Bookshelves

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Brad's picture
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Bookshelves

So we're trying to turn our formal living room into essentially a library, so we need a bunch of bookshelves. We have seen some options at IKEA, but they all have their problems. The HEMNES ones are not as tall as we'd like (Ideally we'd like about 85" tall) and the Billy ones have widths that don't quite work out well (and don't look as good as the HEMNES in my opinion). Does anyone have any suggestions for reasonably priced "library" looking bookshelves?

MrHub's picture
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If you want good quality, your going to pay big money Brad. I wanted to do this with my basement and I looked at plenty of book shelves. Good shelves that will last and hold up are expensive.

crazycatperson's picture
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Have you considered getting a carpenter/woodworker to build what you want? It'll probably cost more, but then you'll have solid shelves that will last and will fit and look exactly the way you want. Something IMO that would be worth saving up for and putting off till you can afford it.

Brad's picture
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Yeah the IKEA shelves were fairly reasonable for what we wanted to do and I THINK they'll hold up but they're not perfect. We don't want to do built-ins for a variety of reasons, but a custom job could be a possibility. I haven't seen any shelves that are as nice as the IKEA shelves for the money, so we're a bit torn. I wish I could see how it would look put in before I had to pay the money and time to set them up.

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when my parents took me shopping for my first set of furniture we went to Ikea and I got a bookshelf from there that I loved. When I moved into my apartment, I realized I needed another so I bought one that was close to the Ikea one from Walmart, but wasn't much cheaper and was quite a bit smaller. the Walmart one has fallen apart at least 3 separate times and I'm at the point where I'm going to have to start duct taping it back together! the Ikea one has been moved twice and doesn't even have a scratch! I love their furniture and it holds up soooo well!

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You could always put a wanted ad on an online site or look at thrift stores you never know what you may find there. We have found some great pieces of funiture at a couple of stores here and at the same time a charity benefits plus it is more affordable.

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nikamel wrote:
You could always put a wanted ad on an online site or look at thrift stores you never know what you may find there. We have found some great pieces of funiture at a couple of stores here and at the same time a charity benefits plus it is more affordable.

That reminds me, I once bought some furniture from a resale place, they resold furniture that had been used as display models or for rental. I didn't get bookshelves, but if you can find such a place they might have some. This was years ago, so even if you lived where I did at the time (the DC area), I couldn't tell you where I went.

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Brad wrote:
Yeah the IKEA shelves were fairly reasonable for what we wanted to do and I THINK they'll hold up but they're not perfect. We don't want to do built-ins for a variety of reasons, but a custom job could be a possibility. I haven't seen any shelves that are as nice as the IKEA shelves for the money, so we're a bit torn. I wish I could see how it would look put in before I had to pay the money and time to set them up.

I think Ikea has a website where you put in the dimensions of your room and decorate it with furniture so you can see it before you buy it. We did this with our kitchen not to long ago.

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Don't forget to check out your local "oak store" or what have you. Or even an unfinished furniture store. You can paint to fit your decor AND if you or a friend is a bit handy, with a little imagining, you can make it look built in with some trim.

I did that with four IKEAish cases on an end wall. Trimmed out across the top and bottom with molding and floor trim to match the room and used pieces of 1x2 to create a face frame between the individual cases. All painted white. Instant library and it looked built in. It was easy. Mine was all straight cuts so I only had to measure right. Borrowed an air trim nailer. Was a breeze.

You can also use the 1x2s on the front faces of each shelf. It adds some 'beef' even to standard shelves / cases. I didn't do this right away, but did it later.
If you are worried about durability, you can also make the factory shelves 'fixed' by running 1x2 around the inside of the case and attaching the shelves to them. This works if you don't mind losing adjustability. I fixed a couple shelves that had to bear heavy books.

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http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/S79874635/#/S79874635

Did you look at ikea online? They have tons of shelves, I know the quality isn't always there but at least there are options. Personally, I like this one because you can put Disney souvenirs in the glass cupboard part
clapping

Oh yes, and there seem to be many random suppliers online of ACTUAL library shelving, but if you want something prettier, check out a custom design like others here suggested.

Brad's picture
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I think we've decided on these:

They're the Billy cases from Ikea:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/living_room/11683/

There will be several bunches of them and we're going to mix the glass/door/no door. We're going to buy some of them tomorrow and then see if I can manage to put them together without losing my mind.

Thanks for everyone's advice!

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Nice units Brad. You got a few friends coming over to help with the "Build"?

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OOoo, I like those alot! Nice choice!

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Very nice. Good luck on getting them put together.

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Very nice Brad.

Brad's picture
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Vettelover wrote:
Nice units Brad. You got a few friends coming over to help with the "Build"?

MicRac wrote:
Very nice. Good luck on getting them put together.

They are sitting downstairs right now. My wife does not have confidence. I only have slightly more than her. laugh

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Good luck! I hope you'll share pics when the project is complete!

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Tony's picture
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Ikea flat-packs, great... If I was closer I'd offer to come and build them for you.

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Ohhh I should chat with your wife this is right up my alley! I have the Billy in our bedroom (just one) and I wanted it to look "built in" so I took the back off because the back is that shiny cardboard business and painted the wall that it was sitting against a different color than the room it's in. My room is kind of a light grayish blue & I painted it dark gray. As far as the bookcase goes it's a good bookcase but I don't think it will last forever. The Billy was really easy to put together once we got motivated!

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