Wall of office built in bookcases REVEAL!

July 18, 2019

It's reveal day! Not gonna lie, I am so proud of myself for completing this project 100 percent on my own. I have been dreaming about a wall of built ins in my office since before we moved in. I pictured them there from the very beginning and they are better than I even hoped. 

Let's go back and recap the steps, shall we? If you are going to attempt this on your own, these will be very helpful. 

I have built a bookcase this size before, but my Dad helped quite a bit and I had help with lighting and the shelving as well. This time I was determined to do it all on my own and that I did. 

This is how my office looked after I had finished unpacking all of the boxes. It was my dumping ground for a couple weeks after our move: 
Office transformation with built ins

It's a lovely spot that gets great natural light. I love working in here! 

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Last year I changed out the the light and a few months ago I pulled up the carpet and we had our hardwood floors put down
Office with built in bookcases before

 I get asked about those grids often -- they are window grids I found at Goodwill years ago. :)

The first step in the built process was adding the kitchen cabinets as the bases:

Using kitchen cabinets to built bookcases

I use upper cabinets because they are just doors and they have a slimmer profile. They still hold a ton of stuff! Be sure to check out that post to see how I make them look built in.

Then I hung the peel and stick wallpaper -- it's still a favorite!: 
Cherry blossom peel and stick wallpaper

This time I broke the painting up into sections and goodness, it made it SO much more manageable! It also gave me an idea of how it would look, so I was much more motivated to get it done. 

I shared the pretty green color I chose for the cabinets here: 
Vintage Vogue Benjamin Moore

I'm falling hard for green lately! I just love it. 

How to build bookcase supports and header

After I got all of that painted I was able to get the lighting up. I saved a bunch by using this lighting trick without electricity instead of having them wired: 
Adding lights without electricity

And finally, I showed you the three steps to building the bookcase shelves here: 
How to build bookcase shelves

After that there was a lot of caulking and touching up to do. I added some trim to the header to finish it off as well. 

I was so excited to finally start decorating these after all that work! 
Dark green bookcase with wallpaper back

Decorating bookcase shelves

I used a lot items I've had in our storage room for nearly two years now! I was so thrilled to bring these back out: 
Bookcases with wallpaper on back wall

I did get a few new items from Hobby Lobby and At Home as well. 

I did a massive purge of our books after the move (wish I would have done that BEFORE packing them up) so the shelves aren't full of them, which I prefer. 

When I was decorating the shelves I got to where I was nearly satisfied, then I removed a few items. I find that's often the key when accessorizing!:
Step by step building bookcases

Tips for decorating built ins

I shared my tips on decorating bookcases in this post years ago. It still works now! 

I finished these up in less than two months -- which is WAY faster than I took last time I did this. Overall the way I did things this time was quicker and more efficient: 
Dark green built ins with wallpaper in office

But I am worn out! 😂 I'm taking a break from big projects for awhile! 

Enjoy more pics of this space. I'll share resources at the bottom: 
Thrifty Decor Chick bookcases

Floating desk in front of bookcases

DIY bookcase wall tutorial

How to decorate bookcases

Cherry blossom wallpaper

Wall of built ins office wood desk

How to build DIY built ins

Green built ins with wallpaper

Dark green bookcases

I hate to be that girl that shares so many pics of the same spot, but I'm dang proud of this so I'm doing it. ;) 

Now for my favorite part! The before and after picks. Here's this room shortly after we moved in: 
Building bookcases in office before

And the same view now: 
How to build a wall of bookcases

And this view before: 
Wall of bookcases before

And the after!:
Vintage vogue BM green paint

I hope you enjoyed the process and will maybe try this in your own home! I kept a running list of costs at the beginning but stopped after a few weeks. I did estimate that I was going to end up at $1000 total for everything -- that includes the lights, paint, hardware...all of it. 

I'd pay WAY more than that to have a this built for me. And it brings me great joy to do this stuff on my own! 

I have more plans for the other side of this room that I can't wait to show you as well! I'm hoping to get that wrapped up next week sometime and I'll be sure to share that. :) 

Here's a list of the items in this room in case you are interested!

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  1. Beautiful! Great job! You are so creative and talented. :)

  2. Well done! It's just beautiful.

  3. I am determined to do more projects on my own this next year. My youngest has this long empty wall and I think this would be perfect for her room. She has polka dots on that wall and this would still let them show through!

  4. Looks awesome! So much talent! Is the stained wood surface on top of the cabinets one long piece? Can you share more about how you made it/sourced it?

    1. It's actually two pieces -- you can see more here! :) https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2019/06/the-gorgeous-wallpaper-on-office.html

  5. Beautiful work! Now sit back and enjoy them

  6. This is just AWESOME!! Love the color, the entire design and your styling. ❤️

  7. Sarah, once again you nailed it!! Beautiful job, love the paint color. I know you are so proud!!

  8. Oh my word Sarah, this is absolutely amazing. It looks so pretty and you did such an amazing job on it. I am so impressed and love it all.

  9. looks so amazing! congrats on a job well done.

  10. Gorgeous! Congratulations, it looks awesome!

  11. Impressive! Great job on your hard work. So pretty!

  12. WOW you had a vision and it turned out amazing!!!! Way to go!

  13. Beautiful! Did you seal the paint with poly or anything?

    1. Thank you! No, no need if you use a quality paint. When it cures it holds up wonderfully!

  14. So inspiring!!! Oh my goodness. You are amazing. This makes me want to try this.

  15. This is AMAZING. . .you're making me look around my space, trying to determine where I can do this :)

  16. What color are the other walls? I am having a hard time picking what color to pair with Vintage Vogue.

  17. I love this and the previous bookshelf you built in your old home so so much! My boyfriend and I are moving next month and plan on doing this in our dining room with the help from my dad and I couldn't be more excited. What makes me a little nervous is the timeframe... I see the previous one took you about 9 months and this one 2 months. This is something we're hoping to get done rather quickly since our new place lacks storage and shelving. What was the most time consuming about this project if you don't mind me asking? Thanks so much for sharing your tips and projects!!!

    1. Thank you! SO many reasons...kids, work, other projects and the biggest reason is I do it all myself. If you both work on it, it will move quicker! :)

  18. I really like your skinny tall initials but I didn't see a link. Where did you find those? Thank you!!

  19. I absolutely love this, we are moving next month and I'm in the process of purging a lot of my books and papers, so really inspired. I need this kind of storage in my new home office at the new house, so excited to try this.

  20. Doesn't look like that's even the same room???? I'm questioning the auetheticy of this...look how the windows are in each photo.

  21. Beautiful! What stain did you use on the wood on top of the cabinets?

  22. What is the height the shelves? They all look about the same. My wife has me doing this project. :/

    1. They are around 14 inches each -- but that will depend on how many you want and your ceiling height.

  23. Beautiful job! Now you have inspired me to do a media wall and especially to do green!! Could you tell me the total thickness of the shelves?

  24. I have been looking for a way to add extra storage to my office, and this is brilliant. I love the upper cabinets on the bottom, I love the way that you framed these out, I love the wall paper, the colors, the eye you have for design. Such a beautiful result.

  25. Very impressiv ! Thanks for sharing. How did you manage to have the length of your walls to match exactly a multiple number of kitchen cabinets ? How did you manage not to end up with the length of a half cabinet for exemple.
    Thank you

  26. Oh gosh I hope you see this… did you paint your shelves after they were in place or did you dry fit, take them down, paint and reinstall? I’m nervous about painting with them up since I will have wallpaper behind too.

    1. You can do either! I did after because of caulking/filling holes, but it's totally up to you!

  27. I have this same question! You are so talented!! Beautiful work!


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