Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A Creative Mix of IKEA Shelving Maximizes the Functionality of a Cozy Reading Corner

published Feb 26, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Office & Dens
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
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It happens to almost all bookworms eventually. No, not massively overdue library books or — gasp — dog-eared pages in pre-owned finds from the $1 bin, but running out of space to store new books.

And it was a problem for Riti Mohapatra and her husband, Prashant, once they had a baby and added lots of children’s books to their collection, too. “Both of us came in with a fair amount of books into the marriage,” Riti says. Their setup “before” was a basic black bookshelf with some artwork hanging around it and a recliner to curl up with a page-turner, but they quickly learned that wouldn’t suffice when their little girl started building a book collection of her own.

“We soon collected more books than the bookcase could hold, including the many that we got for our daughter,” Riti says. “We wanted to get a larger bookcase that could hold all our books together.”

They had been eyeing a go-to at IKEA, the BILLY bookcase, and decided to purchase two and install them. “Once we measured the dimensions, we realized there would be some wall space on top,” Riti explains. “So we got two IKEA LACK shelves and three invisible shelves to fill out the wall space.”

Riti says deciding on the placement of the floating shelves was a fun exercise, and she has a great tip for the BILLYs for anyone looking to create a wall-to-wall library look: “We decided to have the shelves within both bookcases at the same height to create a sense of a bigger bookcase,” Riti says.

Another pro tip from Riti for families with beginning readers? Use the bottom two shelves for your kiddo’s books where they can easily access them, and keep your picks up top.

Riti is proud of the variation and placement of the shelves, which add a bit of visual interest to the wall, in addition to the new blue paint behind the recliner. (A great, bright choice given that the corner sometimes acts as a background for virtual classes and calls.)

Most of all, Riti is proud of the cozy corner she and Prashant created for their family for around $250. “I love that all our books found their place in the bookcase,” she says.

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