Bedroom built-ins with coral quatrefoil print background.
Just prior to moving our daughter from the nursery into her big-girl bedroom, I decided to install some built-ins in order to provide some shelving for all the books and toys she owned. The perfect space for these was inside one nook in the corner of her room. This project was initially meant to be a super speedy IKEA hack, in which we would purchase some Billy bookcases, quickly assemble them, stand them in the nook, join them with trim, and that would be all. However, when we assembled the Billy bookcases and stood them in place, I really didn't like the set up; using two bookcases left us with too much extra room, meanwhile three bookcases would not fit. Even pairing other sizes of bookcases from the Billy series was not going to look proper. Furthermore, the bookcases were not tall enough to fit the space and although I originally thought that would be ok, I then realized that I preferred the look (and storage capacity) of floor-to-ceiling built-ins. So, to Eric's annoyance, I disassembled the bookcases, returned them to IKEA, and went off to our local reno store to buy all the supplies needed to build the shelves from scratch. If I was going to do these, they were going to be done right!
I drew up a plan which consisted of three, side-by-side shelving units of the same width. I opted to use MDF for constructing the shelving units and to save time and ensure accuracy, I had the friendly guys at our local reno store cut all the required pieces. All I had to do was assemble the units as per my plan. We started off by removing the baseboard from the back wall of the nook and trimming off the baseboards on the side walls so that the shelving units could be pushed right up against the walls. We were careful not to damage the back baseboard piece as we wanted to reuse it on the front of the built-ins. Once assembled, we stood the shelving units in place to ensure that they fit as I had planned.
Everything was fitting perfectly so I continued on by priming and then painting the inside surfaces of the units in a semi-gloss white paint. To add colour and interest to the built-ins I decided I wanted the back surface to be a different colour/print. I purchased a large roll of thick, quality gift wrap in a cheery coral colour with a white quatrefoil print, in a semi-gloss finish. I opted for the gift wrap paper as it was the most economical option of achieving the look I wanted. I simply glued the paper onto the back wall as if I would do with regular wallpaper, working in short sections to ensure that the paper adhered well, without air bubbles, evenly down the wall.
Once the entire back wall was covered with the paper, we installed the shelving units into place. Each was anchored into the back wall at the top and bottom. Spacers were used in between each unit and in between the side walls and the side units to ensure even spacing. To finish off, the piece of baseboard we had saved earlier was installed across the front along the floor, a new piece of crown moulding was installed along the entire top at the ceiling, and decorative 2 1/4" wide decorative trim was attached vertically to join the units together and make them appear as one. Finally, paintable caulking was used to fill in nail holes and gaps, and the trim was given one final coat of paint (semi-gloss white).
The built-ins turned out great! They provide much needed storage space and they look fantastic in the corner nook. It was an experiment using the gift wrap for the back wall, but it worked out really well and I love the pop of colour the background provides.
Even though this project took a little longer than the original IKEA hack idea, we were so happy that we decided to custom build these from scratch as they look so much better than the Billy bookcases would have. Not only that, but the custom route ended up costing much less than buying the IKEA bookshelves! It's a win-win!