I love, love, love books. They are all over my house – and not necessarily in a good way. Prior to my new floors kicking off a huge makeover of my living and dining rooms, I had 3 little folding bookshelves from Target along the living room wall.
Cute, but not quite cutting it. Not only were these bookshelves full, but there were also shelves full of books in the family room, the craft room, and the guest bedroom. Not to mention, there were even more books stuffed in drawers.
I have wanted a wall full of bookshelves for years, but it wasn’t until I saw Censational Girl’s built-ins made from Ikea Billy Bookcases that I felt like I could really make it happen.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an Ikea near us, so this project began with a three hour road trip to pick up bookshelves. (Any good reason for a road trip is awesome in my book). From there, it was actually pretty easy.
I knew from the start that I wanted to paint the backs of the bookcases to give them a pop of color. So I went ahead and painted them before putting the bookshelves together – which I highly recommend. Zero taping or cutting in edges required. I used a small foam roller to lightly roll on one coat of primer and three coats of blue paint. I was a little nervous about painting these since the backing is basically glorified cardboard, but I stuck to thin coats and it worked just fine.
After assembling the bookshelves, we moved them into position and basically followed Censational Girl’s tips from there. We don’t have a nail gun, but an old fashioned hammer and finishing nails worked perfectly for attaching the trim to the bookshelves.
Trimming the bookshelves made a huge difference. They went from a bunch of prefab bookcases shoved together to a custom-looking cohesive unit.
We originally planned to have these stretch wall to wall. But the placement of some outlets and the vacuum system led us to change our arrangement a little. There are now about eight inches between each side and the wall but I don’t think it affects the overall look much.
*Update – since sharing this post, I have gathered my confidence and turned my Billy bookcases into true wall-to-wall built-ins and now they look even more amazing!*
I may just have to get fancy and start calling this room the library. I have ALWAYS thought it would be the coolest thing to have my own library. You may be thinking that one wall of bookshelves does not a library make. But I think, in this day and age, a whole wall of books and no TV totally qualifies a room as a library.
I cannot wait to gather my books from all over the house and start arranging them! (Okay, so let’s be real – I am planning to leave plenty of room for pretty stuff too.)
*Check out this post to see the bookcases styled and filled!*