom. Then cut the horizontal ones, each individually. The hinges for the doors are adjustable so the slight additional thickness of the lattice was not an issue. Also these IKEA hinges were mounted inside the cabinet side, not on the front where the lattice is. Let me know if you have any more questions! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. I wish you had a step by step on how you did it. I have several questions.


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