Built in Bookshelves with Window-seat for under $350

Materials: Billy bookcase, Benno Tv Bench

Description: We wanted built-in bookshelves and I have always loved the idea of a cozy windowseat to curl up in while reading a book.

The wall we wanted to build the shelves on was 158″ wide, with a slightly off-center window. We decided to use the BENNO Tv Bench as the windowseat. Two31″ wide bookcases on each side would be too wide and one 31″ and one 15″ would be too narrow. So, we had to cut two 31″ inch bookcases down to size and then drill our own holes in the end of the shelf that we cut so that we could use the adjustable shelf pegs.

We decided not to use the backing board, we filled the track in with joint compound. I brought a shelf to Home Depot and they matched the paint color very well–although I got semi-gloss and the IKEA finish has slightly less of a sheen, but the line for the track is invisible after being filled and painted.

We removed the baseboard trim behind the bookcases and on the side. We measured from the rear wall to where the studs were on the wall. Once the bookcases were in place, we measured from the rear wall to where we knew the studs were and screwed the bookcases to the studs. We then screwed the sides of the abutting shelves to each other. Then my husband screwed ferring strips to the beam above the shelves and into the top of the shelves, so they are securely attached at the top and sides.

We decided the top of the Benno TV Bench was not deep enough, so we made a brace for the wall, screwing a 2X4 into the beam. We bought a 24 x 48 piece of alder, which we sanded and stained, then affixed to the brace we made on the wall, as well as the top of the BENNO.

Finally, we nailed 2″ lattice to cover the space between where the bookcases meet. We replaced the baseboard and picked out nice crown molding for the top of the bookcases. We filled the nail holes and painted everything with the paint we had custom mixed to match the shelf we brought to the home improvement store. We bought some drawer pulls for the front of the Benno so it looks less modern and more traditional.

We love our new built-in shelves and the windowseat has become a favorite reading nook!

See more of the built-in Billy with Benno windowseat.

~ Theresa Novak