Built-In Ikea Billys


Our historic home has a lovely library that gets wonderful light and is cozy for just about anything. BUT... the previous owner had built in these shelves that were the approximate depth of a paperback book, and non adjustable so larger books were too tall. That said, we LOVED the concept of built ins but wanted to take them a step further... but thousands of dollars for custom work wasn't in our budget. (Is it ever?!) It's almost like Ikea made their Billy shelves to be hacked as custom built ins, so we decided to join the club...


This is the finished office... built ins and all! Not wildly different LOOKING than the ones we replaced, but SO much more functional!!

The original library in all it's cluttered glory. (We also had plans to convert this space to an office which was another reason to reclaim these shelves with more storage.)
First step was to empty the bookshelves... no small task, I might add.
Next we demo'd the old shelves.
I assembled the billies and painted the backs before moving them into place on either side of the window.
I lifted the shelves up off the floor in order to match the existing base board trim in the room.
Adding trim and crown moulding was the finishing touch to making these look like custom built ins.
The bench seat beteen the shelves got an upholstered topper and the whole wall looks custom.
Stop by and say hi! At Charlotte's House

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At Charlotte's House

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  • Terri
    on Feb 22, 2015

    I would love to be sitting in this room.. I applaud all of your hard work. Looks beautiful.

  • J Sue McGlothlin Dean
    on Aug 24, 2015

    I didn't see it, So how much did all this work cost and How much time was put into project? Also, how was the bracing areas hidden ( with the 2x2 screwed into the platform)? Looks like a lot of work, but really nice results

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