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How To Make IKEA Bookcases Look Not IKEA

08.04.15

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

A couple of weeks ago Parker went to play golf and came home to a living room that had been rotated 90 degrees.  I told him I didn’t know what happened.

After I admitted that I actually did know what had happened and that I did it to make the space more “conversational”, I told him it wouldn’t look as bad as he thought when we added a big statement to the empty wall behind his chair.  He was really confused, but I asked him to trust me. I don’t think he likes change as much as I do.

The sofa used to be to the right of his chair (leather chair) but it’s now parallel to the bookcases on the other side of the room. The floor plan is now enclosed with seating instead of walking into a completely open room with furniture angled and positioned towards the tv.  We do watch a lot of tv, but it feels more homey with the seating arrangement that is conversational and doesn’t revolve around the tv.

Back to the bookcases.  I knew I wanted something statement.  I emailed Parker the link to Kristin’s from Bliss at Home and Gwen’s from The Makerista own version of the Billy Bookcases built in look but he said he didn’t want to take it that far in a rental.  *If you are looking for a true built-in look you must check out both of these projects (if you haven’t already).  They are fabulous.*

We’ve already pushed our limits with this rental by painting every room in the house.  Our landlord wasn’t too excited about it, but we promised we would repaint to the original colors when we move out. (Can’t even think about that right now.)

So instead of a “built in” mindset I went for a “non IKEA” mindset.  I wanted a statement and didn’t want it to look IKEA (but was of course buying from IKEA).

We went with 3 IKEA Billy Bookcases and used moulding to make them look like one, cohesive piece.

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

*photos by the lovely Kayla Snell

How To Make IKEA Bookcases Look Not IKEA:

Materials:

  • (2) IKEA Billy Bookcases (15″ wide)
  • (1) IKEA Billy Bookcase (31″ wide)
  • (2) 4.25″ x 74″ standard moulding (this joins the 3 shelves)
  • (2) 5.25″ x 74″ standard moulding (one horizontal on the top and one on the bottom)
  • (4) 5.25″ x 11″ standard moulding (sides of top and bottom)
  • (1) 2″ x 74″ crown moulding (for top)
  • (2) 2″ x 12″ crown moulding (for top)
  • liquid nails
  • caulk

*We had our moulding pieces pre-cut at Home Depot.

Steps:

  1. Measure how wide you want the bookcases, so you can figure out how wide the vertical pieces need to be.  You can leave as much or as little space between each bookcase depending on how wide you want the overall piece to be.  (You will need to alter the width of your vertical moulding if you decide to go wider than 4.25″.)
  2. Once the width is set, place the bookcases where you want them to go and start with one horizontal piece at the bottom.  We built it from the bottom up because Parker thought that would keep it all stable and easier to glue together as each piece was added.
  3. Allow about 30 minutes between each addition to allow the liquid nails to set.  Using clamps throughout the process will ensure for cleaner lines throughout the structure.
  4. Now place the two vertical pieces to conjoin each of the bookcases on the sides.  It’s important to make sure that when you place them, the edges are as flush as you can get them – allowing a little more drying time here because you will probably have to keep an eye on the edges to make sure they’re in alignment as it dries
  5. After 45 minutes to an hour you can go ahead and add the top molding in the same fashion as the bottom, making it as flush with the vertical pieces as possible.   (Let this piece dry for an hour before adding the crown molding on top of it)
  6. Once the top horizontal molding has dried enough that it’s stable, add the crown molding piece in the same fashion (clamps really are a necessity for this step to keep it level).  I used the molding to overlap a bit and cover the creases between my vertical and horizontal slats.
  7. Once the project is dry and to your liking (wait a few hours), you will want to make sure you’ve anchored it to the wall if you haven’t already.  The IKEA shelves we used came with one anchor each and they have simple assembly into the wall once you’ve decided on its final resting place.
  8. After all of the shelves are installed you can go through and use a generic caulk to fill all of the remaining peg holes so that it’s not too obvious the shelves came from IKEA. 🙂
  9. Style, style and restyle.  Then style again.  This step isn’t necessary, but will probably happen.  Another post coming soon on this.

 

how to make ikea bookshelves look not ikea

 

 

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22 comments on “How To Make IKEA Bookcases Look Not IKEA”

  1. Your bookcases look amazing! I will definitely be referencing this project as we are hoping to add some bookcases to our dining room, and will definitely be adding moulding to get a more built-in look…

  2. I love your hubby’s leather chair- can you tell me where you found it? It would be a perfect fit for our study.

    Love this idea- definitely pinning it for future use!

  3. Hmm, if these are bookshelves, where do you actually keep your books? Yes, they look nice, but this is a display shelf, not a bookshelf!

  4. What color of paint did you use for the molding to match the bookshelves? Love this idea and want to do it in my master closet.

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