Ivar bookshelf

Materials: Ivar verticals, Ivar shelves, 6mm dowels, twine, varnish

When we left the last city we lived in and sold all of our Ikea furniture, I swore “No more pressboard. No more low-end Ikea. Next time, solid wood and antiques only.”

Of course, within weeks of the move, I was back inside an Ikea, looking for inexpensive furniture to supplement what was already in our furnished flat – especially bookshelves. But, the furniture we get now will go into the place we eventually buy, and I was determined to stay away from Billy shelves. Nothing against them, really. Just… the pressboard thing. And, I wanted a different look for the office. Did I mention that we’re broke from the move. Yeah, that too.

Anyway, we bought two of the tall Ivar verticles and eight shelves.

You may be aware that Ivar shelves have no sides. That means that to use them as bookshelves, you have to put bookends everywhere, resulting in lost space and potential book-spills. So, we needed something to hold the books in. Answer: 6mm diameter wood dowels, cut to 10 1/4″ and positioned inside the holes for the shelf supports.

When we bought the shelves, I knew that they would need a cross-brace, but we didn’t see the metal ones in the warehouse area of the Ikea and were too tired to keep looking. So, we needed crossbracing to prevent the shelves from racking. Answer: twine knotted and anchored at each back shelf support, crossing behind each shelf. The shelves are now surprisingly laterally stable.

Finally, Ivar shelves are unfinished. It’s a look. A look perhaps best suited to dorm rooms, basements and garages. I decided to have some fun and use two colors of varnish, with a coat of gloss over top (I painted our BEKVAM Step Stool the same way).

These shelves will be great for books, and I really like their light, airy look.

~ Deidre Miller, Glasgow, Scotland