This past winter I came across this great tutorial for “built-in” bookcases. I immediately fell in love and knew it would be the perfect fit for our cozy little living area. The project is made from IKEA’s famous “Billy” book cases. They aren’t technically built in to the wall, but they have a very “built-in” feel to them. Some like to call this type of project an “IKEA hack.” I just love the concept: inexpensive furniture made sturdy, customized, and beautiful on a low budget. Yes, please!
Before I show you our project, here is a VERY OLD “before” picture of our living space. I forgot to take a picture before we moved the old pieces out, so these are from March 2010. Please excuse the poor quality of the picture as well. Don’t you just love the mis-matching furniture and huge book shelf taking over the entire right corner of the room? 🙂 It served its purpose, but wasn’t very attractive.
On Memorial Day, Adam and I decided to take the plunge, and pick up the five bookcases we needed from IKEA. We spent that evening putting them together, trying to visualize what the finished product would look like.
I was terrible at taking progress pictures, but here are a few with scattered directions. If you want to actually build these, see the tutorial I linked above.
Here are all five book cases screwed together. We bought two full size Billys, and three half size ones. The three half size ones created the middle sections of the “built-in” and we pulled them forward four inches to create some interest in the piece.
Adam is screwing Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) to the top of each section. The wonderful Home Depot employees cut each piece to our exact specifications. It was so helpful!
Our next step was to cut the crown moulding, with a miter saw, to fit around the top edges. This is the part where we really had to use our brains. Seriously, those angles are no joke! It took a good bit of trial and error but I am so proud to say that Adam figured it out and it looks stunning. Professional! I love the fact that if I ever want to put a chair rail or crown moulding in our house, we could totally do it ourselves!
Here are a couple shots after we puttied the corners and nail holes.
Before I reveal the finished product, here’s one more look at our old set-up.