Build-in Envy, Part 2

by Cait

As I alluded to in my last post*, I’ve been rethinking the idea of the build-in in the library.  We were going to use Expedits, but I started having second thoughts about how that would look and those are “last chance” at Ikea now.  I know we can probably make our own build-in a lot cheaper than our former brilliant plan (of buying six Expedits), but I have no idea when we’re going to get to that.  What’s the line about the best laid plans…  (The real line, not the Eddie Izzard line involving mice putting all the cheese in the back of the Mini.**)


We are currently discussing the idea of making something that is sort of a cross between the CB2 3.14 shelf, the DIY version featured on AT, the Expedit and a build-in like the ones below in Kara Paslay’s bathroom & the living room of one of YHL’s house tours.  We like the idea of molding at the top & bottom, but we also like shelves that are not perfectly symmetrical.  The whole eventual process should be interesting, to say the least.

Left from AT, right from CB2

Left from Kara Paslay Designs, right from YHL

Other build-ins that I love are the one in Sara at Russet Street Reno’s den/woman cave, and of course we’ve all seen YHL’s painted bookcases.

*Ok, my last post was random and fueled by coffee, this one was random and spurred by tiredness & Eddie Izzard.  Oops.  Meatier, heartier posts soon.  Hopefully.

**Don’t sit there, there’s a mouse making a plan!

12 Responses to “Build-in Envy, Part 2”

  1. I’ve been drooling over something like this for ages. I just can’t commit! The ones I love are too pricey and the ones that are cheap.. well, are cheap! haha

    can’t wait to see what you eventually decide on! <3 or build!

  2. Building them yourself is a lot of work. Because we needed to get help to finish it all, it ended up costing a large amount – if you love the pre-done Crate and Barrel ones or the Ikea, I say go for it and add some beautiful molding!

    • Thanks Sara! I’m hoping to maybe build something similar to the 3.14 and piece it together as a build-in and frame it with moldings, but we’ll see how that plan works out. Your shelves are gorgeous, and I know you guys put a lot of work into them. Maybe we can figure out a build-in/cram-in? Haha

  3. Oh, you can totally do it yourself. For the freestanding ones you showed first, you’ll probably spend more on thick, sturdy wood, but it’ll be worth it (and it’ll probably last longer than IKEA). The built-ins are nice too, and would probably increase your home value! I crave built-ins in the bathroom just like the Kara Paslay picture. My only advice from having DIY’ed my own last summer is to spend on heavier, durable wood because if you skimp, it’ll bow. Good luck!

    • Thanks Emily! I LOVE the ones in Kara’s bathroom, too! I think the crap freestanding shelf someone put in our guest bathroom and trimmed in is begging to be removed and replaced with something like that.

      As for the living room, we’re hoping to make something similar to the Expedits and 3.14 (maybe with oak?) and trim them in. We’ll see how that plan goes, I guess…

  4. As you know, I love built ins. All of ours are MDF. To make sure the MDF doesn’t bow you can do two things. Make sure your free spans aren’t too far apart. Usually around 2 feet if you’ll have anything heavy on it. Though, if you have a design similar to the CB2 one, you’ll have a support below each long span. Also, if you add a strip of 1.5 inch MDF to oface it out, it will help the MDF’s rigidity. I think a CB2 version cased in with crown and baseboard would look great. That way, you can basically make the shelf as a stand alone and keep it in place with baseboards, crwon and an end cap. Can’t wait to see what you do!

    • Thanks Amanda! We were thinking of making something like the CB2 one as a freestanding shelf, then framing it in with trim. Not sure what material we’ll use yet, but if we go the MDF route we’ll definitely keep your suggestions in mind!

  5. I like the CB2 one. Go for it!


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