Hardwoods in the office & the bookcase build

March 15, 2019

One of my big goals for this year is to finish a BIG project in my office. I cannot wait to get this started! (Edited to add:  Visit the link at the bottom of this post to see the final reveal!)

Most of my books and craft supplies are in the basement storage room and I'm excited to get them put away. To do that I need to build a wall of bookcases...but to that I had to start with the floors. Here's a look at my office how it looked last week: 
How to pull up carpet

We priced out putting hardwoods in here when we were building (and having the builder do it) -- but there's a point in the building process where you start sweating at the thought of adding one. more. thing. I figured if I wanted hardwoods later we could do it for less anyway. 

When we moved in we liked having some carpet again. It didn't last long. 😂 I'm remembering why we got rid of most of it at our old house. Hard floors are so much easier to care for with animals. Our dog did a number on this carpet right after moving in (I think due to stress of the move initially). 

So anyway, we've known for awhile that the hardwoods were going in here, but the budget didn't allow for it till this month. I made some calls a few weeks ago and found out our hardwoods were discontinued. Whaaaa wahhh. After a bit of panic, I made some calls to the manufacturer, Diamond Living, and they were incredibly helpful. Within a day I had a call from a store here in Indiana that had some boxes left. We got enough for my office and our master for later. Whew!! 

I pulled up the carpet myself (if you need tips on how to do that you can see how I removed carpet from our stairs here) and then we had someone install them for us. Wow what a difference!:

Office with desk in middle of room

I still have to install and paint the quarter round, but we are loving the floors!! It looks like it should have always been like this, which is always a win in my book. 

The rug used to be in our foyer, and it was SUPER inexpensive. It wore pretty quickly, but that's perfect for this spot (at least for now) because I needed a thin rug for my rolling desk chair: 
Diamond living engineered hardwoods in Auburn

I feel like the room needed the contrast of the wood floors: 
Office DIY bookcase plans

But this view is going to change significantly soon! 

Now comes the FUN part and I can hardly wait to get started! The big project will be on this back wall: 
Wall of bookcases in office (before)

First up, I need to have electrical run for lights. This wall is almost exactly the same width as the bookcases I built at our old house: 
DIY wall of built in bookcases

So I'm planning on using four cabinets and four lights again. The bookcases themselves will be very similar -- but because I don't have to deal with a thermostat and light switch like I did before, the shelves will be spaced out more evenly. 

I plan to do the wood top again, but this time I'm going darker with the built ins -- not sure on the color just yet! 

I need to find lights soon and these are all options I'm considering. Thankfully over the years the options for affordable "library" lights have improved greatly. You can see the lights I used for the old bookcases here. I had to get creative! 

I love this option -- it has the adjustable arm (affiliate) I love but doesn't take up a ton of vertical space: 
Black and brass swing arm sconce

You have to watch traditional swing arm sconces on bookcases because the header isn't usually deep enough to accommodate the arm height. This one would work well though! 

I also love this sconce with the pretty slope, but it may be a little too big: 
farmhouse sconce sloped arm
And these are smaller options that would work well too! They are identical to the sconces I have in our mud room
straight arm black brass sconce
All great options!

So once I get the lights run I'm on my way! I'm hoping to do that this month, then I can start installing the cabinets. I use upper cabinets for the bases, and you can see how I make them look built in here. I use uppers because they don't take up as much room, and they don't have the drawer that traditional base cabinets have. I used kitchen cabinets a LOT in our old house -- you can see all the ways I used cabinets as built ins here.

As always I'll take you along for the ride! This project will take a few months to complete -- it's a doozy. But it will be so worth it! Have you built any bookcases using my tricks? :)

**See the final DIY bookcase reveal here!

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  1. The wood floors are beautiful and make a tremendous difference! ❤

  2. The new wood floors are stunning and I can't wait to see the bookcases! Plus, I always enjoy seeing the critters in the photos. :)

  3. I always look forward to your bookcase builds. I love them for storage and for the atmosphere they give a home. I would have them in every room if I could - but currently are only in my living room, which is an informal room and works well with a "library" wall. I also replaced all carpet with hard floors and inexpensive area rugs. Much less to worry about when you have pets. We all need to live here, so we make adjustments.

  4. What a difference the floors make in the room! Your rug is pretty too- can you share where it is from?

  5. I looked on your site but could not find this answer. Where did you get the rolling desk chair?

  6. I like the taller bottom shelf. Allows room for taller, weighty objects to be displayed and gives some visual interest instead of all the same size.

  7. I know you said your flooring was all sound out but what brand is it? I love the color of it.


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!