In My House

Adding Bookcases to the Living Room

We’re tackling (mentally) a bookcase project. Whether we buy, or build, is the question. Aubrey has a lot of amazing books and it’s time that they found a permanent home. We’ve decided that we’re adding bookcases into our living room, framing the entrance to the dining room.

Here is a picture of the living room in progress.

living room1

The first thought was obviously IKEA. Inexpensive, and an immediate fix. We would put up shelves and then add moulding around it to make it appear “un-Ikea-ish”. I’ve seen it done, and it can look quite nice. However, the issue with our room is that the left side of the doorway is narrower than the right side. 1 Ikea bookshelves could potentiall work on the left side, but we’d have to do 2 bookcases on the right hand side. My stumbling block? I’d really love to make it so that the right side was all 1 shelf, not 2 put together. I think we ruled out Ikea.


Confused? I don’t blame you. I even did a diagram to help me keep my thoughts (and measurements) together. There is a reason why this bookshelf hasn’t happened sooner (apart from the basement being the #1 priority) but we haven’t been able to figure out what to do.

naked furniture

We went to Naked Furniture here in Toronto and I think we’d have the most luck in terms of style, and being able to specify the right dimensions (they will custom make the shelves) but the price was more than we had originally anticipated, but it’s not ruled out.

Some friends were over yesterday and I was remarking about our dilema and one friend said something about Amish Furniture. I made a mental note, and did a google today and found this site.

amish furniture

Their website states ” Our Amish builders create custom wood furniture made just for you. Thatโ€™s affordable choice.” Hmmmm. I wonder what they consider “affordable”…as my “affordable” is likely a LOT less than someone elses.

I told Aubrey today … “Hey, you could probably just MAKE some, it wouldn’t be that hard.” Surprisingly he didn’t storm off at the idea of me putting another project on his plate, but he did say that if he did make them, it would have to wait a little bit as we have other projects on the go (Back Door, Basement Bathroom). I feel slightly guilty for throwing a project at him, but I’d help, and it would probably save us some funds that need to go to other areas of the house.

We haven’t decided what route to go yet – either buying or making them ourselves. Suggestions welcomed. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Reply
    September 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I love the look of a wall of books. Is anything more homey.
    You are so lucky to have someone that can build things…even if it is not at the top of the list yet.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    my parents priced out some custom built Amish furniture and it was not cheap – beautiful, but an investment.

    have you thought about having the shelves go all the way to the ceiling and actually be above the doorway too? so that the entire wall is shelves?

  • Reply
    September 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I'm definitely thinking of having them go as much to the ceiling as possible, however I think I'll have some "relief" and have a few inches to space between the top of the cases, and the ceiling.

    Aubrey really wanted the bookshelf to go over the doorway as you suggested, but I felt as though the moulding around the door was going to either get lost or have to be removed. It was a big "discussion" over here about that design idea. He wants it. I don't. ๐Ÿ˜‰ C'est las vie. Can't agree on everything.

    Thanks for the tip re: the amish furniture. I think anything custom built is going to make me feel queasy when I see the price. We're still thinking of Naked Furniture – haven't ruled it out.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I am thinking of doing something similar in my own home. I have found some nice wall units on graigslist that are well built that when painted out white would look really nice.

    Love the blog.

  • Reply
    Design Love
    August 11, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Oh, I hear your pain when it comes to adding another project on hubby's plate! I think if he can make them himself and you design it, of course…they will be perfect! And wayyyyy cheaper! We are soon starting, bookcase/t.v unit upstairs and will be saving tons doing it ourselves. Good luck!


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