Thursday, April 3, 2014

Betty's Bookcase Bonanza


Hi everybody!

Finally, I can have the big reveal of what I have been working on for a couple of weeks.

My living room has always been a bit of a problem.  It was dark and long and nobody hung out it in very long.  Really, the only reason we went in it was to get to the TV room.  (I did take before pictures, but I can't find them now!  Arrrrghhhh.....)

Since Brian will be moving in soon and we both love books, we decided to make the living room a library. 

The cost of built-in bookshelves was rather daunting, so I went searching in Blogland for an answer.  I found lots of brave souls who had done "Built-In Billies."  Billy is a rather inexpensive bookcase from Ikea.  The idea is to make them look like they are built-ins by using molding.

I thought I would just do a short row that would anchor the couches, but as with all of Betty's projects, this one grew a bit.  Brian lives near an Ikea so the poor man was contacted on a daily basis to get more Billies.  More Billies, man.  I need them. I decided to go with both 15 inchers and 30 inchers and we put extensions on the top.  Evan was home for Spring Break and was thrilled to help his Mama build the bookcases!

Here they are, lined up like the homely girls at a dance about to be given extreme makeovers.





Thinking ahead, Brian wired the top shelves for speakers to be added later.



We had to put the shelves on one inch boards to make the molding fit just right.



Here are the boards that are at the top of each bookcase so the crown molding could be attached.




Here is Mr. Craftsman working on the moldings that will go over the edges of the shelves.

My friend Cathie and I used spackle on all the unused holes for the shelves.  It was a big job but really made a difference. 




Because we live in California, you can bet these suckers are bolted to the wall!

I had so much fun filling the shelves with our books and lots of other treasures. I am still not finished, but this gives you a good idea of what the shelves look like.



Ah!  A library at last!  I LOVE this room now!  

There are a lot of great tutorials on-line about how to do this kind of project.  I didn't give a lot of details here, but if you have specific questions, just shoot me an e-mail.  

Now I really must go.  If you need me, I'll be reading in the library.



24 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, that is really impressive!! You and Brian are master craftsmen now. Very warm and inviting.

annie said...

Betty, they are beautiful.
You've done a great job. The room looks just wonderful.

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

You really took a somewhat useless room and turned it into a real gem. Love this!

ellen abbott said...

looks fabulous!

YrHmblHst said...

FANTASTIC! I'm a bookshelf nazi my own self...these look great. Love the look of the room too. And oh the fun to be had arranging and rearranging shelves. Congratulations on a most successful project.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Betty,
Your bookshelves are wonderful. They really do add style to your sitting room and look so interesting filled with the books.

In our view one can never have enough shelves for books since as soon as they are filled, more books arrive to be accommodated. A fabulous job!

Madi and Mom said...

BB & B what a perfect spot for a book shelf and we love the canned lights...makes it easy to spot the perfect book. Bravo for such a great looking transformation. I was wondering what the project was since you just had a 100% reno last year....Brian and his kitty (was it Rupert) do realize they are going to be out numbered there right? Females: 4 males 2. Girls rule boys say yes dear!!
Hugs cecilia

R Bella said...

Oh my goodness, Betty! Those are GORGEOUS! The molding just makes it. When can I come over and curl up with one of those books?! ;)

Daisy said...

Wow! That looks great. I bet you will spend a lot of time in there now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betty .. that's amazing those Billy bookcases have been around forever and now I see why!

Excellent news that Brian will be bringing Billy with him .. and perhaps you're keep Ikea afloat ...

Such fun to see .. and I'm so happy for you .. cheers Hilary

Jane Jazz said...

What a wonderful library you've created - so tidy and professional looking! Perhaps you'll post another picture in a year or so... and we'll expect to see all the books looking like straight, smart soldiers standing to attention, just as they do now ;o)

Ann said...

They look awesome. A professional looking job

Hilary said...

Oh that's an amazing end result. You two did beautiful work. I'm so impressed.

Olga Hebert said...

I am impressed.

Lin said...

Very nice! I like how it brings so much color to the room!

Slamdunk said...

Congrats! That does look like an inviting room--I could sure use a "library" here.

Alison said...

Wow, bookshelf porn...even better than the organic food porn. Those look amazing!

Ms. A said...

It looks fantastic... and I need them bad!!!

Joyful said...

I've always wanted a library but my place is really too small. I love yours ;-)

Gigi said...

It's beautiful!!!

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice, love IKEA

Baby Sister said...

Yay for Ikea!! It looks amazing!! I'm glad it worked for you and didn't cost you an arm and a leg. :) One of these days, that's exactly what I will have.

jenny_o said...

Gorgeous! We love books and bookshelves, too, and have had at least one wall of them in each house we've had. Yours look amazing!

Pat Tillett said...

I love what you did! What a great idea and it also looks totally professional.