Home Spotlight: Brian’s Built-ins

I have always wanted a library in my home, however, custom built-ins aren’t cheap, so after reading a ton of articles and blogs, we came up with a way to customize store-bought bookcases to fit my wall and tweaked them to have some add-ins. To achieve the built-in look, I hired a carpenter to build around these shelves and match existing molding.

Cost: approximately $2000

  • 5 billy bookshelves from IKEA
  • Hardware and paint from home depot
  • Labor to attach shelves to wall and build trim around them
  • Paint the shelves and surrounding trim

Contractors: Connor
email: osullivan.connorglen@gmail.com
phone:  (919) 864-1485

I reached out to carpenters on craigslist for bids. I felt most comfortable with Connor because he was very responsive, competitive pricing, and was in the area. He was extremely talented and understood my vision very quickly. I would definitely work with him again.
Time: This project took around 3 months. It started with interior design consultations that quoted me $10,000 – $20,000. I did not have this much to spend on bookshelves, so I thought the project was dead before it began. Fortunately, one of my friends came across a blog that used IKEA shelves to accomplish the same look I was going for. That blog started an obsession with finding and reading related blogs using the billy bookcase shelves from IKEA.

Pain points: for me were minimal since I did a ton of research and learned from others’ pain points. However, there was a noteworthy difference with my undertaking. The cost of my project was lot higher than the blogs I read. This was mostly attributed to the fact that my space required more bookshelves because it was so large, and also the prices of materials have gone up since the articles were written.

Regrets: If I did this a second time around I would buy nickel brushed or oil-rubbed bronze lights instead of the gold ones. I also would purchase more expensive paint since it has peeled in some area.

Other notes: Before Connor began, I did very detailed drawings of how I wanted the shelves to turn out. It included support for a ladder to be added down the line. The drawings forced me to tackle and solve for many of the obstacles that the carpenter would’ve come across. I think they were a key part of this project’s success.

After the library was complete, it was followed by a Stock the Shelf Party. I invited several of my closest friends to celebrate my new addition over drinks and food and they brought gifts to help fill my massive wall.

1 thought on “Home Spotlight: Brian’s Built-ins”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your bookcases turned out beautiful! I’m sure you are enjoying them!

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