This post is so long overdue it’s ridiculous.
I feel like I’m constantly apologizing for my tardiness on this site. Going forward, I think it’s safe to say we all just need to assume I work on at least a 3-6 month delay.
Anyways, last spring we started our built-in bookcases project in our living area. We had this blank open canvas of a wall to work with, and we always knew we wanted built-in bookcases. Our builder was going to need to charge us around $3,000.00 to do it, so of course like pretty much every other project in this house, we told him we would just do it ourselves. After some research, we decided to convert Ikea Hemnes bookcases into built-ins. Most people seem to use the Billy Bookcases which turn out beautifully, but Matt insisted on the better quality version using hardwood instead of plywood, and I wasn’t about to argue with something better!
Here was our blank canvas:
Visitors would walk in and go, “So… are the walls white?” IT’S CALLED “CREAM”, PEOPLE! Actually, it probably has an even more beautiful name by Behr. And so what if it was just white? There are plenty of opportunities to add splashes of color and texture to the space, but I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby when we moved in so it’s been a slow going process. Anyways, this is where our built-in bookcases finally come in!
I am not going to do a formal DIY post because I cannot take any credit for, nor fully understand or remember how it was done since Matt did all of the work. I just came up with the idea and design, and he did the rest. Here are some photos of the process though:
Then he just used caulking to hide any screw holes as well as seams when we put everything together. Again, don’t miss the little helper!
We also scored an electric fireplace on clearance after-season from Home Depot for just $99 that we envisioned building into the cabinetry and trimming with barn beams. Once we decided to host Thanksgiving at our home, it kicked our butts into gear to finally finish the entire project. This is what the original fireplace looked like, except one of the legs was broken, but it didn’t matter because we didn’t plan to use any of the existing mantel in our design:
Here are some photos of the process of building the new mantel:
Matt cutting a piece of barn wood on the table saw. You can see the bare fireplace sitting on top his work table.
And here she is in all her beauty!
Here is an up-close shot of the fireplace that I took at Christmas after making my own grain sack stockings.
And because everyone loves a “Before and After”:
And after looking at this photo, I just realized we added the sliding vintage door since then too! Here are some shots of that process too:
It feels so good knowing we have completed an entire project that doesn’t still need any final touches or anything! Slowly but surely we are getting there, so thank you for following us on our long journey to building our “dream home”.