Published on February 6th, 2013 | by Jules Yap


Built in Bookshelves with Window-seat for under $350

Materials: Billy bookcase, Benno Tv Bench

Description: We wanted built-in bookshelves and I have always loved the idea of a cozy windowseat to curl up in while reading a book.

The wall we wanted to build the shelves on was 158″ wide, with a slightly off-center window. We decided to use the BENNO Tv Bench as the windowseat. Two31″ wide bookcases on each side would be too wide and one 31″ and one 15″ would be too narrow. So, we had to cut two 31″ inch bookcases down to size and then drill our own holes in the end of the shelf that we cut so that we could use the adjustable shelf pegs.

We decided not to use the backing board, we filled the track in with joint compound. I brought a shelf to Home Depot and they matched the paint color very well–although I got semi-gloss and the IKEA finish has slightly less of a sheen, but the line for the track is invisible after being filled and painted.

We removed the baseboard trim behind the bookcases and on the side. We measured from the rear wall to where the studs were on the wall. Once the bookcases were in place, we measured from the rear wall to where we knew the studs were and screwed the bookcases to the studs. We then screwed the sides of the abutting shelves to each other. Then my husband screwed ferring strips to the beam above the shelves and into the top of the shelves, so they are securely attached at the top and sides.

We decided the top of the Benno TV Bench was not deep enough, so we made a brace for the wall, screwing a 2X4 into the beam. We bought a 24 x 48 piece of alder, which we sanded and stained, then affixed to the brace we made on the wall, as well as the top of the BENNO.

Finally, we nailed 2″ lattice to cover the space between where the bookcases meet. We replaced the baseboard and picked out nice crown molding for the top of the bookcases. We filled the nail holes and painted everything with the paint we had custom mixed to match the shelf we brought to the home improvement store. We bought some drawer pulls for the front of the Benno so it looks less modern and more traditional.

We love our new built-in shelves and the windowseat has become a favorite reading nook!

See more of the built-in Billy with Benno windowseat.

~ Theresa Novak

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

8 Responses to Built in Bookshelves with Window-seat for under $350

  1. Anonymous says:

    This looks so pretty and cozy. Great job!

  2. Nadia says:

    Absolutely amazing. i love the look of built ins but they are sooo expensive. this is a great money saver but the finish product looks high end. great job!

  3. Michael Coline says:

    This is really inspiring, the bookshelves look great and the window-seat is great. Just what kind of place everyone needs near his favorite books.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tommy did an almost identical project on Ask This Old House last year.

  5. Sivyaleah says:

    Very professional looking!

  6. Anonymous says:

    beautiful! very inspiring — very inexpensive.

    custom sized cushions are easy to make and cover — I did it for our window seat. tips: buy the right density foam from a good fabric/upholstery store, and look up instructions on making a box cushion cover.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That un-cushioned seat doesn’t look particularly cozy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    congrats! =)

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