After two months of finding time here and there to work on this project, hubby and I finally finished our built-in bookshelves! I have long fantasized about having floor to ceiling bookshelves in my house. We purchased our first house last year, so we finally get to do permanent projects like this.
Our tax return check this year provided some unexpected extra funds. Hubby and I paid off more than $5k of college debt (our three smallest loans), added some money to our emergency fund, and each picked a fun project for the house. I chose to do built-in bookshelves, and he chose a surround sound stereo system and mounting our projector from the ceiling (which we still need to finish).
I became inspired to try using pipe to build bookshelves when I watched this episode of The Weekender on YouTube. Hubby surprised me by jumping on board with this project. He chose the 3/4 in pipes to better hold the weight of our books over time. He chose 2 in thick boards for the same reason. I got the idea to use tube straps to secure the boards to the pipes from a tutorial I watched on This Old House’s YouTube channel.
Hubby helped me paint the wall behind the shelves and the wall next to it. We actually decided to paint the living room white and bought the paint before we moved in last January, but we never actually painted. We still have more of the living room to paint. However, it feels good to have it started.
I changed my mind about painting the one wall behind the shelves white. This wall gets the least amount of natural light in the entire house (excluding inside the furnace closet). Paint color will do little to lighten this space, so I chose a beautiful blue color. The color didn’t turn out quite the color we wanted, but I still enjoy the color.
We experienced a few other hiccups along the way. The two boards I stained first turned out different than the others. The vertical pipes ended up being a fraction of an inch too tall. Menards didn’t have enough pipes in stock. Despite these setbacks, we persevered and completed the project.
I still want to style three shelves a little differently. A few picture books ended up being too big to fit, and I don’t know what to do with them. I need a couple more bookends to hold my books up nicely. These things will come with time.
Enjoy a few close-ups of a few of my favorite things! (Apologies for the poor quality. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a dark part of the house.)
My pretty hardback books and bird collection.
Some rocks and shells hubby and I have collected over the years and my awesome metal dinosaurs.
Hubby’s records and music books.
We ended up having some extra pipes we couldn’t return. I plan on using them to build some shelves in our bathroom and install a shelf in the boys’ closet. I will share when I finish this project.
We did not put our board books on these shelves. My toddler gets them out frequently, and he would probably constantly knock all of the books on the bottom two shelves down if we kept his favorite books with the rest. Both boys also have some special books in their room for calm down time.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing our home library! I plan on sharing more projects soon.