Hey hey! This week I’ve started really tackling the BIG built in project in my office. Yes…I’m still working on the mud room too. It’s how I roll.
(Edited to add: Visit the link at the bottom of this post to see the bookcase reveal!)
I really want to get this DIY project done this summer, so I wanted to get started sooner than later. I usually work slowly, but since I’ve done this once before in our old dining room turned library I’m hoping it will go a bit quicker this time:
I’m also not worrying about a couple steps I took last time, so that will save some time and money for sure!
Here’s the key for building a bookcase like this with closed storage underneath — I use UPPER kitchen cabinets. They are only 12 inches deep so they are much easier to work into a space. You can use the lowers, but they come with drawers on top, which looks more “kitcheny” to me.
I always want a simpler look, so the uppers are where it’s at. The thing is, they look a bit awkward just sitting on the ground (there’s no toe kick on them like base cabinets). To create that custom look, you’ll just need to add some height to them like so:
I used four 1x5s — one for each cabinet. I wrap the inside of the bottom with them — two long ones first, then brace it all with the shorter pieces. I secure them with my nail gun, but you could use screws as well.
This brings the cabinets up to a more natural height, and allows you to install the baseboards back across the front. To do that, you’ll need to add some scrap pieces along the front of the new toe kick to bring the base out a bit. (That part is still to come.):
Check the height of your current (or future) baseboards before deciding on the height of your toe kick. Because our base is more than four inches, I had to go with a five inch wood piece (which is actually only 4.5 inches) because anything shorter wouldn’t have allowed me to use the same size baseboards.
My next two steps are to cut out a hole in the back of a cabinet for the only outlet on the wall, and then I can secure them to the wall. Installing cabinets isn’t my favorite thing because you have to watch to make sure they stay flush from all angles. But it usually goes pretty quick!
After that I can get the baseboards back on. I may get the painting started after that so I don’t have to do quite so much at the end! Call me crazy but I think it’s already looking good!:
I’m stoked to get these in the wall because I have a ton of craft supplies in our basement storage room and I can’t wait to get them out of there. Since I don’t paint inside the cabinets I can go ahead and put all of that away.
But it depends on how it works with the color I have planned for the built ins. 😉 I THINK I’m going in a completely different direction than I originally planned. Any guesses?
Total cost so far for the built ins:
$300 for the four cabinets (mine were on sale, you can find them at most big box hardware stores)
$20 for the wood for the bases
So far it’s been easy…the real labor comes with the getting the bookcases up. My list is VERY long, but it feels so good to have this part done! I’d LOVE to have this done by mid-summer, but you know how that goes. 😉 Stay tuned for another update!
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