It’s no secret by now we love our new kitchen (you can see the full show here, and what’s within our cabinets here). Buuuuuut there is a feature just past the kitchen that competes fairly difficult for our affection: the brand new built-in bookshelves around the door to our dwelling room. They’re sort of the “homage” to the original built-in bookshelf that originated when we purchased the home, just amped up along with more balanced to fit our new open layout.
And speaking of homages, you might have noticed that they’re not terribly far away from the original built-in bookshelves that came together with our second house, which wrapped around the cased opening which split our dining area and our office. And now we must fix one of those sad flaws of our second house’s inherited built-ins: the shelf thickness! Hardly any of our publications would match on these shelves because they were so shallow (just around 6″), so we made sure our new ones are BBF (big book favorable ).
But enough about old distances, let us talk about how we generated this new shelving scenario. This is what we were left with when the kitchen was rounding third base and gearing up to slip into the home. Note the non-final lights over the island that we later switched out for more substantial pendants.
Really, note a lot of things we still had some paint touch-ups to perform, a few seat rail that needed to come down during demonstration still needed fixing, and well these walls were looking pretty empty.
Believe it or not, at one point we actually considered scrapping the bookshelf notion completely because we feared it’d be too busy with all the floating shelves in the kitchen. We wondered if only doing simple walls with maybe a sconce or any framed art would be the smarter choice.
Thank GOODNESS we pushed through that hesitation since this wall full of shelving is just one of our favorite features in the entire house. We considered buying more of the same cabinets that we have in our kitchen, however, we understood we didn’t want it appearing like our brand new kitchen has been creeping its way to the living room.
We grabbed two of those unfinished, stock cabinets from Home Depot, which have a similar but not identical door fashion, and fit with the type of our property. I constructed a platform from scrap wood to lift it high enough so that the shirt would line up well with the top of the seat rail (bookcase for the”counter” piece I would be adding afterward).
It is possible to view that also lifted it well so the doors would not interfere with all the baseboards. And adding some 2 x 4″ blocking to the back gave the cupboards some extra depth so our top shelves could nevertheless be 13″ deep without jutting out right to the edge of every base (it is always nice if your base cabinets are a bit deeper than the shelves over them).
I understand that looks kinda all kinds of mad over, but that blocking got covered by these bare-end panels. Additionally, I added a 1 x two ″ across the bottom border to give the baseboard a thing to rest against along the front. And no, matchbox cars are not a vital part of the project, they’re just the reality of burning at something over several days with children in the home. They love to”decorate” items… even before they’re done.
Aside from the adorable 2-year-old, a couple of other matters were going on in that photo over. We also fastened filler bits to the sides of each cabinet to bridge the small gap between it and the wall, so everything looked flush and built-in bookshelves once everything was caulked and painted.
Tools and Materials Needed For Built-in Bookshelves
- Finish Nails
- Wood Glue
- Finish Nailer
- Miter Saw
- Tape Measurer
- Sand Paper
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