It’s getting really close to Christmas and there were two big home projects I really wanted done before then: built-ins in our front room and a finished guest bathroom. Thankfully I was able to get both done before that and I am proud to share the diy built-ins I made. I was a little intimidated to try this at first and really took my time during the whole process to make sure things were going to turn out great. Having this fantastic tutorial from Young House Love was a tremendous help as well. As with any project, every need is different, every house is different, so there were a few things I had to do differently, but overall I did the same things and I couldn’t have done it without their knowledge.
When we moved into our home this room was just a plain yellowish room. It had nothing. No ceiling light, built in’s, etc. It’s a 70’s ranch so I guess it would have been a formal living room during it’s beginnings. We didn’t want to get into the business of tearing down walls so we decided to make this our library/music room/guest room. We have a lot of books and plan to get a piano in here soon to accompany other instruments we already have. This is also where we will keep this sofa which has a pull out bed. Since the sofa was staying, I played around with where it fit best and this wall was best suited for it. Once I determined that I knew I wanted built-ins around it.
I still want to work on my bookshelf styling, but I used only what we had for now and am happy with it. I’m sure one day the mood will strike and I will be inspired to make it a bit more stylish 🙂 The room feels so much more complete now! Now our list for this room is down to: 1. Get a piano 2. Add sliding doors for privacy when guests are here 3. Get ceiling lights installed.
Here is a picture from when I first started working in here. I had already painted the walls (which helped a lot) and here I was making sure the sofa would fit between the two bookshelves. I only had a small space on each side so I had to use upper cabinets for the bottom. Since they are shallow, I did bump them out like Young House Love did. I also added a base to make them higher. It is two layers of 2″x4″ ‘s.
I popped off the baseboards and the crown molding to try to reuse, but only was able to reuse the crown molding. For the trim on the sides, I used my oscillating tool to just cut through right where the bookshelf sides needed to fit.
For the top of the bookshelves I continued to build it the same as in the Young House Love tutorial.
The difference came for the in-between shelving. My thought process was how to make it as secure as possible which means screwing into wall studs as often as possible. I created a “box” with a wood centered divider piece first. Then I used ladders to help hold it up in place and I screwed in 1″x4″ boards (into studs) underneath the top to hold it into place (you can see they are the white primed pieces of wood). From there I could screw the sides into the sides of the tall bookshelves. After that I also added wood pieces to the inside bottom and screwed those into wall studs. Then I could screw from underneath the shelf into those. Needless to say, this thing is rock solid. It was really difficult to do by myself (can we say big and heavy???), so I would recommend a helper for this part hahaha. But where there is a will there is a way!
Once all of that was done I was able to trim it all out, caulk, and paint it. For me, it ended up not being as difficult as I thought it would. I learned a lot and feel really confident to take on this type of project again. The biggest thing for me was making sure it was super secure and I did that and more.
It feels classy in here now and the diy built-ins feel like they were always meant to be there.