One thing I really wanted for this living room was built-in bookcases. We knew it would be more than we’d want to spend if we had a contractor build them, so I started looking on the internet for the best way to make them ourselves. What I came across were several tutorials detailing how to create built in shelves using Ikea Billy Bookcases. (See all of the tutorials I used for guidance on my DIY Pinterest board.)
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was all the math. We measured our space, and I figured we’d go to Ikea and find an easy fit between the options. What I found were two height options, two width options, and a very tight fit involving lots of math and figures. We ultimately decided to get two half-width tall shelves, one half-width short and one full-width short. We could have also gotten five half-width shelves – two tall and three short.
Since we know that this is not our “forever” house, we decided we didn’t want to create true built-ins. To make these permanent, tutorials suggested cutting out floor molding, building holding boxes, and trimming the book cases to the ceiling – all things that were too permanent for our confidence in our skill level. Plus, since the fireplace is at an angle, building to the ceiling and the full length of the wall wouldn’t have looked as polished as our examples. For all of these reasons, we decided to combine our bookshelves into an entertainment center.
Here is Johnathon putting together our shelves one night – with a lot of help from our dog, Sierra!
Here are all the bookcases mostly assembled and put together before we put all the shelves in.
And here is the “unit” we created after nailing molding onto the bottom and between the shelves. Everything had been primed at this point but not painted.
And here’s everything painted – a subtle difference, but it looks like a solid unit now. The paint color that matches this Ikea white was Valspar “Dove White.”
And here is a picture after we got some books on our bookshelves. At this point I still needed to tweak some shelves, add some pictures I didn’t have frames for yet, and put flowers and plants in all the planters.
Here is the much more polished final project. I like how it turned out!