Living Room Edition: The Built-in Bookshelves

This IKEA hack changes the whole space

By Kara Wurtzel


I had this ugly yellow wall in my family room and I was dreaming about a nice bookshelf for ages!

Billy Bookcase Built-Ins

We bought an ol' BILLY BOOKCASE from IKEA. Ya know the simple white one.

Step 1: Add wood panels to the wall

We added four pieces of wood panels on the walls ( both sides of the fireplace)

Step 2: Cut out baseboards

The hub cut the baseboard out from the back wall so the Billy Bookcase could be pushed up against the wall.

Board and batten

It was time to update our circa 2000 Pottery-barn-inspired living room.

Tape out where the MDF will go, nail & paint!

The tape on the wall is my faux board & batten trick. First tape out where the MDF board will go.


Board and batten was just the thing to complement our navy & white room. Bye, bye Pottery Barn circa 2000

Living Room Edition: The Fireplace

Just moved in and this was just not going to work. There were cracks and a poor repair job, so I decided to tackle this project.

Laying the wood strips...

I used $2 wood strips and concrete nails. I hammered them in at the mortar joints.

Laying the hearth

Using slate from a landscaping store, I cut down the slate and created the hearth

Pine boards for paneling

I stained pine boards and used a brad nailer to attach them to the studs.

AFTER! Loving our new fireplace

The cold season is over. We burned probably 25+ fires. TV is going strong and the house is still standing.


Here's our "Before", when we first moved in and painted.

Modern and Bright Living Room

We brightened things up for a newer, modern look

AFTER: It makes me happy!

I might have gone a bit overboard with pillows, but I love the texture of all the pillows with the shag rug.


When we moved into our house, I knew a gallery wall would be perfect for the large amount of space and high ceilings

I laid out the arrangement on the floor

I then traced the frames/items onto wrapping and kraft paper and taped those onto the wall so I could see how it would look

Hanging my art:

I either nailed or used command strips to hang everything up.

AFTER: Our massive gallery wall

I just love how it's filled with DIY projects and upcycled finds. I LOVE the impact the wall has on our living room.