Wednesday, January 4

Bookshelves to Built In

When we bought this house five years ago, this is what the shelves in our living room looked like- sporting an army green wall behind them.

I tried to fiddle with the placement of the shelves, since the previous owners had a large screen tv mounted on this wall. Eventually I was able to add in a few more shelves and paint over that green. But it always looked unfinished to me. Like shelves stuck on the wall instead of the bookcase I imagined it to be.
The metal bracket thingies holding up the shelves were visible and you could see gaps where the shelves were cut a bit too short.

This past weekend, as Sean was busy speaking a bit at our church's four services, and the kids all were getting over colds, I knew long days of being at home loomed. And so, after picking Sean's brain for what pieces of wood such-and-such by such-and-such length were called, and making my list, and measuring many times over, Aiden and I made our trip, he thrilled to be pushing the cart around the store.

It was not an inexpensive trip ($149) , but much due after five years of staring at that wall and wishing for even shelves.

While Addie napped and children played, this is what I did:


I attached 4 1x3's to the existing vertical boards holding the shelves. This makes the whole bookcase look sturdier and hides those metal brackets and short shelves.
I also added crown moulding and base moulding and four additional shelves.

With one of the brackets that holds up the shelves, I was able to get a paint match for painting the trim and new shelves. I love using my husband's power tools but I must say that the most difficult part of the project was cutting that moulding on the far left around the existing chair rail, crown moulding and baseboard. Sean helped me with those cuts. When everything was dried/screwed I filled the gaps with white caulk and painted.

I am so pleased to have this project finished, more shelf space for books and some of our best wooden toys.


As far as bookcase organization goes, I have shelves for history and geography, shelves designated for science topics, two for young children's fiction, one for books the children and I are currently reading as a part of our lessons, and a few for homesteading/homemaking topics. We have a large quantity of historical fiction and non-fiction which fill other shelves. And of course a shelf for the record player and records so my children grow up knowing just how wonderful vinyl is and how you have to dance soft-footed to it so as not to make it skip. :)



Bonnie said...

Looks beautiful! I used power tools for the first time just before Christmas. I think I'm hooked : )

Sarah said...

This update looks fantastic and makes a huge difference. Great job!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

That turned out great, Hannah! I love the look of built ins and crown moulding etc, does the trick, doesn't it?

Very well done!


Laura at By the Bushel said...

Very Nice!! and good work!! Happy New Year~ Laura

Kat said...

I love how this looks! The soft neutral brightens up your space a lot. It does look wonderfully finished. I always dreamed of putting built-ins in our last house, but we moved before I got to it. :(
Enjoy all that great book storage- I think that a bookcase full of well loved books is best decoration any room can ask for.

Michelle H said...

They are beautifully done! Amen for helpful husbands and their tools! I like to use my husband's workshop, too. I have some shelves in my bedroom that I will be treating similarly, though with doors.
Thank you for your New Year's verses, they were meaningful after our own year of uncomfortableness and stretching, but did leave us with the blessing of a beautiful new little girl!

beth said...

So beautiful. I love the old quality of the shelves too. This is what is wonderful about a older home. All the lived in things about it over the years. I live in a regular track-type home with 5 children, a husband, dog, cat, and 3 small bedrooms. What I wouldn't give to live the dream of space, land, and freedom in exchange for suburbia. Maybe even a pig!

Unknown said...

what a great transformation!!!

Anonymous said...

Well done. It looks beautiful, glad your dream came to a reality.


Unknown said...

LOVE this!! :)Trying to convince hubby to help me do it! :)