This Faux Built-In IKEA Hack Could Save You Thousands

When Oriane and her husband Christopher moved into their large Chicago home, a lot of things needed updating (as these before photos prove). On a pretty tight budget, they ended up tackling many of the DIY projects of the remodel themselves. Everything from fresh paint to a new kitchen makes their condo beautiful. Though every room is lovely today, the formal dining room is one of the most impressive spaces. With one full wall of traditional style white bookcases, it’s one-part dining room, one-part cozy library. But though they look like very pricey built-ins… they’re actually an IKEA hack!

(Image credit: Oriane and Christopher Williams)

“The dining room was a pretty gracious size and I had it in my mind to convert the big empty wall into a library with built-in bookshelves. We needed more cabinet space and and a place to put all of our books,” writes Oriane. “So I got a quote from a highly recommended bookcase store in the city who quoted me $9,000+ to do the length of the wall and realized we’d have to find an alternative.”

(Image credit: Oriane and Christopher Williams)

Having seen IKEA faux built-in bookcase hacks on places like Pinterest (and in keeping with their DIY spirit), the couple decided to tackle the wall of built-ins on their own.

(Image credit: Oriane and Christopher Williams)

“We used IKEA SEKTION kitchen base cabinets, and spaced them evenly using 2x4s. We then added a layer of plywood and stacked IKEA BILLY bookcases (turned upside down) and repeated the process with the 2x4s for spacing purposes.

My girlfriend and I had one heck of a good time with a bottle of wine one evening timing how quickly we could assemble these cabinets—as everyone knows, IKEA furniture assembly can be… challenging.”

(Image credit: Oriane and Christopher Williams)

“To finish things off, I added wood crown molding and trim to the tops of the BILLY bookcases and the cabinet doors.

I also painted the entire ‘built-ins’ to give them the nicest possible finish. This is a little tedious since melamine furniture needs a primer first, before regular paint. I recommend Kilz Adhesion Primer.”

“I added a bronze grasscloth wallpaper to the backs of the BILLY bookcases to dress things up.” (Here’s a similar type of grasscloth wallpaper.)

This faux bookcase IKEA hack came out so good, Oriane says friends remark that they look like they are original to the home. The best part? This DIY only cost the couple around $1,500, far less than paying $9,000 for a custom version.

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