Monday, April 22, 2013

The Loft Improvements Continue, Built in Shelves

I really wanted some built in shelving in the loft.  We have a ton of books and some empty space in the loft and I've been reading about so many other awesome built in shelving projects in blogland--it seemed doable and at my skill level and I was loving the end results.  This was my thinking and now I'm over thinking because this project is way more than I seem to be able to chew.  But, back to the beginning.

I really loved the way Centsational Girls Ikea Billy Built Ins turned out, so I used her ideas and instructions.   Well, I'm still mid-project but this was the jumping off point.  We went to Ikea and purchased 3 of the 15" deep Billy bookcases.  They were $70 each.  This was a day long activity.  Ikea is about 1 hour away.  Just getting all of the boxes out of those huge shelves and onto your cart, then through the checkout is such a process.  Then loading up the car, driving home, and getting the big heavy boxes upstairs was a whole other struggle.

We put together the first shelf and started to move it around to see how the whole unit would fit in the space.  Here is the wall I thought would be the best, to one side of the window.  I swear I had more and better pictures of this but they apparently are hiding from me right now. 

What you can't see in the picture is the 6" baseboard and how the Billy is sitting next to the wall.  In order for the Billy's to have the built-in look, we were going to have to raise them up so the baseboard would be even with the bottom shelf.

We came up with this I design using 2x4s and screws:

Using some L brackets, we secured the I frame to the bottom of the Billy.

We made 3 I frames, I for each shelf.  I'm sure there are better and easier ways to do this but we are novices and wanted to make sure the frames were sturdy and secure.

Then we added a few screws to secure the Billy's to each other, making it one unit.

We did the same with the 3rd Billy.

Then it came time to secure all 3 Billys to the wall.  Ikea includes some L brackets for this with the Billy, we just used those.  We did have to shim our platform first to get the unit to sit flush against the wall.

OK, here is my best picture of the whole unit so far. 

Now, time for the trim to make it look built-in.



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  2. I love Ikea! I am lucky to have one close by and I browse there for inspiration and things I can use and enhance just like you're doing.
    Looking good so far!
    Can't wait to see how it turns out!
    Ashley Rane Sparks