I’ve wanted to two type these three little words for weeks, ‘bookcase project finished’. For years I’ve had a vision of having built-in bookcases in our living room, that would create a focal point, provide lots of hidden and open storage. Living a small older home its always been important to me that we fully ultlize our spaces, and make our home work harder for us.
We decided to tackle this project ourselves after getting quotes in the past from contractors during the rebuilding process of our home for over 5K for unfinished cabinets! The amount was not in the budget nor were we up to the task of painting the bookcases while juggling all the rebuilding projects we had going on.
While I loved our old setup in the living room, a vintage campaign dresser (check our how I re-finished the dresser here) in between two metal black and glass bookcases, I’ve always loved the look of built-in cabinets in living rooms; they add so much character into a room. Plus, with our old set-up, I really wished the bookcases we had really used all the space in our living room, vs having 'dead-space' between the bookcase and walls. In a smaller home every sqaure inch turly counts.
To tackle this project in our home without breaking the break, we did a mix of ready-made upper kitchen cabinets. I love shaker cabinets and was happy I found the style at Lowes, we used Diamond NOW Arcadia kitchen cabinets. I love that the cabinets closely match our kitchen cabinets, I was also delighted the cabinets came pre-finished. For the base of our bookcases, we used two 36 inch cabinets and two 33 inch cabinets easily filling up our 12-foot living room wall. We built the upper shelves using MDF and painted the shelves with color match paint from Home Depot. To get the exact match on the doors, I took a door with me; I'm thrilled with how perfectly the paint associate was able to match our cabinets! Read more in-depth about the process in Part I: Inspiration and Building and in Part II: Installing Crown Molding and Hardware.
I’m in love with how our bookcases turned out, Hasani did an incredible job of bringing my vision to life. I guesstimate we spent between $850 - 900 dollars on our project, with the bulk of the money spent on the pre-finished cabinets. I'm beyond thrilled we were able to complete this project, my living room feels incredible and like a brand new room! I couldn't be happier. I still have lots of paint touch-up to tackle in our living room, but as the bookcases are concerned they're done!
DIY Built-in Bookcases
On Sunday afternoon, I installed the gold Hex Knobs on the cabinets, and they look incredible and elevate the look of the cabinets. I love their brush gold finish; they give our built-ins a nice modern classic look.
Before and After
I filled the shelves with a mixture of books, baskets, vases, and artwork. I wanted to keep the artwork in the frames minimal, I recently came across the Etsy artist Faboomie and selected three of her prints. The frames are from are from Target and Home Goods, hands down Target has the best selection of picture frames. I'm a magazine hoarder! I seriously have way too many, I wanted to keep the most current magazines close by and opted to place them a woven tray. On top of the tray, I added a glass box that I plan to fill with vintage matchbooks. I was inspired by Harlowe James to fill the glass box up with matches, plus I'm always the girl who can never find matches when I want to light candles.
I color grouped all my books to add visual interest. It can get expensive to fill bookcases up with a slew of books, to keep the cost down and fill-up my shelves, I visited used books stores and thrift stores. I had two criterias: 1. The book spine must be a specific color 2. The books must look like an exciting read. I love to read and only wanted to bring home books I'll actually read!
Get The Look
Now that this project is wrapped up, I want to add new lighting to our living room. I just ordered a pretty floor lamp that will be arriving later this week; I'll add it to the left side of our living room to help balance the lighting. I'm also considering a new light fixture for our overhead lighting. I love how everything is slowly coming together. In the next few weeks, I'll share a newly updated living room tour and share all the other changes that have been going on in this space.
What do you think of our bookcases?