Bookcases and Things of That Nature

real living july 2009

I’ve been looking for a bookcase? shelf? whatever the current name of this thing is, for awhile now.  I like the sturdy look of theses shelves. cases?  I thought maybe I could find something similar at Ikea, since it reminds me of my expedit shelf but, nope, they discontinued whatever it was that they had that looked like this.  Anyone know of where I can get one similar, less than 40 inches wide and not a million dollars?

Let’s look at some recent bookcase projects for inspiration and to get my mind off of what I cannot find, shall we?

Life in Grace

Edie created this bookcase wall on a budget after reading about how Jenny from Little Green Notebook hacked $50 Ikea Billy bookcases into this::

Little Green Notebook

Stunning, no?

Here’s a during shot.  It’s a surprisingly easy process and if I had an expanse of wall, I’d be all over this.

Centsational Girl

Kate just finished a similar project, it’s life changing.

Centsational Girl During

Here’s her in process photo.  I love in process photos. They give me hope.

And who doesn’t love the shelves in the dining room at Young House Love?

Looking for more inspiration?  Check out I Suwannee’s Bookcase of the Day posts.

Have some bookcases/shelves you want to freshen up?  Take a cue from the current trends :


1. paint the bookcase white and the back an unexpected color pop

2. add details onto existing bookcases or line bookcases up for impact

3. keep it light and show off white ceramics


4. load it down with a huge collection of books


5. combine both 2 and 3

6. hang artwork on the bookshelf itself

and if anyone knows where I can find my dream shelf, let me know!

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  1. Don’t give up on Ikea yet! I was there two weeks ago looking for shelving and an entertainment center. Look into their Besta or Billy lines–VERY customizable.

    Good luck!

    • aww, thanks! I stopped in yesterday and one of the employees helped me, but shhh, don’t tell anyone, i”m trying to avoid a DIY for this project, but who knows, I might have to give in!


  2. This reminds me…I have a bookcase waiting to be filled! Great inspiration, taking it to the next level to be sure!! Janell

  3. I don’t know. I am at a loss with my bookcases so I don’t have any answers

  4. Danielle M. says:

    So, this is very late in the coming and has nothing to do with bookshelves (except for the part where I put my tall Expedit white bookcase together Sunday and am disappointed that it’s wobbly. Grrrr).

    Anywhoosie, I just wanted to say thank you very much for the 31 days series. I read every single day that you, RE, Emily, Melissa, Beauty to Bedlam and Edie wrote. I don’t say that to come off like the freakish addict I may be, but rather to say that the blogs were a source of inspiration, fun, and even a little bit of comfort during a hard month. So thank you. I know y’all had to sacrifice some time and energy to make something like that work. Please know that it was appreciated.

    • Danielle, I’m so happy, I was the same way, I had about 10 that I couldn’t wait to read each day, it that makes us freakish addicts then great! Thanks for your words!

  5. Lovely inspirations!
    Check out:
    Perhaps you’ll find an easy bookcase to build.


  6. I immediately thought of Centsational Girl’s latest bookshelf project, and then I scrolled down <3

  7. Okay Nester, just when I had decided to leave my bookcases stained what ever color they are, you have to go and post these beautiful white bookcases. What a dilemma, to paint or not to paint, that is the question. All kidding aside, thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Craig’s List!! I bought 2 matching bookcases from Craig’s list for a steal. I wanted bookcases that had some detail and trim work on them. Don’t just search bookcases, search entertainment units too. My bookcases flanked a center t.v. console and after my inquiry, the seller sold the flanking bookcases separately. I painted them white and they are perfect for what I wanted.

  9. We have that Ikea bookcase. Be glad they don’t carry it anymore. That’s all I’ll say about that. Good luck in your search though!

  10. Oh yes I concur, Craigslist or your local ReStore often has cabinets that can be tweaked or trimmed out! Billys seem like the perfect dimension for you! They now come in 15″ deep options and are 31.5 inches wide (each).
    Here are a couple other options for you my friend:
    (check out the second view, it appears all trimmed out for you?)

    Or you could stack two of these skinny expedits side by side:

    If you want something more modern, take a peek at this:
    available in white and (*gasp*) spa blue.

    Thank you thank you for the linky love!! So flattered to be included in your amazing roundup!

  11. Perfect timing…our neighbor (a general contractor) just finished building us a mantel and bookcases on either side of the fireplace. We still need to prime and paint them, but these pics give me lots of inspiration!!! I love the white busts in some of the photos. Anyone know where I can find one for not too much money?

  12. I am with you on this one…We’re DROWNING in TITANIC proportions… need shelves…need shelves… but purdy ones that sparkle like Kate’s…

  13. Great pictures. I especially loves Jenny’s arched bookcases (but of course, who doesn’t?) So many bookcases have the backs painted out, which is so smart! I haven’t thought of it before.

  14. I am in the market for a bookshelf for my office re-do. If I could afford Pottery Barn I found something I LOVE there, but no dice.

    I like darker wood shelves, but with all the white now I am doubting that decision…

  15. It looks pretty similar to this one (my link may pop up in Yen since we’re living in Japan now and my computer defaults to it, but it’s clearly something you can get in America!)×76-bookcase/s137726

  16. This post gives me bookcase envy. Gorgeous. Especially loving Kate’s new “custom” shelves. She’s brilliant. :-)

  17. This is stunning stuff. I feel like I just fell into a vat of eye candy. Thanks. :)

  18. I don’t think it will be your ‘dream shelf’ but have you checked Target? Sometimes, there are some good finds!

  19. we had to scrap our built-in’s to save big bucks and finish our house…lots of food for hopeful thought here. maybe *one day* son my bookcase ship will come.

  20. It’s the Ikea Lack bookcase which they apparently don’t carry anymore but you should check Craigslist and Ebay and maybe you can find one. They have a lot of Ikea on Ebay.

  21. We have bookcases on either side of our fireplace. We had the shelves painted white and painted the backs SW Comfort Gray (like the wall color in the room). My problem…I have no idea what to put on the shelves! I don’t have enough white ceramic, plates, cool looking books, or what have you to fill the shelves. So they are basically (tragically!) empty.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  22. UMM….hello “LOVELY LIMITATIONS”?????? why dont you just find a bookcase (goodwill, craigslist, thrift stores, whathaveyou) and work your Nester magic?

    • I know, right?! I don’t want a wimpy shelved book case in this um, case.

      I’m looking for something for a specific place in my foyer and it needs to have bulk and substance and I’m not the kind of girl who is gonna cut wood and junk just for this one bookcase, I’d rather look for something else. Hate me right?

  23. well, I am waiting for my Peo
    Girlfriends to come over and just basically saying God bless you the Nester!! You are just so gold! Meant to say good but I will go with gold! Just got a couch today, delivered just in time from Ashley’s Furniture store. I
    Love those Expedit bookcases from Ikea! Always have. Listening to Burt Bacharach on the turntable, so nice. Please say hey to Edie. You and her are my go to blogs. My BFF and I want to start a blog, don’t know where to start! Xoxo

  24. I was having a hard time finding what I needed for either side of my fireplace so I went and DYIed it. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend and then brag about it on my blog. Kate’s bookcases are actually what got me motivated although mine look nothing like those.

  25. When I moved out my mom gave me one of her many china cabinets. Well I have no china or dinning room so I’m using it as book case. I like it because it’s so unexpected.

  26. Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t know after that its up to other viewers that they will help,
    so here it occurs.

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