DIY Bookshelf Built-In
Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy is a devastatingly handsome rockstar academic with, like, a million books. Girl is a clever designer who creates a DIY bookshelf built-in spanning an entire 14′ wall to house her handsome hubby’s ever-growing library. Boy and girl live happily ever after with their plethora of color-coded bookshelves.
It’s like a modern fairy tale, isn’t it? I’m delighted that we got to the ‘happily ever after’ because our book situation could seriously be a thorn in the roses. But with some creativity, resourcefulness, and help from our friends at Metrie, there’s some magic happening here.
You may remember what our office looked like before:
Great blank canvas. Pretty boring. No storage.
Ahhhh. So good! And way more practical for a couple who both primarily work from home. While time consuming, it was actually pretty simple to create this built-in look. We started by piecing together the individual elements needed. The IKEA Micke desk and the three tall Billy bookshelves on the left were existing from our former home; the two tall bookshelves on the right and the half-height shelf for my printer were purchased new for this project. Also needed: a 3/8″ thick cork roll from Manton Cork for the wall behind my desk; a chic Nate Berkus fabric to cover the corkboard; and moldings from Metrie to create the built-in look. We used this 2 11/16″ crown molding for the top of the built-in, a 3 1/4″ baseboard for the bottom, and 1/2″ quarter round to finish off the inside corners of the corkboard. (We also beefed up the crown molding at the ceiling to 4 1/4″ to keep everything in proportion.)
The basics of how this faux built-in is assembled is pretty simple: arrange all the pieces, mark off where the corkboard needs to be and attach, then anchor everything to the wall and finish off with molding. The custom corkboard ended up being the hardest part! I used a heavy-duty floor grade adhesive as recommended by the cork manufacturer, but it really didn’t stick. Several nails were needed to hold the cork in place as it’s quite heavy. Covering it with a patterned fabric was not only an aesthetic choice but a practical one to hide several large nailheads underneath.
You may have noticed that the inside back panels of the bookshelves are wallpapered. It’s a delightfully eclectic mix of vintage-inspired black and white patterns, as we’ve collected the bookshelves over the years and had to mix in new patterns as we ran out of wallpaper. The two damask patterned papers aren’t still available, but the awesome Gibson Girls-inspired wallpaper is.
Can we take a moment to appreciate these sexy mitered corners on the crown and baseboard? As if my husband weren’t awesome enough, he knows his way around a miter saw. #truelove
Once the moldings were painted and installed, we patched up the nail holes and touched up the paint. The color we found was the closest match to the IKEA Billy series was Valspar Dove White, thanks to a recommendation found here (along with a more detailed DIY bookcase built-in tutorial).
Boom. There she is. Well worth the effort to transform standard bookshelves into a custom DIY bookshelf built-in for our shared office.
If you’d like to see more of my home you can check out my living room, foyer, and entire home office here.