our Billy bookcase kitchen project. I was not yet blogging about our DIY projects when we completed this a couple of years ago so I didn't take any pictures of the process. I know, I know, big mistake!! I now take pics of everything...lesson learned! Many of you have e-mailed and commented asking for more details about this project. I will do my best to explain the process we used....
We had toyed around with removing the wall between our living room and kitchen for years. Problem was, it was a load bearing wall and we would need a steel beam for support (much like the one we used in our family room). We weren't willing to go through the effort or expense to do that again. I was willing to have a column in the middle of the space for support, but I thought if we could somehow build around it, it wouldn't seem so obtrusive.
We purchased 3 Billy bookcases (two 31x40inch bookcases and 1 15x40inch bookcase) and 2 doors from Ikea. We originally thought we would like to have some closed storage so we also purchased 2 doors to go on the middle bookcase. Eventually, I decided I liked the look of all the shelves opened, so we removed the doors. In the picture below, you can see how it looked with the doors. Also, you can see the column before we trimmed it up. We also purchased a Numerar butcher block countertop at Ikea.
Our first step was to remove the wall after building temporary walls for support. My husband has lots of DIY experience so he was able to complete this himself. After installing a laminated wood beam, we were ready to move forward.
Next, after assembling the bookcases, we needed to connect them to each other. To do this, we countersunk 1 inch particle board screws about 3 inches in from the top and bottom.
Next, we re-built a half wall the exact same height as the Billy Bookshelves. We kept the electric outlet that had been on that wall previously and it has proven to be a favorite spot for charging our iDevices.
The half wall is very important in bracing the whole piece. We then used cleats made from 2x4s to attach the bookshelves to the floor like you would do with any other fixed kitchen island. We also screwed the bookshelves to the half wall by pre-drilling holes through the wall into the frame of the bookcase and then screwing. The whole thing feels very solid.
Once the bookcases were in place next to the half wall, we used bead board to cover the whole thing and make it like appear like one solid piece of furniture. We attached the bead board with liquid nails and finish nails. After attaching the corbels (purchased at Lowes) with screws, we cut the butcher block to size and notched around the support post. We sanded the butcher block and applied Danish Oil (purchased at Lowes) as a finish. It gave the butcher block a slightly darker stain.
The last step was to finish the trim around the column and around the rest of the bead board.
Breakdown of Materials:
$80 for two 31" Billy Bookshelves from Ikea
$25 for one 15" Billy Bookshelf from Ikea
$106 for lighting
$169 for Numerar butcher block countertop from Ikea
app $200 for miscellaneous construction materials including bead board, moldings, and corbels
Total Cost: app. $570