Thursday, June 10, 2010

Living Room Built-Ins

Remember when I did my living room remodel?

I knew that I needed more storage space in this room, and I also hated the awkward shape of this room.

I knew that built-ins would give me amazing storage and help balance out that weird space.
When I showed you the living room remodel, I also showed you what I basically wanted in that space:

But where to start?
I've never built bookshelves before.
I'm really good at figuring out dimensions/measurements/spacing, but I'm not great at figuring how it's all supposed to be put together.

I perused my woodcraft books. Most of them were more ornate than I wanted. They called for all these special joints and needed tools that I don't have.


Of course, a light went on in my head, "I betcha Ana from Knock Off Wood can give me ideas!"
Knock-Off Wood

Her simple Willy bookcases were exactly what I needed!
(And my eldest's name is Willy!)

I reader requested that I do a bookcase tutorial, but I can't make it any more easily understood than Ana already has. Check out that link if you want to see how they are built!

Now, of course, I had to adjust dimensions and shelf spacing since built-ins should be unique to the location.

I'm not great at writing up detailed plans. Most of the time the measurements are floating around my head. I've never screwed up a project from lack of having something written down.
It's probably more of a laziness issue.

Anyways, here's the scribbles from my blueprint. I tried labeling things so that you would know what goes where. It's not very detailed.

The reason that one shelf dimension is labeled "middle & bottom" is  because the top is bigger than the other shelves because the top is screwed in from the top, not on the sides. So it will be 1 1/2" longer (I used 3/4" wood)

There's the top support.
Sorry for the odd picture quality. I had to darken everything because I was the moron who decided to leave her plans out in the rain.

Shelf two is the same for the side supports, but different in shelf length. One wall is slightly longer than the other.

And I unfortunately don't have dimensions for the top shelf. I had to wing that one, because the space is about 9' and plywood only comes in 8'. So I had to nail the backing directly to the wall, hold up my side supports, then place a middle bracer for the top (actually two boards, not one) to rest on.

This is when I got my first bookcase built:

Then I didn't take much pictures until I started putting on the face trim:

Ready for the final reveal?

Here's what I wanted my built-ins to look like:

And here's what I got:

I just want to thank Ana, at Knock Off Wood, for providing the world with free building plans. Not only are they free, but they are by far the easiest to follow plans I have ever built from!

Without Ana, I wouldn't have the awesome patio table that I built, either!


  1. It looks amazing!! Great job! I love Ana's blog and I have printed out some of her plans just haven't attempted them yet. :)

  2. great job Brittany! It's looks fantastic! You really did such a great job!!!

  3. it looks amazing! well done on your great bookshelves, they look incredible!

  4. They look so awesome! I love built ins and I love Ana. I have a few walls I need built ins on in my house.

  5. Love this. LOVE! my questions is this: Will you share about how much the project ran you money and time wise? I always want to do this stuff, but end up over my head!

  6. This is fantastic. I love that you took her instructions and customized it for your own space. Some people have a really hard time doing anything other than an exact replica. Great job!

  7. looks awesome! great job, and great idea. i wish i could do that somewhere, but i don't think so.

  8. GinaAnn-
    It ran up to about $150. I already have primer, paint, and screws, so it may cost more if you don't have all that stuff. Also, I used MDF sheets b/c they are cheaper and they don't warp with moisture and age, a total plus!

  9. This is amazing! You did a phenomenal job! You really are a Superwoman!!

  10. Great job. Don't you just love Ana's site? I'm finishing up some ladder stools right now that I tweaked her ladder table for.


Related Posts with Thumbnails