Seek ye out the best books…
A few months ago, I was feeling overwhelmed with all the piles of books we had lying around the house. Having just read a study that showed kids that grew up in homes with a library of 1,000 books or more tend to do better in college and earn more after graduation, I became more determined to find a permanent solution. (I am kidding… sort of.)
I headed to IKEA to see what options they have. I really liked the look of the Hemnes Set, but just could not stomach the price tag — $180.00 for one… I would need three.
Game Plan #2 – Build your own Hemnes – It is a simple straight forward design, I thought why not give it a try. Armed with a lot of iPhone pics, a little drawing and some dimensions – I headed to The Home Depot to price out wood. Conclusion: Less expensive than buying from Ikea, but not by much.
Moving on to game plan #3 – Scour local newspaper ads, Craigslist, thrift stores and Garage sales. This was getting more into my price range, but generally the shelving units I could afford had seen better days. Then one glorious afternoon… during nap time… a posting listed online — “Four Bookshelves for $10.” I called the individual, Wiley, and asked if it was indeed $10 for all four. Her response, “Yes, but they are pretty beat up.” Perfect, I could afford $10 and if they did not work I could easily resell them.
After my four kids took a (much shorter than normal) nap, I piled them into the car. Armed with cash and great expectations, I pulled up to the house, knocked on the front door, and when the lady opened it I walked in and started up some friendly small talk. Why am I telling you this… turns out it was the wrong house. The bookshelves lived about ten homes further up the street. Next house please… The bookshelves were indeed pretty beat up, the woods was chipped in several place, generally scratched up and some water damage. Also, three of the four bookshelves were the same size and style, but the fourth was larger.
DING! The light bulb goes on… I could refurbish the three into one big unit. The fourth (which was actually in good condition) could go into our boys’ bedroom. SOLD!
My husband swung by on his way home from work and we loaded the four shelves into the back of our Suburban and the kids into his car. I do believe he gave me a look that I was a little bit crazy. :0)
Step #1: First, I combined three of the bookcases with screws. This would create a more cohesive look, improve stability and hide the broken panel on the side of two of the bookshelves.
Step #2: I nailed crown molding to the top, a baseboard to the bottom and the four strips of wood to cover the vertical seems. I also added trim to the side that was similar to the Hemnes style.
Step #3: The entire unit received several layers of paint. (I already had a gallon of paint in the garage. It is a “damaged” color from Home Depot – a white with a hint of grey.) It looks glossy in the picture, but is not.
I love the way they turned out. They are in our front room and have changed the whole space from a “Sitting Room” to a “Library.” Our whole family gathers in there regularly to read and listen to the piano.
– Bookshelves – $7.50
– Trim Board – $40.00
– Paint – $0.00
– Smarter Children – Priceless.
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