Monday, September 28, 2015


The Home Depot Style Challenge series features some of the top designers, DIYers and bloggers in the industry. So when I was selected to participate in the challenge this fall, I was thrilled and knew I had to come up with a pretty amazing "Before and After."

When it comes to DIYs, I'm a big fan of using IKEA furnishings. The simple clean lines of much of IKEA's furnishings makes customizing their pieces a breeze. You can really create your own unique look using their basic pieces as a foundation. I definitely wanted to incorporate a DIY project that would really transform the look of the space. So I decided to use the IKEA bookcases we've had for years as the starting point of our dining room's fabulous new look.

We've had the bookcases in our dining room for years. To be honest, I wasn't using them as bookcases at all. I'd been using the them to display vintage finds and some of my favorite decorative pieces. My husband would often jokingly ask if we were ever going to use the bookcases for actual books.

Here's what the bookcases looked like before we got started.


 And this is what it looked like when we were all done. The bookcases received a complete overhaul!


Here's a rundown of what I did to transform the bookcases. I started with a quick trip to the Home Depot accompanied by my assistant for the day (aka my youngest son Samori).  We picked up molding, trim and paint for the project.

Getting the look for less often calls for being resourceful. 

I had to enlist my husband's help for some parts of this project.  At nearly 80 inches tall, the bookcases tower over me. Working on them was definitely a 2 person job. We attached the bookcases to one another using a 2 x 4 piece of lumber and L-brackets.


We added another 2x4 across the top of the newly joined bookcases and then attached a 10 inch wide piece of plywood to the 2x4 to add some height to the piece.

Using an 18 gage brad nailer, I attached a piece of crown molding to the plywood on the top of the bookcases as well as to the base of the bookcases..

As you can see, due to way the bookcase is made, after the plywood was attached there was a small gap left between the bookcase and the plywood. No worries. I used a piece of lattice trim (which you can find on the molding aisle in Home Depot) to cover the gap.

I used painters caulk to fill any remaining gaps and also filled the unused shelf holes on the sides of the bookcases with caulk to ensure a custom look.  

The final step of the project was to give the whole piece a fresh coat of paint. Here's what the lattice trim, plywood, and molding looked like once the piece was all painted. Pretty good right?

For the final step,  I loaded up the bookcases with actual books and had fun styling the shelves with a few decorative and fall inspired pieces.

Simple molding and trim added architectural detail and a customized look to these basic IKEA bookcases. The new look is seamless and I love it!

My favorite part of the dining room's finished look is, without a doubt, the revamped bookcases. The crisp white molding and bright bold pop of color inside the bookcases are the perfect mix of traditional meets contemporary.

Like what you see? Looking for ideas on how to revamp your own space?  Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for design inspiration and home decor tips.

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