DIY Built In Bookcase Reveal

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Having a DIY built in bookcase surely changed the way this room looks and feels!

Wow, this has been a long day in the making!
The DIY built in bookcase reveal is here….finally.

It no longer looks like this….

Toshiba Exif JPEG

Can you say happy dance????

And no, it wasn’t necessarily a super large project but it was a bit involved.
Not so much that we couldn’t finish it timely though. ;)
We just kept getting sidetracked by so many other projects…over and over…and over.

But at last…it is finished….the DIY built in bookcase….is finished.
And I packed it full, I know. Bear with me. ;)

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Use Ready Made Cabinets - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

And let me tell you guys, I couldn’t be any happier about this being done!
Especially since it happens to be one of the first things you see upon entering my home.

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Thrifty Custom DIY - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

And yep, I know it’s a “bookcase” … but I don’t have enough books to fill it up! ;)
So I added decor.
I’m going to revisit it in the New Year but this is how I have it for now.
I’d like to add more books. I’ve been on the lookout for vintage ones.
Plus, y’all, I usually only have to style 2 or 3 shelves, not 12!
Ack…a little overwhelming.

But fun.

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Inexpensive DIY - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

And just a little reminder of what this room looked like when we moved in….

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Other Owner's items - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

…this is the day we walked through with the realtor. (other owner’s items)
That back wall is where the bookcase is.

And this is the day we moved in. (pardon the mess)

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I was going to make it a dining room and what is the dining room now was my study. (the one with the pink wallpaper over there)
Ha…and that is the weird door we removed literally the day we moved in.
It was straight ahead from the front door/foyer closing off the kitchen.

And still as a dining room a few years later…..

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - After Moving In - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

And now….

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Inexpensive DIY for Custom Look- artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy


We’ve also refinished the floors since then. (you can tell the difference in color from all the “before” photos above compared to this one)
It was really dark and orange-y and almost looked one color (no variation at all).
It took us a few years to muster up the courage to do it….and have to move everything out!
That was quite a job but do-able, as most are.
I’m just glad it’s DONE and I can see the beautiful variation in the wood once again!

I guess I should mention the little foot stool. ;)
It is a thrifty find (was stained) that I painted and plan to use here.
I’m working on a chair for this spot also.

I repainted the desk a few years ago. I originally painted it a blend of Old Ochre/Cream (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan).
It was too yellow-ish so I painted again with Old White about 2 years ago.
I was never able to share it because this room was being worked on so long!
You can see what it used to look like here…. Study Desk.

Some up close shots of our brand new DIY built in bookcase….

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Styling 2 - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

Top shelf … old encyclopedias given to me by a friend and thrift store items (gold plate and vase).
Second shelf …  mirror I painted, frame and dish. (all thrift store items)
Third shelf … books, thrift store wood tray, thrift store pineapple (made over), framed print I created. (and later painted the frame gold)

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Other DIYs - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy
Fourth shelf … gold sphere and bottles (Kirkland’s), plate of the church my husband and I were married.

Here’s the pineapple makeover…

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Thrift Store Pineapple Makeover with Gold Paint - artsychicksrule #diy

What a difference. Now it looks so elegant.

Seamless seams… caulk is my friend (and yours too, use it, it makes everything better ;) )

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Styling 1 - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

Top shelf … blue bird and vase from Michael’s, (50% off, I usually don’t buy unless it is) and gold dipped glass jars I made.
Second shelf … frame I sprayed gold (my parents), seashells and books, blue vase (Hobby Lobby).
Third shelf … metal dish painted with Chalk Paint® (was my mother’s), wall art I created, cookbooks.
Fourth shelf … thrift store wood recipe box, tray from Pier One, vintage blue fan I found at a garage sale.

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Baskets from Target - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

Top shelf … framed photos and a crystal dish that was a wedding gift (25 years next year!),  letter “C” (Hobby Lobby, I think) and a stained glass star that was gifted to me, vase from relatives from travels.
Second shelf … blue Ball Mason jars, welcome sign I made, Aubusson blue (thrift store find) pottery dish.
Third shelf … vintage blue bottles and very old books. The center piece used to be hanging on my dining room wall (along with that mirror and framed photo).

Styling and Decorating on a Budget - Wall Decor - #thriftydecor #budgetdecor
I removed it and repainted it (Duck Egg Blue) to put on the bookcase.
It is also a thrift store find I originally painted in “Graphite”.

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Nautical Decor - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy
Fourth shelf … baskets are from Target. (love them!)

We left an opening in the center bottom for a shelf and more baskets. (on purpose ;) )
I wanted to break up the cabinets along the bottom a bit.
I love the contrasting colors.

(I’m including a few affiliate links, to some of the products I’ve used here, for your convenience! See here for full disclosure.)

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - LOVE these baskets from Target - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

These baskets from Target are from the Threshold line. I just love them.
You can find them here: Target Basket Large

As you can probably see, I am using them for “stuff” and “storage”!
And since I paint inside so often, I decided to use a few of the cabinets for my paint storage.
Nice to have it close at hand.

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Paint Storage - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Supply Storage - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

It’s so nice to have all of this extra storage.
Especially so since I’ve made so many changes in the dining room lately.
I’m selling the old dresser (coffee bar) and bar cabinet so a bunch of my items had to be reworked….or purged.

OH! And I must show you my new curtains!

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - New Blue Curtains - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

They are from Kohl’s and I just love them, the color and the design. (and the price! very inexpensive)
You can find them here: Kohl’s Curtain Panel

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - New Curtains Kohls - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy

Aren’t they lovely? I haven’t decided if I will hem them or not.
Probably since I’m not really a fan of this look. (and I have a hairy Golden who’s hair gets all over the bottom there)

I now have an artificial tree sitting in front of that window. (we’ll do a real tree in the family room)
It also came from the thrift store and it’s huge!
Got a pretty good deal, I think. :)

And I’m going to FLOCK it. I have never flocked anything but I am so excited I can hardly stand it.
I have wanted a flocked tree for forever. But they are so expensive and just go against everything I believe about decorating.
So….enter the thrift store and Amazon. Details later! ;)

Alrighty, the bookcase reveal is done!

I’ll have a full DIY post of this build after the holidays are over.
I will also link it here too, just in case you would like to pin this now for future reference.

DIY Built-In Bookcase Wall - Custom Look DIY - artsychicksrule #bookcase #diy #builtinbookcase

Happy dance all the day long!


Okay, now on to all of my other ongoing projects. I have quite a few. ;)

I will see you guys on Thanksgiving day with my third and final post in the “Holiday Decor” series.
It’s a fun one! 
Be sure to stop back by and take a peek. I’ll be sharing a little fella that I loved so much I gave him a kiss. haha (no really)
And it’s red, traditional and festive.

See you then! Hope you have a wonderful week and upcoming Thanksgiving Day.
If traveling, I wish you safe travels.


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    1. Hi…I love the bookcase! I want the same one for my office. Can you give me an approximate on cost t build it? I cant wait to get started!

      1. Thank you! I really don’t, I’m sorry! This was one of those projects that dragged on for a couple years (we had so many other things going on at the same time) that we did a little at a time. It was not a huge amount, that I know! Very do-able in DIY and cost! :)

    1. Thank you Rose! :) It was a pretty big one and glad it is behind us now!
      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  1. What a great addition to this room! I can see why it took a long time ot get this project completed. I look forward to the details on how you consrturted this after the holidays. Building bookcases with cabinets underneath had been on our “to-do” list for a long time.

  2. Oh, Nancy, y’all did a fabulous job! I absolutely love it! It makes me wish I had a wall I on which I could build a bookcase! The room has come a long way and you have made it just beautiful! The new curtains look great, too! xo

    1. Thank you Karen! It really has come a very long way! It still amazes me sometimes when I look back at photos. We did it over such a long period of time, I have forgotten!! ;)

  3. When there are so many great books to read, why buy them for their looks? Don’t do it. Add them slowly as you read them; it says so much more than books by the yard.

    1. Oh you are so right Anne. I couldn’t agree more. I really love to read (and used to do it more often) but don’t have as much time to do it now. I do, however, also adore antique and vintage books (I guess I’m a bit of a collector) and will continue to purchase those I find and love! So maybe a mix of the two. :)

  4. You guys did such a beautiful job with your built-in bookcase – very professional looking! I like your idea of breaking up the bottom with open shelving. The dark stained top is perfection too. I’m swooning over that gorgeous desk sitting center in the room in front of the bookcases – so pretty. I can only imagine how beautiful a flocked Christmas Tree is going to look in this space. Happy Thanksgiving Nancy!

    1. Thank you Marie! The baskets do break it up nicely! We are flocking trees and wreaths today!! :) Can’t wait (I hope it turns out!! ;) )

  5. Hi Nancy! Beautiful job! We’re in the process now of designing our built ins. How high are your celings in this room? I’m trying to get an idea of what our shelves may look like.

  6. Do you have a blog post giving instructions on how you made this bookcase? It is absolutely lovely and I want a very similar one!!

  7. Bookshelves are beautiful! I didn’t see the how-to post yet, so just had two questions. What paint did you use for the white bookshelves? And I can’t seem to find the paint comparison post I read about in your kitchen reveal. I am planning on painting my kitchen cabinets and would love to know your favorite paint to work with for this type of high traffic project.

    1. Thank you Ashley! :) I hope to be posting it this month. :) I had planned last month but didn’t get to it.
      I used a water based latex paint from Lowe’s. This was new wood so went with that. If it was a repaint, I’d probably have chosen something else. The other project is my laundry room cabinets and I haven’t painted them yet. I hope to get to them very soon! The paint I’ll be using is General Finishes Milk Paint (not the powdered but the one in the can). Unless I change my mind beforehand. ;) I’ll be doing a comparison post of about 6-7 paints like that soon as well.
      I will say, the Chalk Paint has held up great in the kitchen though!

  8. Gorgeous! It makes the room look so much bigger! I love all of your decorating, and your pup!! I am in much the same position having lost my best friend of 15 years recently. I REALLY want a Golden, but so far have managed to keep my head…

    1. Aw thank you so much Debbi! :)
      And I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It’s so hard!
      Blessings and hugs to you!!!

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