Saturday, March 19, 2011

151 Built In Beauty

I have some OCD when it comes to starting projects and not finishing them.  It drives me N U T S!  However, we do it all the time.  We are busy busy peeps.  We have three wild and crazy guys all under the age of 10.  Life is blissfully chaotic!  And the project we whipped up last weekend, was a LONG time coming.  Like, from August of last year overdue.

Here is a little back story for your reading entertainment....

One upon a time we had a living room.  It looked like this:


It's so weird to look at this picture.  Nothing about it is the same.  Everything has since changed.  Everything but the gallery wall and wall color....

And when it looked like this, it was intended on being updated.  This picture was taken in July of 2010.  What were we going to change?  Mainly, the standard dated media unit.  It was from a big box store from when we moved in.  It was falling apart, it was small for the space and it was not in line with my style any longer.  So what was the big plan you asked?  Why, I wanted to do a HUGE wall of built in white bookcases and/or a media unit of some sorts!  And it was gonna be grand....

And then we lost our basement in early August.  Yep. A flood wiped out our entire lower level living area.  Such a game life changer.

So, furniture got re-arranged and we downsized and moved things to storage.  And our living room instantly felt different!


The flood caused me to look at all the items and furniture we had in both spaces, and combine them into our new one and only living space.  Only my favorite pieces got to stay.  We had brought up our sectional and leather ottoman, used an Expedit bookcase for a media stand and brought in a more neutral shag rug from the storage room. 

Then, we freshened things up in December to open things up even more, by putting the Expedit into our sons room {all of our component boxes didn't fit in the cubbies so it wasn't working as ideally as we would have liked}, so a previous stand {again from our lower level}, made it's appearance instead.  And I brought back the glass coffee table, because the large leather ottoman gave us zero space.


And that's where I left off.

Because I promised to show you "real life" on the blog, our TV stand actually looks more like this on a daily basis...


IHeart real life.  And even though the TV stand looks mediocre, it doesn't matter.  Because my little man makes any room feel AMAZING!  Ok, sorry, proud mommy alert!

And as much as we are penny pinching to save up for our basement project, {we just found ANOTHER crack in our foundation and MORE water, so no remodeling until we fix the bigger problems first this spring - URG!} we decided to finally finish a project started over half a year ago now.  All we had done up until now was purchase some Ikea billy bookcases, which we planned to line on the back wall.  This was inspired by a post I had seen here on Maillardville Manor.  And then she had to go and do it AGAIN!  Yep, she had put in two bookcases and I hadn't finished my one.  Time to get our booties in bookcase gear!

So that's what we did!

As I mentioned, we had planned on lining the back wall.  However, after seeing Ashli's most recent bookcase project, in which she created a bump out, I knew we had to do the same!

Our bookcase project meant that I had to whip out the wallpaper again.  Because I can't leave well enough alone.  And I didn't want it too be too much white.  Or too simple.  I wanted texture and interest.  And I found this print which matched the wrapping paper I used under our console table, almost to a perfect T!


So the hubs threw together the bookshelves and I sprayed the backing with spray adhesive {tip, if you do this, do the ugly brown side so the good white side can always be used someday if you ever want to switch things up}.

Of course, I was SO excited to finally be doing this project, that I didn't take pictures up til this point.  And we also went to our local Home Depot to snag up MDF for the top and trim for the front, and I didn't take pictures of that either.  But it was a real party, let me tell you!  Just kidding, but in all honesty, the individual who helped us at the good ol' HD, completely cut the top three pieces of wood to an exact perfect cut for us, so we wouldn't have to drag out the table saw when we got home.  HE WAS SO NICE!  It was great!

OK, bookcases assembled.  Check.  Wallpaper attached.  Check.  Time to finish our new masterpiece.


As I mentioned, the wonderful employee at our local Home Depot cut the three top pieces to the perfect sizes.  The hubs just had to screw the bookcases together with 1 1/4" screws, tops and sides.  He also pre-drilled each screw hole to prevent any wood splitting. 

Then, he used his miter box to cut the chair rail molding for the front of the bookcases and attached with an air nailer.


Adding the molding is all we needed to do to be completely 100% sold and in love with the new addition to the space.  It unified all the single units {5 total bookcases} into one, and gave it such a built in feeling!


Next, came puttying and sanding down the lines on the top where the pieces met together, and filling any nail holes in the trim.


We also traced the cap to the wood putty to create a template to create a small notch in three places along the back of the unit, which were cut out with a jig saw.  Because we made the tops deeper than the bookcases themselves, we wanted the entire unit to push tight up against the walls and to hide the cords for all of our lighting and electronics behind it.


I brought one of the shelves into Home Depot with me to have them color match it to a quart of Glidden paint.  It came out to be the PERFECT match and sheen!  They are so great to us there!  {And no, they are not paying me, I just heart when we get great service!}


I used a smooth roller on the top and a edging brush on the trim:


Here we are almost done!


Then came my favorite part!  Putting the room together!  I had all sorts of my favorite decor and organizing books that were just waiting to be placed together in harmony!


And the kid's have loads of books of their own!  It's great having a place for them in our living area, where we do majority of our reading together!


I popped all of their library books into their very own basket as well, since I wanted to ensure they never got misplaced or lost!


And then the rest were just accessories gathered from around the home!  Ready to see the difference a little weekend project can make?

Again, before:


And After:


The new shelving unit absolutely fills the space up perfectly!  Like it was meant to be!  So much more proportional to the space!


The previous sunburst mirror didn't fit anymore.  It was too big with the new shelving height and TV combo.  So I found this smaller version at Target for $25 smackaroos, since I couldn't bare to be sans sunburst!



I want to chain myself to this room!  Since it's been done, I find my self gravitationally being pulled to the couch, just to snuggle up and gaze around.  I have never been so in love with a space in our home.  It is so bright and cheery and colorful and happy.  It feels like home.  Like a great place to raise our boys and play games and read stories and watch movies and cartoons and take long afternoon naps!


So that's the story of our living room!  Well, not actually not the whole story - it did once look like this....


Until Bryan's uncle told me it looked like we had smoke damage.  Then, it was this for a minute:


Until I felt like a sunshine threw up on my walls.  That's when Shrek came to visit and the rest is history!


So what do you think?  Who else has been putting off a project that just needs to be done already?  Big or small?  What about seeing something somewhere that got you off your project finishing booty and getting things done?!  Who else has embarrassing photos of a space that make you laugh and shake your head and wonder what you were thinking?  I want to hide mine just like I hid those pictures of me in 4th grade with poofy poodle top hair and rolled jeans....

151 comments:

  1. Jen! this looks so good! I just love the new shelving unit! I got a really good chuckle out of the part where you say "Until I felt like a sunshine threw up on my walls. That's when Shrek came to visit and the rest is history!" You're too funny! I read that part to my husband & he got a good chuckle out of it too! :)
    DaNita

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  2. What a great project! Im inspired! It looks great!

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  3. LOVE IT!! You guys did such a great job!!!! You totally put our shelves to shame :) I LOVE the wallpaper on the backs, wish I'd thought of that!
    Thank you so much for your shout out! That was very nice of you, I was so excited to see your email! I'm such a HUGE fan of I Heart Organizing!

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  4. Such a beautiful, cozy room. What a transformation. I love it.
    I've put off so many small projects that my entire house is one giant work in progress. Right now I am working on organizing my craft room closet, yet its so overwhelming that I had to stop (once again) and do some blog reading. Yet that in turn makes me find more projects that I want to do.... sigh.
    BTW I love your blog. I <3 organizing too. It makes me so happy and sane. You have some wonderful ideas. Thanks.

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  5. What a journey your living room has been through! I love love love the new bookcase system! What a great idea to add some style to plain ikea bookcases! I wouldn't want to leave a room like that either!

    Sometimes I feel like my whole house is in an embarrassing transition phase. We are also guilty of starting loads of projects and then stopping...and it is usually a quick thing that needs to be done. I am currently trying to make my bedroom and living room more grown up and organized. I need to paint my whole house pretty much and it needs to be decorated. Always a work in progress though!

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  6. Love it Jen - it looks absolutely fantastic ;)

    Congrats on another inspirational post and project! I totally understand the pull the room must have on you now ;)

    Love the blog too - when I stumbled across it I spent a few evenings going back and reading every single post!

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  7. It looks fantastic, Jen. Y'all did an amazing job. What a transformation. Enjoy!

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  8. I love this! Looooooove this!

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  9. That looks great. I love the wallpaper. I have an Ikea Expedit 4x4 bookshelf that is waiting for a cute back. I might try the wallpaper.

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  10. I loved looking at your transformation! Thanks for sharing! Your shelving wall is amazing.

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  11. LOVE it! What a beautiful and welcoming transformation!

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  12. I love it Jen (but I've loved every change your living room has gone through LOL).

    I want to know what your secret it. How long did this project take you from start to finish? What did you do with the contents of the living room cupboards while all this is going on? Do the boys get into the contents? Who's cooking dinner, making lunches, taking kids to school, washing, cleaning etc while all this is going on? These are all the issues I would have with starting a project like this. I've got a lovely timber cupboard that could do with a paint job but the problems I would have with the contents, the kids, the time etc etc far outweigh ever getting the cupboard painted. I'll just have to wait until they leave home! LOL

    Keep up the good work. You're such an inspiration.

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  13. It looks beautiful! I love it! As far as if I projects that I haven't finished? Ummm about 5,000 of them??????? Also, thank you so much for commenting on my "Scrapbook Nook" on my blog! I was squealing this morning, you're one of my blogging "heroes!"

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  14. It looks amazing!! I've got too many projects started and not finished. Go figure. . . I love organization, but it apparently doesn't apply to my finishing of projects. Going to tackle a few this weekend.

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  15. Looks amazing Jen! It has that fancy built in look! Fabulous!

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  16. not a surprise that I LOVE it. You always inspire me to get organized and I love how you embrace color!

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  17. looks like you need a bigger TV now. ;)

    painting the living room right now. (well, we painted a big square are waiting for that to dry and decide on color)

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  18. Hhahaha! You are too funny. Smoke damage, Sunshine and Shrek. I love your new shelving. Do tell, how hard was the papering bit? The new piece fits awesome and really lightens up the room.

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  19. Looks amazing! I love it!
    I also love your wall color - what is it called?

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  20. Love Love Love Love Love! We're not the slightest bit handy so right now I just ooo and ahhh but one day.... until then, I'm ooing and ahhing and your gorgeous faux built-in.

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  21. What an amazing transformation! You did a fantastic job and I can see why you enjoy sitting in there just staring at the space... I have to keep going back thru the pictures over and over again!

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  22. Sunshine threw up on your walls! That's exactly what my walls feel like! The entire house was a similar shade of yellow to what you had. My husband said it was like living in a banana.

    Back to the present, I love your built ins! They look perfect in scale for the room! Great job to you and your hubby!

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  23. I love it! It looks beautiful! Great job and thanks for sharing!
    xo
    Kelly

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  24. Jenn- What is your decor book on the far right with the purple flower? That is such a pretty book.

    This room is so beautiful! I love your family wall gallery too. Do you guys want any more kiddos or is your family complete?

    xo
    Kelly

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  25. Thanks everyone!

    Spraying the backs with spray adhesive for the wallpaper was really easy, then I just used an exacto knife around the backing. Didn't take long at all!

    The color on the walls is Behr's Grape Leaves.

    Anne - GREAT QUESTION! We typically work on most of our projects in the evenings or on weekends when the little guys are sleeping. And how we don't wake them up most of the time is amazing! They go to bed around 8:00 so we always have a couple of hours to utilize. However, bigger builds like this is usually a hand-off. One parents, one builds. My husband did most of the building on this, and then we switched off so I could paint. We always have a pretty smooth system of working together, no way could I ever get all of it done on my own!

    The contents are usually everywhere mid project {stacked on a sofa or in piles in the room}. We usually just let the kids know that specific area is off limits for awhile, since they are all older, they understand!

    Hope that helps some!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  26. Kelly,

    That book you see is actually a lined journal, I needed a space filler and it is pretty.

    And no more babies for us for now. We are pretty busy with the three little lovers that we have right now :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  27. it looks so great! I love your pops of color everywhere and that green is just great! love it.

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  28. I love it! I can't wait to show my hubby. I've been trying to convince him that I want "built ins" in our family room - maybe this is an easy enough compromise! Thanks for sharing!!

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  29. That looks amazing! And how excited was I to see my book there on your shelf...love that!!

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  30. Oh Jen I love the new space. The built-ins are awesome and affordable to boot! I love how the lamps are now higher up on the wall and you can actually see them. I have an idea for you though, and since I love spray paint, of course i had to suggest this....You should spray paint the lamp bases so that they really pop on the wall and leave the shades white. I am thinking either a blue like your boxes, a turquoise, or perhaps even a coraly pink to go with your pillows. Let me know what you think.

    Happy Decorating!

    Toni

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  31. Looks amazing!! I love what you have done with the space and can see why you would gravitate towards that room more now!

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  32. aww I love it! looks great! you are so talented Jen! I love your blog! thank you for sharing((:

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  33. i looks fabulous!! what color green is it? love it and want to paint ours the same shade...love it!!

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  34. 2littlehooligans - It's Behr's Grape Leaves.

    Thanks!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  35. It looks great! Glad you shared it with us. Ashli is very inspiring, isn't she? Love the new look!

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  36. I would want to snuggle on your couch all day too! My favorite part of the shelves is the wallpaper backing. That is brilliant. I definitely plan to steal that idea from you. And the organized shelves are lovely too, of course!

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  37. I do really like the custom look of this a lot. I guess the only thing that crossed my mind though is that maybe now it's time to change the layout of the other furniture in the room? Your blog has been really inspiring for me though. Great job!

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  38. It looks great, Jen! I'm officially inspired to create a built-in look using separate bookcases...what a great idea! I bet it is so much more economical than buying a customized entertainment center!

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  39. oh how I love coming here...you are such an inpiration...I don't have a creative bone in my body...I actually just had a home stager come in and try and help me...love that I can find places like this to get inspiration now though!

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  40. It looks fabulous! No one would ever guess that they started out as Ikea shelves!!!

    One recommendation...In my honest opinion, the decor items sitting on the tops of the shelves are too symmetrial....lamp-lamp...sunburst mirror perfectly centered, etc. I think something with more height would look great in that left corner...you have a great high ceiling there.

    I love your site. You have a great gift for orgainization and I've gleaned a lot of ideas from your site! Thank you! Tiffany

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  41. I love your blog and I'm a new follower!! Your living room is so inviting and cozy! I love the wall color and the built-in's are amazing! I've been looking at your past posts and I love your house! Can't wait to see what you do next!!

    Lori : )
    Thrifty Decor Mom

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  42. LOVE it. where did you get the wire baskets from?

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  43. O.M.G. Jen the "built-ins" {because that is what they look like} are GORGEOUS!!! Love the wallpaper. Never thought HD would have such nice wallpaper. Love how custom it is.

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  44. I like your choice of color for background on your wall unit. We have stained woodwork - (which I wish was white)- and hardwood floors - it makes for a whole lots of wood :) We have a built in book case - (full wall) which is also oak. I've considered covering the back with something to take away some of the oak color - any suggestions?

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  45. this looks awesome!! i love the new shelving unit! everything looks great :)

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  46. Looks fab! I especially like how it doesn't make the TV such a focal point.

    Thankfully we don't have a habit of starting projects and not finishing them (probably because we don't have the space for half-finished things lying around). But everything we start seems to take ten times longer than expected. Argh!

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  47. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous transformation. The icing on the cake is that lovely wallpaper.

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  48. Looks awesome! Where did you get the wire basket with the label that the library books are in?

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  49. what a great transformation. i must say that is so very inspirational!!!

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  50. This is beautiful! We are actually currently deciding what we will use for a "media console" area and this may be the ticket. Wondering what the total cost of everything was to complete the project?

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  51. Hi K!

    The bookcases alone were $155. The wallpaper was $45 and the top and trim and nails were about $35. Total project came in under $250 said and done! :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  52. It looks SO good!!! I've been dreaming of creating our own little built in white bookcases...thanks for the inspiration!

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  53. Jen, this looks A M A Z I N G!!! Like a completely custom unit. I love it, and I love your blog, sooooo much inspiration:)

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  54. Love it!! Where did you get the lamps? I've been looking for something similar for a while.

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  55. Hi Katie! They are oldies from Pier 1. LOVE THEM! I have since seem similar styles at Home Goods as well!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  56. Jen,

    Where do you keep the plastic toys? My girls have a large plastic kitchen, dolls, strollers and such that stay in the living room as that is the main area for all family activities, and the number of toys and their various colors are starting to drive me crazy. Do you have a large closed door storage unit for such toys or do the boys bring such toys to play from a different room? I see your son is playing with some toys in one of the pictures you posted.

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  57. Love it! So much better than the other entertainment center. Any the before before is really ugly ;) I just posted about my office drawers. Something that is a YEAR in the making. Don't feel bad.

    http://ourhumbleabowed.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/drop-your-drawers/

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  58. Anonymous, we actually had a pretty fantastic playroom at one time: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2010/03/march-featured-space-kids-perfect-play.html

    But now, many of the bins remain, they are just downstairs and I bring them up to play with, and then bring them back down when they are done. We can't wait to re-create a new play zone, my legs are tired! :)

    Storage Ottomans are great solutions, as are armoires! And pretty baskets!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  59. Oh my goodness! I LOVE that shelf! And I can't get enough of your blog...having to pull myself away! :)

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  60. Thanks so much Jen for responding to my query. I always admire your will and determination to get thing done. To hear that you're 'only human' (like the rest of us 'mere mortals' LOL) and stack things up on the floor and try to do things at night makes me feel a little bit better. Sometimes I think you just wave a magic wand and it all happens. You truly are inspirational. There's no excuse for me now. Thanks a lot Jen. xx

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  61. Love it! I really love your blog. I just found it recently and am really glad I did!
    I have a question though, where did you get that cute wire basket you have your library books in?

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  62. I found the wire basket at Ballard, I signed up for their emails and received a coupon code which always helps!

    http://www.ballardd...esigns.com/pe-collection-single-wall-pocket/accessories/office-accessories/14893

    xoxo!

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  63. Wow! That turned out great! Sooo much better! I love it!

    ~Chelsea

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  64. LOVE it!!! Would you mind sharing where you got your sectional?

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  65. Hi Lisa!

    We found the sectional at Ashley Homestore, I am not sure they make the same exact one any longer, however, I am pretty certain I have still seen similar versions.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  66. What color are your walls in the living room? I love love the color!

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  67. @Izzy, the wall color is Behr's Grape Leaves! :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  68. I know this is a little late! But I was wondering where the cords are fed for the items on the shelves? I saw the holes you drilled in the tops but what about the shelves? I don't see ANY cords!!! THAT is a piece of Heaven to me (I HATE cords)!

    Thanks, This is awesome...might have to talk my hubby into this...it's perfect for a rental!

    Brandy

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  69. @Brandy -

    We actually used a utility knife to slice out squares behind the components in the bookcase backing, to run the cords behind the shelves! No matter which angle you look at it from, no wires in site! Has to be my favorite part! :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  70. I am in love with this look. it's amazing! I am actually wondering about you coffee table and where you got it?

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  71. Here is a link to the glass coffee table: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mendocino-Coffee-Table/10825375

    Thank you!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  72. i was wondering if the white and turquoise boxes were for dvd's and where you got them. i really like the wire baskets too. any chance you'd let me know?

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  73. I love this idea...awesome job!! We have Billy's in our laundry room with glass doors and they are fabulous. Are the holes for the shelves on the sides visible at all? That is one thing that bugs me about the ones in our laundry...any ideas how I could cover them up? Maybe wallpapering the sides too?

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  74. @modern mom,

    You can see the holes, and I thought it would bug me too, however, once I started decorating the bookcases, the holes really weren't noticeable any longer.

    We thought about using putty or caulk but didn't want to eliminate the option of changing the shelf height.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  75. @Anonymous,

    The DVD boxes are from Walmart, and I use them for photos, cords, CD's, etc... they are great for all sorts of Living Room storage needs!

    The wire basket was from Ballard: http://www.ballarddesigns.com/pe-collection-single-wall-pocket/accessories/office-accessories/14893

    Thanks so much!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  76. Wow! I saw these built-ins on your home tour and had to track down the story behind them. I was so not expecting them to be made from Ikea shelves.

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  77. Thank you so much for posting this and answering my questions... my husband tackled this project for me last weekend and we love it. We did 171" of a family room wall with 7 Billy's (large and small). We have a bit of touchup and finishing to do, but it came out amazing in our opinion. THANK YOU for a wonderful idea (and I love Pinterest for helping me find your post to begin with!)

    I posted about it here: http://petitebrickhouse.blogspot.com/2011/05/ikea-billy-hack-almost-like-built-in.html

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  78. Love this idea! Did you anchor the bookcases to the wall so they would be sturdy enough to hold the tv and take a beating from the boys? I want to build my own TV console.. just wondering if you used anchors?

    Thanks!

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  79. I just stumbled onto your site and love it! We're about 1.5 hrs behind in tackling our home project. :) Where did you get the chair molding for the bookshelf? Love the look!

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  80. Hi Jen, this is a really cool project. I might copy it for our huge living room, we have a part of the room that I was thinking of using as a library/relax/play area and this shelf really looks good... I thought about using Besta instead of Billy shelves, because the wall I would like to use is 3 m wide and also the Besta system offers some great opportunities like magazine displays and such. Oh my, as I am currently working on the coat closet and my daughters study, this project will have to wait until October or so, but it's always good to have more plans so you never get bored. ;) By the way, I love the green color on your walls. Doesn't look like Shrek at all. I have a color very similar to that in my kitchen and it looks super nice with the white kitchen furniture.
    Thanks again for all the inspiration...
    Jule (from Germany)

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  81. Love it! I would love to try this but am just a beginner DIY-er. Did you mount the unit to the wall? And if so, did you remove the baseboard (trim)? And did I mention how much I love EVERYTHING about this project!

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  82. Momto2boys, the molding was from Home Depot.

    K-Krew, we didn't need to remove the trim because the backs of the bookcases have a notch in it. The unit was so solid that we decided against mounting it to the wall, but it really always depends on your specific scenerio. The way we have all of the shelves screwed together will make it nearly impossible for us to tip it forward.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  83. I love the idea of having built-in shelving, without the cost! I had read your post several time previously, but always missed the part where you took one of the shelves into Home Depot to have them color match it. I kept wondering how on Earth you got the trim and mdf to match the laminate shelving perfectly, so that you didn't have to paint everything. Love it!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  84. Jen, I just found your site yesterday through Pinterest (a new addiction for me!). I'm hoping to find a lot of inspiration here for our "5 year plan" home where we've just begun our 11th year. Le sigh. Hoping to sell next summer, but at the very least, perhaps I can whip this 1100 sq ft abode into shape to make it more livable for DH, myself, the 3 kids and the Lab. :-)

    As for your living room makeover... I LOVE that "built in"!! Pondering if we can do that here in some way. Our living room is shaped like the western half of Pennsylvania, with the angled edge being a fireplace and the top edge the stair case. Hmmm... Now to figure out how to make your idea work for us! I want a happy living room, too!

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  85. Hi Jen-

    Love your site! I recently discovered your site and Mini Manor around the same time :) I'm wondering where you put the holes in the back of your shelving unit for the DVD player, speakers, etc? Did you put holes on each shelf or just the top ones holding the equipment? Thanks!

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  86. @Janice - The holes were cut directly behind our components and that's it, on the top shelves only.

    So glad you found me! xoxo!

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  87. Just LOVE the built-in look!! Amazing transformation! We have so many projects we want to start, this being one of them! :)

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  88. Amazing DIY project!!!! I need to get some of those bookcases!!! Do you know the exact paint color you used on them (for the top and the trim)? Also, what sheen? Thanks for your inspiring post!
    Molly

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  89. @Molly - There was no name for it since it was color matched from one of the shelves... the sheen was satin.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  90. Hi! I have been just loving your blog and I feel so inspired to get my own home in gear! Just a quick question about electric outlets for this project... I noticed that you had holes for the cords.... Is everything unplugged right behind the book cases? Does this make the whole unit stick out from the wall about an inch? Did you have to cut holes in the back of the book case for the other electronics (dvd, cable, etc)? I am sure these are very stupid questions but I am just having a hard time picturing it all. Thank you!!

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  91. @Megan,

    We had the top pieces cut a little bit deeper than the shelves themselves. The way, there is a lip over the backs of the bookcases, so the top appears to be flush against the wall, but the backs of the bookcases are actually about 2 inches in front of the wall, allowing for cords to run behind and even plug in with room to spare!

    Hope that helps! xoxo!
    Jen

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  92. I have almost the same couch! Mine just doesn't have the stitching like yours. Love it. And today my husband is building me a full wall unit similar to yours to replace a cheap book shelf and an armoire desk turned entertainment cabinet that take up much a lot of room but don't give me enough storage or style. I love what you did with your living room and love your bog. Keep up the good work!

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  93. I know this is an old post, but I was wondering - how do you keep your boys from pulling out the stuff on the shelves? I would love to do this, but I have a 3 year old boy and a baby (that will be getting into stuff in no time) and it seems like it would be daunting keeping things on the shelves with this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could always add doors to the fronts?

      My kiddos are older, my youngest is 5, so they are absolutely old enough to know better. And everything that I keep on the shelves is kid friendly, we use it to stash games, coloring books, hardcover books, etc...

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  94. it totally polishes off the room!

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  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  96. thanks! we just completed this...
    http://aprilbrumm.blogspot.com/2012/01/chaos-is-over-for-now.html

    thanks to your inspiration! yay!

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  97. Found your blog through Pinterest, and OMG you give me so much hope for my Living room! I have wanted to re-do it for so long, but just not sure which direction to go. Seeing what yours very originally started from to what it is now gives me so much hope! I'm a now now now type of person, so I get stuck on the fact that I can't do a million projects at once that would just cost too much money. I'm slowly realizing I'll do one thing at a time and eventually it will look how I want. I'm also in love with the bookshelf faux-built in! THANKS!!!

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  98. Hi, I noticed that the middle section of the wall unit sticks out several inches from the side bookcases. Are the middle units actually deeper? I only noticed 1 size in this style on Ikea. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing.

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    2. The middle shelf is just bumped out from the wall further. It's great for hiding all of the component cords and giving it a little extra drama/dimension. They are all the same depth bookcases.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  99. I was wondering with the DVD storage cases how many DVD's can fit in each one? You had mentioned you bought them at Walmart. Do you know what section and about how much they cost? I could not find them at my Walmart, but will try another. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      The clear acrylic containers are actually from The Container Store: http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10022645&N=&Ntt=acrylic+media

      They hold 120 discs each.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  100. I love what you did with this room!! I got so many ideas from your blog that i want to incorporate in into our home.. still waiting to close... but I will post pictures up... I was wondering are all three of them billy bookcase or just the two on the side??? what did you use for the middle console?? just curious... thinking of using this as an inspiration for the kids playroom...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The middle shelf is just bumped out from the wall further, still the same bookcases as on the sides. It's great for hiding all of the component cords and giving it a little extra drama/dimension. We just cut the top MDF piece deeper so it all lines up along the back and bumps out in the front.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  101. Would you mind clarifying? Are the bookshelves Billy's from Ikea or did you make them from scratch? I want to make these for my office. Thanks for your help, lovely blog.

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    Replies
    1. The actual bookcases are actually from Ikea, we attached five of them together. Then, we added a topper and trim to combine them all into one unit.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  102. Jen,

    I will be going to Ikea this weekend. How many Billy units did you need for this project and are they all the same size?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashley!

      We used three of the larger bookcases: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/63688310/

      and two smaller ones: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80085707/

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  103. I LOVE this! We have a vaulted ceiling just like this and I cannot find something that fits in the space. The shelving unit is just awesome and has inspired me. It may not get done tomorrow but I now have a vision. Thank you so much! Billie

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  104. Hi Jen. Inspired by your beautiful shelving unit, I built one of these myself. You can see it here on my blog: www.marchhouse.blogspot.com. thanks for sharing!

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  105. Hi Jen! I just adore your blog:) would you mind telling me what kind of spray adhesive you used for the wallpaper?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rachel!

      I honesty can't remember, but there are a couple of great options at JoAnn and Michaels, I am guessing I picked one of the lesser expensive options. :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  106. Hi Jen,

    You've inspired me to do this in my craft room. Thanks!

    Do you have the measurements for the size of the MDF boards you had cut for the top? I also used 3 large and 2 small billy bookcases.

    Thanks!

    Amanda

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  107. Hi Jen,

    You've inspired me to do this in my craft room. Thanks!

    Do you have the measurements for the size of the MDF boards you had cut for the top? I also used 3 large and 2 small billy bookcases.

    Thanks!

    Amanda

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  108. I love your website and come to it all the time to get new ideas! I do have a question about this project. How are you able to access your power outlets if they are hidden behind your shelves? I was thinking about doing something similar, but that is the one question that popped into my mind.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

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    Replies
    1. Great question - we used a power strip extension from one of the outlets to behind the components so we can reach the main items through the component cutouts. Everything is all hooked up so we shouldn't need to access them much, but the one time we did, since the entire piece is floating, we carefully moved it out just enough to get at what we needed. You could also cut access through the backing and then cover it with a decorative item as well.

      xoxo,
      Jen

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  109. Hi Jen. We are working on this project and we would also like to know the measurements for the MDF board. How deep is it on the bumped out section and how deep is it for the portion that is not bumped out. I would really appreciate if you had this information. Thanks!

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  110. HI Jen,

    I loved your media center so much I had to copy it!
    http://www.peahenpad.com/2012/05/diy-entertainment-center.html

    Thanks for the tutorial!
    Cathleen Pearson

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  111. I LOVE this project! I'm actually in the middle of making my own built-in beauty based on what I learned from this blog. I do have a question though. What size moulding did you get? I can't tell from the pictures, does it hang down a little in the front or is it flush with the bottom of the top of the shelf? Does that make sense? Lol!!

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The trim does hang down a little so we are now unable to add doors, so that is something to consider when selecting your trim.

      Thanks so much! I would love to see how it turns out!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  112. Quick question.....? How did you manage all of the connections from the individual components to the television and keep them hidden?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are a bear to get at now that it's all done, but we very carefully slide the entire unit forward to reach behind. We also cut holes in the backing to connect and manage wires, and then just use the components and decorative objects to disguise the cutouts.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  113. I love the new look to your room. Can you tell me what paint color that is?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sam! The color is Behr's Grape Leaves.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  114. I Love this DIY!! I have spent hours in my living room wondering how I can update it and this built in is amazingly perfect. Love Love!!! Thanks for the inpiration, your newest follower!!!

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  115. Hi Jen,

    I stumbled upon your website through some extensive Googling on built-ins. I love the Billy hack that you've created and I am trying to accomplish the same look. I have a few questions I'm hoping you can answer.

    1. What is the length of the wall that the unit sits on? I am curious because I have an 11.5 foot wall that I plan on putting my unit on (same number and size of Billy's as you) which would leave a 6 inch gap at both ends of the unit.

    2. Is it noticeable that the bookshelves sit out from the wall approximately 2 inches? For example if you look at the ends and see a gap behind the unit; or is there not enough space between the wall and the unit to tell?

    3. Where did you screw the bookcases together? I was thinking of using liquid nails between the sides and screwing them together to get optimal strength, since the unit could be moved in and out to plug various components in.

    Thank you in advance for your time and the built-in is absolutely lovely!

    Best,
    Steph

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  116. Hi Steph!

    Thanks for stopping by! To answer your questions:

    1. The length of our wall is just under 12 ft, we also have about 6 inches left on each side.

    2. Our bookshelves do sit away from the wall, however, we accounted for that when putting the tops on, and those go all the way back to the wall so you absolutely can't tell from the front. And because the bookcases almost go edge to edge on the wall, you can't tell from the sides either. :)

    3. The liquid nails is a good idea. We also recommend that you use a clamp when screwing them together. We used four screws, two on top, two on bottom. If you know where your shelves will most likely be placed, you could screw in that area so the shelf will cover your marks.

    xo.
    Jen

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  117. Hi! I found this project (and your wonderful blog) on Pinterest. At this moment, we are 3/4 of the way through this project. We love it! We made a couple of adjustments to suit our space like painting and stenciling the backs of the bookcases and making the sides recess back a little further. I just have to sand, attach trim, and paint and we will be finished. Thanks for such a wonderful post! Such a helpful tutorial! Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like it will be absolutely lovely! I would heart to see how it turns out!

      So happy you were able to use this tutorial to do something fun in your home.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  118. I think this is a fabulous project! Do all your electronic devices fit on shelves that are only 11" deep? (Cable box, stereo, DVD player) Mine are deeper...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our cable box sticks out a smidge, but it's not too bad or noticeable. You could possibly cut out the backing?

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
  119. Hi Jen,

    I've had this post bookmarked for nearly two years now and we are finally in the midst of doing something similar in our home office. I do have one question about the project...how many inches did you bump out the middle section? It appears to be 2-3 inches by the pictures, but it's hard to tell. Do you like the distance you chose?

    Thanks so much for all you do to inspire the world:)!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      It bumps out 3 1/2 inches and we have been very happy with that.

      Hope you love yours!

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  120. I LOVE your site!!! You IKEA hacks are stunning! I am starting the wonderful Expedit desk and you mentioned that you had IKEA white paint left over from this project and show a can of Glidden but no color name for the white. Can you tell me what it is so I can touch up mine too. I am planning on using your technique of moving the unit out from the wall an few inches so I can run the cords down the back of the beadboard... maybe with a 2x4 frame... hmmm.... I will figure that out I am sure. LOL!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! To get the "IKEA White" I took a shelf from the bookcase to Home Depot and had them color match it right in the store, they even matched the sheen the best they could. I would recommend doing that if possible, to be sure you are getting as close of a match as you can.

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Fab Jen! Thank you!!! I will do that. Worst case scenario.. I will have the trim match the rest of the room & pretend I wanted it that way. Again... thank you for your wonderful how tos. Soooo many pics makes it waaaay easy to do.

      Delete
  121. Hi Jen - did you make the "keys" in the frame or buy it somewhere? Thanks!

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  122. I absolutely love what you did with these shelves and i'm planning on doing it in my home...it says you have five shelves and when I looked at the billy cases at ikea, I did not see the narrow ones it looks like you have. Where did you find them?? Looks fantastic!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      They are all sizes I purchased from IKEA.
      Here are the links to the two sizes:

      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80085707/ {x2}

      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/63688310/ {x3}

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your project!

      Jen

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  123. we are in the process of building this-today! and OF COURSE our local store cannot match the Billy- the "sheen" on the shelf will make it look pink- according to them! do you happen to still have your paint that I can get the formula off of? Thanks! (these are a Bday present for our twins tomorrow- and clearly won't be painted in time! :( big bummer)
    thanks!
    debi
    debikorfker@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  124. nice! more space to store stuff but still the room looks bigger! I'll be remodeling soon, got plenty of inspiration here.

    Have you considered painting the picture frames white? Might give some more room?

    cheers,

    Richard

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  125. It looks awesome! I did something similar w/ full length billy bookcases in our basement. Have you considered buying a couple of super thin strips to hide the two places where the sides of the bookcases butt directly against each other? Also, if you want even more of a built-in look, you could attach some baseboard to hide the bottom of the shelves. Regardless, it looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  126. What is the size of the frame on the wall in your living room? I think it is Ribba but I am not sure if this is 50cm x 50cm or 25cm x 25cm? Please let me know. I am going to Ikea soon and I need to drive there 5 hours :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Viesia!

      The frames we used actually are not stocked any longer, however, they are very similar in shape, color and size to these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30174777/ Have a great time on your shopping trip!!!

      xo!
      Jen

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  127. Hi:) Love this idea. In fact, I love it so much I did it myself :) But now I'm having trouble finding bins to fill the shelves because of the odd depth dimension. Can you tell me where you found the lace trim white bins on the end of your unit?

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      I found them at The Container Store years ago, however, they have gotten a bit more challenging to find now {and at a decent price}. Every once in awhile they pop up on Joss & Main. You can try searching Google, they are the "Carrie Bicycle Basket".

      xo!

      Delete
  128. Hi Jen! I have been following your blog for about two years & absolutely love your home!! My family and I recently built a home and I couldn't wait to start decorating. After living in the home for ten months and want to redo my living room {already} I have been drooling over these built ins you created for your room forever and have been bugging my hubby to make the living room switch-a-roo for about a month. Today I had a friend interested in purchasing my NEW espresso entertainment center that I love but I feel is way too dark for the room! I want to make te switch to white and create these bookshelves!! Our wall is almost 115" and I really want to fill it with shelves. Do you have a product list for this project or any further instructions on helping me? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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