We recently purchased a home and were looking to add some built-in features. After being inspired by a few post on IKEAhackers and realizing that I had two perfectly good EXPEDIT bookcases available, I decided to attempt the project on my own. I consider myself a fairly novice DIYer but learned a great deal along the way. Here is a summary of the project:
Step 1: I started with two black-brown EXPEDIT bookcases.
Step 2: To bring the two pieces together I used a strategy similar to what was done previously here.
I removed the end pieces from each bookcase and used the inner shelf unit of a 2 x 2 EXPEDIT I bought off Craigslist to fill the empty space. It was important to use straps to keep the piece firmly together as I added a base made from 2 x 4 wood. The base helped attached the two bookcases but it also increased the height in order to match the height of the surrounding baseboards.
Step 3: I used a strategy similar to the one here in order to paint the bookcase white.
The wood frame on the top of the bookcase was later removed in order to lower the level of the countertop.
Step 4: I purchased two IKEA Karlby countertops and cut them to size using a circular saw. This was difficult but I managed to make the cuts accurate enough for this project by using a straight edge to guide the circular saw. I left enough space beyond the unit in order to store a surge protector and any wires.
Step 5: There was a small 1/8 of an inch gap which I had to fill with a small piece of butcher block and wood putty.
Step 6: The picture below shows the baseboards, chair rail moulding, and side board which is removable to allow access to the electrical outlet and TV cords. I place magnets on the inside of the chair rail moulding such that the sideboard will stay in place. I had to make all miter cuts using a circular saw but caulk hid any imperfections. I tried my best to cope the inside corners.
Step 7: I hung the TV wall mount and used a mounting kit to run the wires through the wall. I had to drill through a horizontal fire block which I was able to do using a long drill bit.
Step 8: The last step was to add a backing made from wainscoting.
Summary: While it seems pretty straightforward this was a pretty big job for one person and a circular saw. The bulk of the work was done over a long weekend but the finishing touches lasted a couple weeks of doing a few things here and there. The cost was around $600 including the butcher block, moulding, TV mounting kit, and various tools needed for the job. Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome but very glad that it is finished! There are a million details not listed here but I’m happy to answer any questions.