Built in bookshelves for family room
August 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We want to do floor to ceiling white built in bookshelves.

My husband is thinking we should keep it "simple" and just do a shelf on either side of the middle window. There is a window on the left side that would require that we leave some space on both sides at the ends.

I have more grandiose ideas!

I am interested in a window seat under the middle window. But probably no shelf over the window. Pictures I have seen of that look too boxed in.

For the window on the far left side, I am wondering and need suggestions about curving the shelf around to that other wall.

And then the far right wall, where the TV hutch presides, I know this is huge but wouldn't that be fabulous to build in the entertainment center???!!! I think this idea scares my husband but if we are doing all of this I thought we should at least consider it!

Thanks for any suggestions!
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I like the idea of bookcases in the same color as the wall they are on. If you want a window seat under the middle window I think it needs to be a larger window that comes down to seat height but it would be attractive. I am not sure what you mean about suggestions for curving the shelf around to the that other wall that has the the window on the far left....what shelf? Do you mean the possible shelf over the window that you really don't want because it looks too boxed in? My thought for the window on the left is a short table under it with a lamp or objet d'art that doesn't reach to the window - leave it unobstructed. Or the two round drums could go there. As for the built in entertainment center, I would caution against that as TV sizes and needs change so often and I wouldn't want you to have a unit that doesn't work for future purchases (been there, done that) though it would be attractive if it were on a same color as the wall and bookshelves adjustable shelf unit of some sort.
August 22, 2013 at 1:05pm     
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Hi 2taniya, thank you so much for your reply.

Regarding the window seat, good point that I had not considered. The window is 3 feet from the ground. I'm not sure what the normal height for a window seat is. I guess we can consider a shelf under the window.

Regarding the left side, there is a window on the adjacent wall which prohibits us from having the shelves extend all the way to that wall. We would have to leave space on the side of the built in - similar to the way the shelves look now unless there is a creative way to put a shelf under that window too. I'm having a hard time explaining that!

Thanks for the tip about the built in entertainment center. I think I will scratch that idea!
August 22, 2013 at 2:05pm   
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Do you need to consider devoting a room to the library? Right now you have too many shelving units eating up the walls of your room. First things first. Inventory the contents of the shelves and downsize. Then lets see what you've got left. I'm betting you can do better spending the money on a nice new flat screen TV to hang on a wall.
August 22, 2013 at 2:22pm     
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August 22, 2013 at 2:24pm   
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Oh boy decoenthusiaste - you have opened up a can of worms here!!!!

I agree it was actually kind of shocking when I took those photos and realized how cluttered we look!

The built in bookshelves have been something my husband has always wanted on that wall but I could also
see them in the dining room (next project) or even living room (which we never use).

Hmmmmm - I will need to gently broach this subject :-)
August 22, 2013 at 2:26pm   
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Ikea has some budget friendly options. Research all their systems and configure to fit your space, like a daybed under the window and shelves on each side and wrap around desk and shelf units. Bookshelves with doors dresses up everything and feels less cluttered (can't see it). Good luck
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August 22, 2013 at 2:43pm   
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How about this...put your shelves closer to the double window. Your lower shelves in the middle in front of the lower windows would fit under the high windows on the left. You could build a high padded window seat under the double window with storage below (lift up cushions and open doors for storage). As for your entertainment center, either paint it black like your speakers or leave it as it is until you can get a flat screen TV for the wall and put a short console under it. Pictures do surprise a person, don't they?
August 22, 2013 at 2:49pm   
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Wow, all of you have really helped us make some decisions today!
Hubby was especially happy about the flat screen TV suggestion!!!!

Thanks for the IKEA links but we do want custom built white shelves.

We are now thinking floor to ceiling on either side of the middle window leaving 8-9 inches on either side
of the shelves (because of that window on the far left wall). And then shelves under the middle window but not above it. (and not a window seat)

And then someday we'll get a flat screen TV to hang on the wall where TV cabinet is now and put
white cabinet below.

Stay tuned for "after" pictures!
August 22, 2013 at 4:37pm   
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We'll be waiting!
August 22, 2013 at 7:02pm   
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