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Building Balance; Built in, Guest

17 June 2010

I love built in's so I thought I would show off this wonderful project of Brittany's from Superwoman.  (I also love her sketches and measurement because that is how Justin and I communicate when remodeling and it makes me laugh!)

Remember when I did my living room remodel?

I knew that I needed more storage space in this room, and I also hated the awkward shape of this room.

I knew that built-ins would give me amazing storage and help balance out that weird space.
When I showed you the living room remodel, I also showed you what I basically wanted in that space:

But where to start?
I've never built bookshelves before.
I'm really good at figuring out dimensions/measurements/spacing, but I'm not great at figuring how it's all supposed to be put together.

I perused my woodcraft books. Most of them were more ornate than I wanted. They called for all these special joints and needed tools that I don't have.


Of course, a light went on in my head, "I betcha Ana from Knock Off Wood can give me ideas!"
Knock-Off Wood

Her simple Willy bookcases were exactly what I needed!
(And my eldest's name is Willy!)

I reader requested that I do a bookcase tutorial, but I can't make it any more easily understood than Ana already has. Check out that link if you want to see how they are built!

Now, of course, I had to adjust dimensions and shelf spacing since built-ins should be unique to the location.

I'm not great at writing up detailed plans. Most of the time the measurements are floating around my head. I've never screwed up a project from lack of having something written down.
It's probably more of a laziness issue.

Anyways, here's the scribbles from my blueprint. I tried labeling things so that you would know what goes where. It's not very detailed.

The reason that one shelf dimension is labeled "middle & bottom" is  because the top is bigger than the other shelves because the top is screwed in from the top, not on the sides. So it will be 1 1/2" longer (I used 3/4" wood)

There's the top support.
Sorry for the odd picture quality. I had to darken everything because I was the moron who decided to leave her plans out in the rain.

Shelf two is the same for the side supports, but different in shelf length. One wall is slightly longer than the other.

And I unfortunately don't have dimensions for the top shelf. I had to wing that one, because the space is about 9' and plywood only comes in 8'. So I had to nail the backing directly to the wall, hold up my side supports, then place a middle bracer for the top (actually two boards, not one) to rest on.

This is when I got my first bookcase built:

Then I didn't take much pictures until I started putting on the face trim:

Ready for the final reveal?

Here's what I wanted my built-ins to look like:

And here's what I got:

I just want to thank Ana, at Knock Off Wood, for providing the world with free building plans. Not only are they free, but they are by far the easiest to follow plans I have ever built from!

Great Job!  
It makes me want to actually build the built-ins I have designed in my brain!
LOVE IT!  Thoughts?


Danielle @ Savvy Chic Home June 17, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

It looks soo fabulous. I so need to make some of these for our playroom.
Have you considered painting the top triangle piece white? With it painted it would look like the whole wall built in.

Deepali Kalia Interior Design Blog Filling Spaces June 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

This is so wonderful,I am always intimidated by built in,but this looks pretty neat:)
i will follow you for inspirations, please check my giveaway your participation will mean a lot~Deepali

Thirty-Six Ten June 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Those are really nice! I must say I am jealous of your vision. Lots of people can build stuff but the vision to see what needs to be done is a gift!!! wanna come over to my house?

Heidi Marie June 17, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

Fantastic! I love built in space looks. It turned out better than I imagined it would!

Life in Rehab June 17, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

Hi! I just wanted you to know that I'm featuring you tomorrow in a post titled The Top Ten Blogs I Check Before Knocking Out a Wall or Firing Up the Circular Saw. Your blog is one of my favorites for large project inspiration and tutorials, and I'd like to share it with the various people who wander by! If you would prefer not to be included please let me know!

Christy June 17, 2010 at 8:25 PM  

These are amazing! It definitely makes me wish I had an area in my home where I could "fit" built-ins. Ana's awesome as well, I've done several projects in my home by following her plans. :o)

Ana June 18, 2010 at 12:58 AM  

I think the result is by far much better.congratulations, you´re an incredible worker!

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