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We’re coming to the end of our summer 3 room switch around and the last major part of the project has been building a new bookcase in our TV room although I’m now calling it the library as it’s taken so much effort. I posted previously that we wanted to build a new bookcase with some storage below vaguely inspired by some photographs my wife had seen in style magazines.

Shabby 013

The idea was to take five 800 FAKTUM wall units, place five BILLY bookcases  on top of them and for me to them add enough trimming, wood work and paint to hide the fact they’d ever seen the inside of an IKEA.

Shabby update 002

I assembled all of the units as per the instructions but mounted them on a wooden plinth instead of attaching them to the wall or using IKEA legs.  This would make it easier to attach a decorative moulding/skirting later and also meant the base would not be so high.

Shabby update 003

I place the BILLY shelves upside down on top of the FAKTUM units to avoid having the large base creating a gap and spoiling the look of the finished book case.

As you can see I left the middle shelf out of the centre unit as we had other plans for this space. Normally in BILLY shelves the centre shelf is integral to the stability of the shelf and is the only one you can’t move but as it was fixed in place on either side it didn’t really matter in this case.


I screwed the BILLY shelves to the base units from below so the screw couldn’t be seen from above inside the shelves.


I also screwed all of the units to each other and attached them securely back to the wall.


The closest power outlet to the bookcase would end up directly behind it so before I attached everything back to the wall I had plugged in a multi-socket and hot glued it into the bottom of the base unit. I also ran an extension up to the top of the unit to provide power for the lights which you’ll see later. As you can see I mounted the back panel of this unit upside down so I could run the power through the precut hole.

Updates 028Next I added a pine top to the cabinets to hide the step up to the BILLY shelves, the tops of the cabinet doors and to generally add a bit more grandeur.  I used my router with a Roman Ogee bit to add a profile to the front edge. This is actually quite simple to do but you have to be very careful when you do it to avoid any wobbles spoiling the finish.

Shabby 006

The next step was making the five pilasters to cover the joins between each BILLY shelf but I’ll leave that for part two as it was quite involved.

Thanks for visiting the shabby side of chic.