Friday, 14 June 2013

Study Bookshelves: A Work in Progress

Long before the house was finished we planned on putting floor to ceiling bookshelves along one wall in the Study.  I've long been inspired by the Ikea Billy Bookshelf hacks that a few bloggers have undertaken, by adding timber mouldings to make the shelving appear 'built in'. A couple of examples below:

Source: Centsational Girl

Source: Ikea Hackers

But then a couple of months ago, I came across this image in Est Magazine, and our plans changed:

Source: Est Magazine Issue #8

The study is right next to the garage entrance to the house and so it's a perfect spot to have some cupboards to store kids school bags, etc.  Also stationery for the study and the all important 'games' cupboard (every household must have a copy of Monopoly!).

We went ahead and purchased Ikea Faktum kitchen cabinets for the cupboards back in May when Ikea had their offer of a $25 gift card for every $100 spent.  We used some structural pine to make a frame to elevate them above the floor (purchased from Bunnings and they cut the pieces to size for us).  A piece of dressed pine along the bottom as a kicker, and also on the left and right of the cabinets to hide the gap to each wall.

We had a quote prepared from a local joinery business for the shelves themselves, but when the design came back (see below) we noticed the shelf widths were the same as you can get with Ikea Besta shelving.  So at this stage we're thinking of using them.

Custom shelving design

Here's the Besta layout, using the online Ikea Besta planner.  We're thinking of putting doors on the shelf extension, to hide the double thickness shelf:

Ikea Besta Shelving - with doors to hide extension shelves

Ikea Besta Shelving - internal view

Here's how the project is looking so far.  We will be sourcing a benchtop as the next step.  Ideally we'd like a laminate bench with a shadowline in a single piece right the way across (i.e. no join) but most laminate less than 40mm thickness seems to come in a maximum length of 3600mm.  We require just a little bit longer 3740mm.  You can just make out on the first two cabinets where I've placed the old laundry sink bench to get an idea of what a 35mm benchtop would look like (ignore the colour).  I was hoping for a 20mm bench so it wouldn't look too much like a kitchen, but with the Besta shelves being quite thick, we could probably get away with a 40mm bench.

Study Shelving - Work in Progress

Plenty of time to mull over the options whilst the budget catches up!


  1. What a great project, Nat! It's going to look fantastic, and, just as importantly, be practical and work for your family. Very cool! Mx

  2. It looks amazing! We're thinking of doing something similar for our bar/buffet in the dining room... Great inspiration :)

  3. Lovely blog nat! New reader and am loving posts about decorating. Love your style. Just read about your rug search. I have had a hard time finding a decent rug that is not crazu expensive. I found and it is amazing.

    They are american but with shipping it was still cheaper and cooler than anything I coild find in aussie. Here are links to my rug I put together:

    Flor website is