Thursday, May 7, 2015

Office: Built-In Bookcases

I hang my head in shame over here after realizing it has been months since my last post and update on the office remodel.  The last few months have definitely been busy around here with family time, birthday parties, weddings, and enrolling my baby girl in kindergarten....I can't believe that day is almost here!!  We haven't done much in the sense of home projects and when I seem to get quiet time I have been watching re-runs of Sons of Anarchy...I really miss that show!

Well, I totally digress and should give you a proper update on the built-in bookcases.  The last update left you with the cabinets, cabinet doors, and pine top installed.

Next up, the built-in bookcases!  Per the norm for our projects we had an eleventh hour design change.  The original idea was to build each vertical shelf individually and then install the shelves.  In between waiting for coats of paint to dry I decided to go back and read the blog post that sparked our inspiration.  Sarah, from Thrifty Decor Chick, had a brilliant idea and it could really save us a lot of time on the vertical part of the bookcases.

The supports for our bookcases are placed in a different spot than Sarah's since our cabinets were different widths than hers, but other than that the process was the same.  We constructed the verticals while it was laying down on the floor and screwed the supports into the board that would be the top of the bookcase.  Jeremy screwed two long screws into each support, while I held the board and made sure the screw didn't go out the side or splinter the wood.  Here is a diagram from Thrifty Decor Chick that shows how it all looked once ready to install.


At this point we were feeling pretty good about ourselves and thinking this was going to be awesome.  Well, it did turn out awesome in the end, but around midnight when we were trying to actually install the vertical supports things were looking bleak.  Since the built-ins go from wall-to-wall and the vertical supports were built in the office, it was a tight spot to lift the whole piece up and try not to damage the walls in the process.  We managed to get it up and installed still in one piece with minimal damage to the walls...nothing that couldn't be fixed with touch-up paint.  I will say it did get pretty comical for a while there...I guess that is what happens on lack of sleep and working past midnight, but all is well in the end!

The next morning, after a cup of coffee of course, we tackled installing the top board to the studs.  Again, per the norm for this house, nothing is ever perfectly straight and level so we had to do some improvising in some spots.

We had some backing leftover from a few Ikea dressers that we used in the girls' closet, and they were the perfect fit to fill the gap.

You might notice the mark on the ceiling, this was for the location of the studs.  We secured it to the ceiling beams and on each side of the wall.  Once it was secured, it was time to put the supports in for the shelves.  To make sure the verticals stayed straight and kept the same width, Jeremy temporarily secured a 3/4" cleat to the bottom of the bookcase.

Instead of adjustable shelves, we opted for permanent shelves with this bookcase.  For each shelf, Jeremy used the same process he used in the nursery closet and girls' closet.  Jeremy worked his way across for each shelf securing the cleats.  The cleat against the wall is secured into a stud.  

There will be 1x2's on the face of the entire bookcase so the cleats will be 'hidden'.  Here is a full view of the cleats all completed and waiting for the shelves to be installed. 

From this point, Jeremy installed the shelves using the same method he used for the girls' closet.   Unfortunately, this is where I dropped the ball again and didn't get any pictures of the shelves being installed.  I, also in all my excitement to start filling up the shelves, did not get pictures of the almost completed office.  

We still need to finish putting molding at the very top of the bookcase.  It will either be a decorative molding at the top or crown molding all the way around the room...decisions, decisions!  I still struggle at styling bookcases, so it is still a work in progress.  Since this picture was taken, quite a few shelves have already been rearranged.  I can't wait to show you a better picture and more details of what is on the shelves...until then, please share any tips on styling bookcases you might have up your sleeve! 

With much love, 


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