Monday, February 16, 2015

Built-In Book Shelves

My husband and I bought our house last May, and since we moved in, I have not been able to figure out how to use this extra room in our living space. We have a double sided fireplace that divides the two main spaces. On one side, we have our family room (with TV) and kitchen and the other side is our dinning room and this extra room which I've been calling the sitting room. After living in the space for a few months, we decided to use the sitting room for entertaining. We spend time in there with a glass of wine (or scotch depending on your preference) with friends after dinner. If it's cold out, we light a fire. But I wanted to take advantage of the space and build a large bookshelf with space for a desk so we can use the space daily too.

I started with a base of kitchen cabinets that my parents gave to us. (Free is always great! Right?)

With a fresh coat of light grey paint, they looked so much better! I used Sherwin Williams paint for doors and trim. It dries really hard so it won't stick to itself when opening and closing the doors and it holds up really well. (I used leftover paint from painting our kitchen cabinets, which you can read about here.)

We had some left-over white, quartz countertop from our kitchen remodel, so we used it in the interm until we built the wooden countertop. Next, I started on the top portion - the bookshelf. I used Pure Bond 3/4 inch plywood from Home Depot. It's a little pricey - about $48 for a 4x8 sheet, but it's really strong and looks beautiful stained or painted. I cut it into 12 inch strips, and using my Kreg Jig, created pocket holes to join the pieces together.

I tried to mirror the spacing on the base so that when I was done it would look like one piece of furniture. Next, I trimmed out the face of the shelves with 1x2 strips of Select Pine and painted it to match.

Then I built a base for the desk area and matching book shelf to go above. I wanted to have a wooden countertop, so I decided to built that too. In the past, we have used butcher block from IKEA, which looks great and isn't too expensive but I wanted this project to be even more cost efficient so we built our own. I think the total cost for the countertop was about $100.

I used pieces of 1x4 Select Pine for the countertop. I laid it all out and made sure my cuts were staggered to give it a more legit look. Using my Kreg Jig again, I made pocket holes for the screws and used wood glue between each piece. It turned out pretty strong, and looks great!

Then we added a piece of 1x2 around the edges, gave it a good sanding with 60 grit sandpaper, then 180 grit and finally 360 grit. We stained it using Cabot Stain and Sealer in Smoked Paprika. 

I'm so pleased with the way it turned out! I think down the road, I might decide to add some wainscoting on the back of the shelves, but for now it's great!

Please feel free leave a comment with any questions, I'd be happy to try and help!

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