We knew from the get-go that we wanted some built in shelving and a TV console down there. Well, we actually have plans to hang a television on the wall (thus the boxes in the middle of the wall there) but we still need a place for the components, thus the console.
We have beautiful built-ins in our family room that we love (and were actually made custom for us) so we checked with our builder so we could get a quote for the same in the basement. And the quote was crazy. Granted - it's a huge wall. And we wanted floor to ceiling shelving on the sides and a console in the middle....so that adds up. To the tune of $1800. Yikes. On to plan B (which we didn't have - we need a plan B!!!).
We have the skills and tools to do them ourselves, but that was honestly much more work than we really wanted to take on at this point and we knew it would take us a really long time. We're both very busy. Hubby works. And works out a lot, like me. I work out, have an Etsy shop, and coach at our CrossFit box, so he's often watching the kids when I'm working, which I'm in turn doing while he's working. We try not to do too much "working" when we're with our kids, because, well, that's OUR time with them that we'll never get back, kwim? So, we wanted to explore other options.
I hit up Pinterest in search of inspiration, and sure enough - happened upon a pin featuring this project by Censtational Girl. So. Freaking. Awesome. I had only seen the pin of the bookcases installed - not yet painted or styled, but the finished room is breathtaking. Love love LOVE those bookcases with the dark blue paint. As I searched, I found a few more.
And Chris Loves Julia made theirs a bit different, but also used IKEA cabinets to create a unique, custom piece.
I was pretty sold. I showed Derrick some of the pictures, we pulled out the IKEA catalog and realized that we could do this pretty affordably (well, a heck of a lot more affordable than $1800 - that's for sure!).
One issue though - many of those posts used the roughly 32" Billy bookcases, and four of them, which means that they had walls that were about 128"+. We have a wall that is about 169"+. We looked at doing one Billy on each side and something lower for the middle. Couldn't find a solution. We thought about a 32" Billy and a 15" Billy and then something lower for the middle. Still can't find a solution. Another problem - many of the Billy pieces are not at the 15 3/4" depth, but a more shallow 11". That seemed to be our main problem with anything we looked at for the center part, actually. They were either much to shallow, or not even close to the right height.
So, I went searching through the catalog to see if I could find a piece from a different line that might work in the center. I happened upon the Besta line, and not only found a possible solution for the center, but realized they had tall cabinets as well that we could get and have all the pieces work together. The solution became two 75" tall bookcases on either side of the wall, 48" wide each. Then, in the center, two 25" tall pieces, one at 48" wide, the other at 25" wide. We priced it out, and all four pieces would run us $440. The two tall pieces were $150 each, and the 48" wide lower unit was $80, and the 25" wide unit was $60. Probably would make more sense at this point with a picture.
Here are the pieces all put together and in their spaces. You can see we have gaps on either side we will have to fill. Derrick also wanted to build them up on a platform, because we plan on using 5-6" baseboard as part of the board and batten, and in order for it to look seamless, we'll need space for that piece underneath. Also, he's not thrilled with the height of them (we really wanted floor to ceiling, but we couldn't have bought any more if we wanted to when we were there - well, not if we still wanted to take the kids home in their carseats!) so the platform helps add a little height as well.
Another comment about our plans - we plan to get doors for the far right and left sides (yes, they are one 48" wide unit, but you can get 25" doors for just one side of the unit - so we'll have one side with doors, one without). We will be doing the same with the center piece - doors on the right and left but open in the center.
Here is the center unit after Derrick had already secured the solid 48" piece (on the left) to the smaller 25" piece (on the right). There is a seam line, but you almost can't tell it's there. Also, we're not as worried about that because once the doors go on, you won't even see the seam. He's already built the platform for the center here.
You can also see he extended the center out a few inches past the side bookcases. We have this done in our built-ins in our family room and love it. It not only adds architectural interest, but serves a purpose as well. If Derrick needed to, he could cut out a piece of the back so that a deep component (which he has, ahem) can fit and still get wired to. No one will ever see the space in the back, because we plan to eventually cover the top with a piece of wood painted to match the other trimwork.
Here everything is all assembled, on the platform, and secured to the wall (well, sans shelves). There is an extension piece we can get to put on top of the tall pieces (another reason we chose this over the Besta - I believe the extension piece for the Billy is only 11" deep) but we just haven't decided whether we want to do it right away or wait (and same goes for the doors).
Can't wait to start adding moulding (is it moulding or molding? I always thought moulding...) to see it all built in!
A few things: Yes, the paint in the corners looks horrible. We plan to add a decorative wall treatment which will hide that once installed anyway. And I haven't added the shelves because I do plan to paint the back of the shelves. Just finalizing color choice and then need to get to work!