DIY Office Built-in Bookcases

DIY Office Built-in Bookcases Series

  1. Part 1: (Currently Reading)
  2. Part 2: Framing
  3. Part 3: Built-in Bench
  4. Part 4: Encasing and Painting
  5. Part 5: Floating Concrete Desk

Part One

“You Build them, I’ll Make them Pretty”

day view
night view

That’s what I told the Hubster once we started our office built-in bookcases. Since quarantine hit we have all been feeling the effects of conference calls. How can you tell Little Miss that she has to be quiet for an hour but her dad doesn’t? You can try but don’t hold your breath. So after taking many (and I mean many) drives around town with Little Miss and Hazel to allow the Hubster some quiet during his conference calls…

Utah went to yellow!

All meetings would be conducted in office for the two days the Hubster was there.


And then someone in another department, on a different floor I may add, contracted COVID-19.

And the Hubster is now working full-time from home indefinitely, which I am not mad about in the slightest! However, the driving for conference calls kinda really stressed me out. Thankfully, the Hubster knew that aimlessly driving around wasn’t an option this time and we decided that since he was working full-time from home,

he needed an at home office.

So he asked me if I had any ideas on what I was wanting for the office built-in bookcases. Did I have any ideas?! Of course I did!

While we were building, I found an image on Pinterest and it was love at first sight. Either I would eventually coerce the Hubster into building office built-in bookcases or I was going to build them for our office. Whichever came first and thankfully, it wasn’t the latter! Originally, I was preparing for worst case scenario, aka me, so I wanted an easy way to build them. I started to browse Pinterest and knew that doing the IKEA Billy Bookcase hack was going to be the best route to build the bookcases. This route saved me extra time so that I didn’t have to build the bookcases on top of trying to build around them. So I told the Hubster what I was orginally thinking of doing and he took it away from there.

before view
the areal view of room with measurements

The Hubster ended up measuring and remeasuring quite a bit; the amount of times I heard “will you hold this end of the tape measure?” seemed to be his most favorite phrase for the better part of that morning. He did his research that’s for sure because everything was planned down to the last inch for the office built-in bookcases.

window wall measurements for office built-in bookcases

The Hubster was pretty adamant that we needed to add bookcases along the window wall. I wasn’t really too happy with that idea at first. Why? Because I really wanted to try to follow the look of the inspiration picture. However, with our wall measurements and the measurements of the IKEA Billy Bookcases, we really did need to extend the built-ins. So we chose an L-Shape formation to achieve a symmetrical and balanced look. The great thing about this design formation would be the added seating and storage that the bench would provide. Plus, I would get two extra bookcases to decorate!

desk wall measurements for office built-in bookcases

For the desk wall, we had to work around the Hubster’s computer monitors (yes, two!) and the actual computer. Because of the amount of airflow his computer needs we really had to figure out a way we could make the design clean but practical, so we felt that having a cabinet with doors would be something we could easily add onto the bookcases to give us what we were looking for.

So we headed to IKEA

and because of COVID-19, and everyone wanting to complete an at-home office, the inventory was going to be limited and waiting twenty minutes to even enter the store was adding to our stress. Since we knew that we would have to paint them anyways because we would be encasing the bookcases in MDF we didn’t care if there wasn’t a complete set color wise, however, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to purchase the actual bookcases and extensions we would need.

Thankfully, they had what we needed!

We were able to purchase three large bookcases at 31 1/2 x11 x93 1/4″ in black-brown and birch and extensions for each of the large bookcases. We purchased one bookcase at 15 3/4x 11 x79 1/2″ with an extension as well. Due to the height of our nine foot ceilings, extensions were mandatory. We knew that we would already have to raise the bookcases off the floor to achieve the floor-to-ceiling aesthetic and adding the extensions to the bookcases would be that much less to raise up.

And then we had to get to work…

We had quite a bit of work to do! To make these bookcases turn into actual built-in bookcases it took a few days, which you can read about next week! Although, the Hubster hasn’t quite reached the Chip Gaines status (aka demolition day!) he’s been doing a really good job at keeping up with all my “What Would Joanna Gaines Do” ideas.

We are always working on new things at the Farmhouse. If you want to see snippets of these projects or to see my everyday life craziness, head on over to the 1776 Faux Farmhouse Instagram account. I’ll see you there!

DIY Office Built-in Bookcases Series

  1. Part 1: (Currently Reading)
  2. Part 2: Framing
  3. Part 3: Built-in Bench
  4. Part 4: Encasing and Painting
  5. Part 5: Floating Concrete Desk
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