IKEA Bookcase to Built-In Desk Nook Hack

Continuing on with our IKEA Hacks to the Max series, we’re excited to welcome Maryann this morning. She turned a potentially awkward nook in a family room into an awesome entertainment center, and then, a few modifications later, into a desk, using IKEA bookcases! Give Maryann a warm Remodelaholic welcome! See all the IKEA Hacks to the Max posts here (and all our previous IKEA posts here), and be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to get updates for every post. 

Use IKEA bookshelves to turn a nook or closet into a built-in desk Domestically Speaking featured on @Remodelaholic

IKEA Bookcase into Built-In Desk Nook
by Maryann from Domestically Speaking

Tell us about you and your site. What’s your favorite part of DIYing, and what are some of your favorite projects?
Hi guys!!! I’m Maryann and I blog over at Domestically Speaking. I’ve been doing that for over 6 years now. Domestically Speaking is a home decor, DIY, craft and recipe site that focuses on all things home. I love projects that don’t break the budget yet make a big impact. One of my favorites is our Under $20 Faux Wood Garage Door Makeover. Another DIY I loved was taking our cheap, ugly mini-blinds and turning them into custom roman shades. And you gotta love pasta! This Baked Penne Pasta is a FAV in our home.
Which IKEA piece(s) did you hack? and why did you choose that (over another product, or building from scratch, etc)?
We used the 3 IKEA Billy Bookcases. We’d been toying the the idea of trying to build a built-in unit from scratch but after finding these at IKEA we decided this would be a much easy and quicker solution. (you’ll have to excuse the photos… this was way back in the day, preblogging)


What did you do?
The first part was super simple…. 2 bookcases on either side of where the TV is and then one across the top.


Then came some playing around to see what would work best. We secured the top piece to the 2 sides and the sides to the wall (we do live in So. Cal. – earthquake country).

Then I decided I wanted to add 2 additional shelves on top of the TV area (because you can never have too much storage).

This was simply done by adding horizontal 1″x 2″‘s on the sides of the bookcases and on the back wall. Then placing a piece of mdf board for the shelf and attaching that to the 1″ x 2″‘s.

I added some molding and caulked it and finished it with some bright, white paint.
3 Ikea bookcase to built in desk, ikea hack, by Domestically Speaking featured on @Remodelaholic
Would you do it again? Why or why not? and if yes, what would you do differently next time?

Absolutely! It’s definitely one of my favorite projects we tackled when we first moved in.

Cost and time-wise I think it was better to start with pre-fab shelves and give it a good, creative face-lift.

We eventually got a smaller TV and we added in another shelf which we used as a desk for a while and now it’s currently back to being a TV stand.
4 Built in desk nook from Ikea bookshelf, by Domestically Speaking featured on @Remodelaholic
How much time did the project take?
This project was done in stages, so it’s hard to judge… but I’d say with bookcase assembly, plus adding the custom shelves, molding and finishing with caulking and paint… probably it could be done in 1/2 day with 2 people helping (it’s definitely easier with two).
What was the total final cost?
At the time the bookcases were $25ish a piece (I think they are closer to $50 now)… so 3 were $75
Wood for shelves – $25
Molding – $15
Caulk and Paint – $15
So just over $150 total… not bad!
Any tips for other DIYers or IKEA hackers?

IKEA has great basic pieces that allow you to be creative. As with any DIY project… measure twice, especially before cutting or purchasing furniture pieces.

Don’t be scared!!! Tackle those projects you’ve been putting off. Do you research… be smart about it… but, what are you waiting for??


Thanks for sharing, Maryann! I love that you turned that nook into such a great multi-use storage space!

Remodelaholics, be sure to head over to Domestically Speaking to see more from Maryann, including her beautiful bathroom:

cedar planked bathroom wall Domestically Speaking

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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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