BHG Style Spotters

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DIY Library Wall for Less Than $600

Hi there! I’m Kristin and I write the DIY/design blog Bliss at Home where I share my Do It Yourself projects and my obsession with all things home. I love to share how to achieve high-end looks on a budget.  I think no matter what you can afford there are things you can do to make your home personal and comforting. I’m so excited to be a guest blogger on Style Spotters today to share with you more about my “I Did It” Library Wall.


Being creative has its faults. Let me explain…


My husband and I bought the house I grew up in and have been taking on the challenge of remodeling it from top to bottom. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, an exterior overhaul…and the list goes on and on. I have a million ideas floating around in this creative head of mine. So, when I decided we needed to have built-in bookcases in our living room, I shook the piggy bank and not a lot came out. This is a creative hiccup, but one I felt I could overcome.


I priced out building materials so we could build our own custom library wall. The cost was way out of what I was comfortable spending at the time. It came out to be over $2500. My library wall dreams seemed to fade.

Since I  like to get the look for less, it was Ikea to the rescue! I started to hatch a plan to get that library wall. The Ikea Billy Bookcase was the perfect answer to my library wall woes. Four Billy bookcases, good hardware and quality wood to make them look built-in, paint and painting supplies, brass library lights on remote, and installing a sound system and speakers all came in under $600!!


We picked the bookcases up on a Saturday and got to work. It took the rest of the weekend and four evenings that week to complete the library wall. Don’t you love how I was already playing around with styling the shelves before they were even finished!?! It’s a sickness, I swear!


Once we built the frame to attach our wood panels, we went ahead and wired up our speakers and placed them on the top of the bookcases. The speakers run to the sound system that is cleverly hidden on a bottom shelf. We left the top panel open to the ceiling and it is great for sound quality.


We also made the center panel a pop off panel so we could access the cords to the speakers and the library lights in the future. Roller ball and hinge hardware made that possible and just a side note here– we use this to hide presents from the kids too!


The brass library lights were a great online find. They are actually brass picture lights and were only $14 each. The cords all run to a power strip that is hidden in the pop off panel. We purchased a power strip that came with a remote and VOILA! – lights on remote!


By adding details like baseboard and crown molding, the bookcases have a built-in look. To finish it off even more, we chose to fill in the pre-drilled shelf holes. We used a product that can easily be removed if we ever choose to change the configuiration of our shelves. Details like this really finish off the bookcases.

 You can see every detail on how we made our library wall here:  DIY Library Wall

To date, this is one of my favorite projects. It has enhanced how we use our living room. The kids love to read their books in here. My husband and I have coffee and listen to music here on the weekends. When we entertain, it is our go-to room. The library wall adds charm to our home. The shelves hold our memories and favorite things. Definitely time and money well spent!


Having one of my favorite projects featured in Better Homes and Gardens is definitely a dream come true!  Getting that first email from editor Kit Selzer saying they would like to feature it was a pinch-me moment for sure. Stylist Lindsay Berger and photographer Greg Scheidemann were a joy to work with and I would gladly have them back anytime. I loved seeing them in action and it is an experience that has made me more and more passionate about what I do. I’d like to thank the entire BHG team for all their work!  It was an awesome experience!

45 Responses to “ DIY Library Wall for Less Than $600 ”

  1. A smile like in front of the Bookcases would serve you well instead of the intro picture.

  2. Love Kristin and her blog! She’s got amazing style!

  3. I absolutely love seeing high-end looks for a whole lot less! Great work (as always) Kristin!!

  4. This wall of book cases is just so amazing. I love those wired in library lights too. They just add so much! Kristin does amazing work and I am a big fan!

  5. Amazing! I can’t believe this project was completed on that budget – it’s so beautifully custom and looks so high end!

  6. I’m so glad I got to read this online bc I was not able to snag a copy at the grocery store. What a great feature and great project- Krisyin rocks!

  7. Sorry Kristin- the banner was covering the comment box

  8. This is such a great Ikea hack Kristin! Such a creative project! Way to go!

  9. Great seeing you here, Kristin! I love your library wall! Custom look and super creative!

  10. What an incredible transformation! I love your home story about fixing up your childhood home. What a fun adventure. Beautiful job!!

  11. Love this Ikea hack! I want to do this!

  12. This is AWESOME. And smart :)

  13. Where is the rug in this wall library picture from? Love the wall AND the rug!!!

  14. Amazing!! I have been dreaming about a library wall for 3 years and thought we would never be able to afford it. Thank you so much… Guess we’re going to Ikea tomorrow woop woop

  15. how did you make the wall bookshelf?

  16. this is incredible! we did a similar project but cannot find baskets that fit the billy bookshelf depth. the styling is absolutely beautiful on the finished project and i hope you can share where you found them. thank you!

  17. where did you find those picture lights at such a fabulous price??!!

  18. So beautiful!! I would love to know the source for the library lights-would you please share? Thank you for sharing this!

  19. where did you find the library lights for $14?!? please share!

  20. where did you purchase the rug?

  21. I love this! Can you let me know what you used to fill in the holes? Also, where did you find those lights?

  22. Love the bookshelf and the wall color! Can someone please reveal the name of the tan paint color. It’s the perfect color for my bedroom. Thank you. Great job!

  23. I am trying to copy your project, I love it!

    Do you have any plans, project list?

    Where did you get the lights?


  24. What type of Billy shelves there are so many on the ikea website.

  25. you mentioned using a removable panel so you can get to plugs etc but I didn’t see how you did it. Interested!

  26. Such an amazing look! You make it look so easy, but my hubby and I would still have to hire someone to install it (2-year-olds are handier than us). That said, we recently got a quote to have something very similar done professionally, and it was about $8000 not including lighting, so even if it ended up being half that, it would still be a deal.

  27. This is not a bookshelf. This is a wall of shelves full of knickknacks. Let’s call a spade a spade. Books are filled with valuable information and have the ability to make you a more intelligent person. Knickknacks are for dusting.

  28. Cute idea I might make one !!!!

  29. Where is the blue and white rug from?

  30. I was wondering what size bookshelves did you use for this? I also noticed on the IKEA website they have doors that can be attached. Would they work for the shelves you did in this project?
    It is absolutely beautiful and exactly what I am looking for except it would be great to have some doors on the bottoms for my china and such.

  31. I love the book case Idea, and as a writer need plenty of book shelves. You and your readers may want to peruse my online museum, for additional wall decorating ideas,… there are 37 valuable works of art, with 40+ poems/verse , from Modern to Traditional Style, with many different color schemes. Also Limited Edition prints are the gifts that grow in value. If you have the time, thanks for supporting the arts, and thanks for the book case idea. DJM

  32. Hi! This is beautiful! I was wondering how you do the “pop off panel”. I’m doing similar, although slightly less amazing project in our bedroom and I’d also like to be able to access the lighting cords. Nailing and painting them in permanently is just too scary and inflexible! Thank you, and job well done!

  33. The bookcase library idea is perfect for office space, family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and great room.
    Achieve different looks by selecting crown molding that compliments the furniture in that room. Placing crown molding on the top edge of the
    bookcase would be a very elegant look.

  34. I love this idea! Where did you get the storage cubes for the bottom of the shelves? I need to find some that will fit my billy book shelf!

  35. This is an old post, so I hope you will respond. What paint did you use on the trim so it matched the bookshelves?

  36. Where can I find the brass library lights?

  37. I do accept as true with all the ideas you’ve introduced on your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for beginners. Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  38. Im no expert, but I think you just made an excellent point. You clearly know what youre talking about, and I can really get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so honest.

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  41. The link you posted for all the details doesn’t work anymore. I’m working on one of these right now. I am really interested in where you purchased the lights? All of the ones I find are expensive.

  42. Link does not work

  43. The bookcase is amazing for the cost!! I, too, am trying to find diy directions. Do you have a new link for that? How can I find step by step instructions.

    Mary Beth

  44. The bookcase is amazing for the cost!! I, too, am trying to find diy directions. Do you have a new link for that? How can I find step by step instructions.

  45. The link you posted for all the details doesn’t work anymore. I’m working on one of these right now. I am really interested in where you purchased the lights? All of the ones I find are expensive.

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