I almost made this post title, “Meet the newest member of our family, Billy!”


well, I figured that might cause a little confusion.  I do, however, have a deep love for these bookshelves!  We’ve taken our time doing this project, and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!

I definitely didn’t invent the idea of creating built-ins from the IKEA Billy Bookcase collection, so I take no claim in doing so.  :)  We’ve actually been completing a few projects around the house that I’m excited to share with you!


Our master bedroom is kind of silly-big.  I’m honestly not a big fan of giant master suites — an amazing closet with a closet system, perhaps — but just floor space in a bedroom?  It just feels so wasted!  While we were blessed to be able to build this house, we weren’t able to change the floor plan.  As Andy says, it was being built with or without us, but we claimed it.  Kind of a good way of describing it!  It was a new neighborhood block, and because we claimed it, we did get to pick out finishes and which home we wanted from those still available, but we weren’t able to change structural/layout things.


Big, silly master bedroom it was.

Probably about a year ago, I mentioned the idea of creating built-in bookshelves on the side of our room opposite our bed.  I thought it would be a great use of space, since we had so many Rubbermaid bins in the basement with books and things, since “vertical storage” was definitely lacking in our home.  I, of course, jumped the gun and went out and bought 3 BILLY Bookcases (and the height extension units) and put them together… probably that evening.

Or perhaps I ripped out the quarter round and floor baseboard moulding against that back wall…. whichever it was, there was no turning back at this point. :)

Our original plan was to just have 3 of the wider shelves with larger vertical spaces in between.  After putting the shelves together and placing them side-by-side, I began measuring the space left behind.

15 inches.

I hopped back online to see how wide the narrow BILLY Bookcase was… 15 3/4″.  HUZZAH!!  All we had to do was remove the quarter round from both sides of the room, and these shelves would fit like a glove.  We have continually joked that spaces in our home were made for projects we’ve attacked, because they all seem to fit perfectly.  It’s almost a little bit eery…..

At this point we were at a bit of a standstill.  In my jumping-the-gun I had failed to realize we had a cable outlet that sat exactly on the left wall corner, and it would be covered up by the bookshelves.  We don’t foresee ourselves using it, but it seemed dumb to cover it up.  After months of staring at our bookshelves, we had an electrician come do some other work at our house — and move this cable outlet box as well.

At this point, Andy knocked it out of the park — as he always does! — he created a platform for the shelves to sit on, so that the bottom shelf would sit flush with the level of our baseboards.  He then added 1″x2″ boards to cover the edges of bookcases where they came together and trim at the top.  Our top shelf is actually above the height extension kit.


We had an outlet behind the shelves as well, so Andy just cut a hole in the shelf back, so we could utilize that outlet.  I popped our Bose speaker with a bluetooth adaptor into that shelf — one day I’d love to upgrade to a Sonos, but the bluetooth lets us continue using this Bose one, so no complaints here!

I then went ahead and primed and painted all the trim and baseboard moulding to match our existing trim.  We felt like continuing the trim-white throughout the face of the bookshelves would make it truly look like it was built right into the space!

Andy helped me haul all the boxes and bins of books, ceramics, carvings and treasures up from the basement, so I could start filling the shelves.  I can’t believe we have so much space that I haven’t even come close to filling them!  I definitely have been searching Pinterest for “bookshelf styling,” but I’m also not going to cover all my books with paper or sort by color or place them in pages out. :)  I want this space to be functional and useful.  Harlow already loves lounging on the chair as she reads Andy’s Calvin and Hobbes comic books — or “tomit boots,” of course.

Well, and then banjo time.  I’ve always dreamt of us using this space for Bible study, quiet times and just a place to read and relax — and both Andy and I kept saying over the weekend how peaceful our room was.  The bookshelf project was finally finished, room was nice and clean, and we felt that we were finally utilizing the space that we have!


Cost Breakdown:

TOTAL: about $355

Definitely cheaper than having something custom-made for this space!  (And I’m trying to find some in-progress photos, but they seemed to have vanished into thin air!  I’ll update as I find them!)


So that’s our latest project — well, one of them.  We are chronic “welcome to our home with so many half-finished projects” people, so we are working to get as many of them completed as possible!  Andy has also given me a rule that I can’t start any more craziness until I finish some of the craziness — he’s a wise man, that husband of mine. :)

Build anything over the weekend?  Attempt any built-in bookshelves?


psst! Recognize anyone in this amazing Buzzfeed round-up?

double psst! I heard a rumor that the BILLY Bookcases might be discontinued soon — so RUN out and get them!  Can’t find them?  Here are a few other options!  This. This. This. or This!  A few are even less expensive than the BILLY!  Be sure to let me know if you build some built-ins! I would love to see!


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