One of the more fun projects that I've tackled lately has been customizing some IKEA Billy bookcases for a client. I've got the skinny on how it came together, in case you'd like to try something similar. I don't have the glamour-shot "after" photos yet with the perfect styling and the new rug so I'll be sure to update this post when I do.
We started with four of IKEA's ubiquitous Billy bookcases in a space off of their kitchen that was newly designated as a library.
They had just purchased new comfy reading chairs and wanted to use their existing pedestal table. I created a moodboard, or collaged image, of what their space could look like with some changes. We knew we wanted a new rug and lighting above the bookcases, as well as some fun detailed woodwork.
We were on track for a cosy area to read and relax, except for one minor detail. Behind all of those bookcases was a length baseboard heating, causing the bookcases to sit out from the wall about 6" and not allowing us to anchoring the bookcases to the wall to prevent toppling. So I built a base or platform for the bookcases to sit on from 2 x 4s bolted securely into the framing of the house and the floor below. This ensured that there was no weight on the heater itself and that the bookcases would be supported and flush against the wall. I also ran electricity from the existing outlet to a new switch that would be hidden inside a shelf and a new outlet near the ceiling for the lights that would be installed above the bookshelves.
Because I wanted the heat from the baseboards to be able to reach the room (there is a wood burning stove just out of sight to the left, so it is really warm there, but still), I purchased metal grating to cover the openings below the bookcases without blocking the heat. I cut them to size and spray painted them oil-rubbed bronze. Those got nailed in place. Then I added trim around each of the grates, mitering the corners.