Built In Bookcases {DIY Ikea Billy Bookshelves}

Built In Bookcases {DIY Ikea Billy Bookshelves}

Built ins define an entry via BHG

Built in Bookcases

Built-in bookcases not only add a ton of character and storage, but they really can make a small house feel so much bigger! I’d much rather have built-ins than a bunch of free standing furniture.

I think everything just looks so much roomier in a small space when bookcases and cabinets are built in! It is awesome how these built in bookcases featured in Better Homes & Gardens, above, define the entry way and give the living space extra character.

Want the look of these wonderful built ins, but want them on a budget? I love that you can find the perfect bookcases for this kind of DIY or handyman project at IKEA!

Built In Bookcases {DIY Ikea Billy Bookshelves}

Built ins home office via BHG

Bookcases like these would be quite easy to add to a space, either as a DIY project or the perfect project for a hired handyman. While they are “built-in” they are not actually built in to the wall, which makes things much easier in an existing space. Add some crown molding and trim or cabinet doors and you have a custom bookcase for less.

Built In Bookcases {DIY Ikea Billy Bookshelves}

Built in bookcases in bedroom via BHG

These bookcases are perfect around the bedroom window!  And the closed storage below the open shelves could provide much needed extra storage for everything from blankets to pillows to family photos to all those magazines we don’t want to let go of!

Built In Bookcases {DIY Ikea Billy Bookshelves}

Built-in Bookcases Children’s Room via BHG

This bookcase makes the most of the corner and creates a perfect spot for a connecting window seat.

Many bloggers have used IKEA bookcases as built-ins and I think that is a FABULOUS IDEA to get a built-in for much less than most custom bookcases.

This Billy Bookcase Tutorial from Just a Girl looks fantastic! If I can find a handy man willing to do this for me I would be all over this project. Check it out and I think you’ll agree it looks amazing!

Built In Bookcases {DIY Ikea Billy Bookshelves}
Built-in IKEA Billy Bookcases, via Just a Girl

 Have you added any built-ins to your home?



  1. We’re planning on doing this downstairs in our ‘man cave’ but having an open slot in the middle for an entertainment center/tv =D Hopefully it’ll look half as good as the ones you’ve posted here!

  2. I so love everyone of these! What a great idea!!

  3. Love the built ins. My new house has a few in the dining room and den. Also, wind seats – use as a seat or another storage surface.
    Ok – so can’t wait – are built ins coming to your former living room..??

  4. I’ve spent the last few days reading and re-reading Chris’ post on the billy bookcases. I’m trying to decide if I can pull it off in my son’s small bedroom. Even with an excellent tutorial, I’m gonna need me a handyman. But, I do love this look!

  5. We have so many books in our house – we’re working on our fourth bookshelf in a small NYC apartment – so I love all of these! Built ins definitely save space!

  6. I love built in bookcases! I recently talked my husband into just putting two white Ikea cabinets in our dining room ~ not even finished to look built in, just installed normally ~ and you should have heard the grumbling. Wouldn’t you know it when we sold our house three months later the buyers asked that the bookcases stay. The way his head snapped around when he realized it was THOSE cabinets they wanted he burst out laughing and begrudgingly told me good job for insisting. They just have universal appeal.

  7. These are great photos. The bookcases AND the trim (and the fact that they are all white) really add nice cottage features to the rooms. We have added built in bookcases to our great room and a narrow little cupboard type “thing” (like in the second photo) to our dining room. I love it not only for the looks, but also for the badly needed storage space. So….are you putting built in bookcases in your…kitchen?

  8. Love this idea, I just wish it didn’t have to involve my spouse and a table saw. Don’t think I’d be as attracted to an amputee.

  9. Pure. Genius. Enough said. Keep the good stuff coming! :)

  10. I’ve really been wanting to, and I even pinned the same tutorial a few days ago. I’m thinking since my resident handyman isn’t all that handy, I need to just grab the tools myself and get to work!

  11. Perfect idea. Great job they look beautiful.


  12. We have a built in IKEA entertainment center, and I love it… I’ve been looking for some space to put in a bookcase, but have no idea where!

  13. I’ve always dreamed of owning built in bookshelves to fill the whole room since I’m such a bookworm… But with e-readers taking over the world I don’t think this dream is feasible anymore. :(

  14. I’ve never seen wrap-around-the-corner bookcases … and I just LOVE them and the way they pull those mismatched windows right into the picture!

  15. We are in the process of trying to finish the built-in’s in our den/library, after trying to get hubby to do it since we moved in nearly 10 yrs. ago! We built the vertical parts by splitting some solid core/panel doors in half and attaching to the wall with “L” brackets, then adding the shelves made with cabinet grade plywood. I LOVE books and can’t wait to get mine out of the boxes they’ve been packed in. Even tho ereaders are gaining popularity as Sharon said above, I still love the feel of having a real book in my hands. Thanks for this post.

  16. Oh wow! I LOVE this so much! Our house is tiny, but what a transformation these built-ins would make! A window seat would even be possible. Thank you so much for the inspiration… even though it’s not possible now. There’s always later, right?!

  17. I live 20 minutes away from Ikea, so can pop by whenever I want. I know this is luxury because many people have to make special trips to our city to visit this shop. I love built-in as well. My husband can’t fix them for some reason, so I do them. I quite enjoy the challenge.

  18. Built-ins are a great space-saver in small spaces – totally agree with you! love this post, we are planning to add some to my daughter’s room.. all I have to do is cross a bridge to get to Ikea.. tempted to go this weekend :)

  19. I think I’ve always just had in my mind that I couldn’t have built-ins until we are in a more permanent home…but these look great!!

  20. This is soooo excellent!!! I have been contemplating doing this is my living room….. a good Fall project…. if I get around to it… I will send you before and afters…

  21. I love the look of built-ins and you have showed us some really great examples and some very economical ones from Ikea. Kathysue

  22. I love the look of the bookcases, definitely made my “must do” list!

  23. Love this idea!

  24. Oh how I love bookecases. I think I’m now inspired to paint the back of my bookcases. All of the pictures are lovely.

  25. All of these lovely bookcases make my heart go pitter patter.

  26. So far…my “built-ins” are floating around the house, waiting to be painted.

    Those rooms look lovely!!

    : )

    Julie M.

  27. We turned an extra room into a library. Something we always wanted to do. Here’s the pictures!


    One of the best things we ever did!

  28. We are in the middle of a very similar project! It’s not built-ins, per se, but we’re combining two billy bookcases into one large unit. I have them combined now, and am going to tackle the trim and baseboard molding soon. I can’t wait!

  29. thank you for sharing this with us. This is going to be very helpful when we do this for our future house. Built-in book shelf is a requirement for us now!

  30. IKEA has wonderful things. It is difficult to “visit” without taking home many things. Your post reminds me that the drawer units I purchased there would probably look great as built-ins. I bought “Alex” 6 drawer cabinets for my sewing things and then more for crafts and then I had the idea to replace our nightstands with the same (office) 6 drawer. My husband was hesitant at first but now sings their praises because we no longer have deep drawers that seem like bottomless pit. Who would think office cabinets would be great in the bedroom??? and I love white so I especially enjoy all of your posts with white decor.

  31. Seriously drooling and trying to find a space where this would work in our house. Beautiful options in each and every photo!

  32. Love and Adore this project and your Blog. Inspirational on so many levels. <3

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