Modern Farmhouse Built-in Bookshelves

DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

The smallest bedroom in the house belongs to our little princess, Quinn. She outgrew her toddler bunkbed and Ikea kids table so it was time to design a space that would work for her within the small space. When I approach any space, I sort out how the room needs to function. Quinn needed a place to sleep, do artwork and crafts, and have some storage for her toys, books, and knick knacks. And with her bedroom at the end of the hallway, I had to consider how I arranged the room so that she wouldn’t be distracted at night with everyone else being awake. So, one side of the bedroom has her bed and built-in bookshelves, and the other side is for her desk. There are some things to consider and details to notice, but these DIY modern farmhouse custom built-in bookshelves couldn’t have been easier to design and create!


DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

When designing the built-ins bookshelves, I considered that they would be attached to the wall studs. I considered various wall treatments or just a treatment inside the bookshelves, and ultimately decided on horizontal modern farmhouse shiplap. You can learn how to install shiplap by checking out my boho farmhouse shiplap tutorial. Before installing the shiplap, I found the wall studs and noted them since my stud finder won’t detect the studs through the shiplap boards. This little step made it easy to locate the wall studs and attach the custom built-in bookshelves later on. I also made sure the shelves weren’t too tall, but that they were a fairly standard size in case I want to move them elsewhere someday. I also wanted to install a wall sconce light in between the bookshelves, so I had to find the stud that I would install the sconce to before finalizing the built-in bookshelves’ locations.

Quinn has a twin sized bed which fits in between the built-in bookshelves. I also made sure that I had the option to arrange her desk between the bookshelves as well. Taking some time to consider how else the room can be arranged, will allow you to install built-ins in their correct location, one time. I love having the flexibility to swap her bed and desk, and I think the summer months are a great time for this change since getting a great night’s rest isn’t as crucial. Another consideration when designing built-ins is to note any outlets and light switch locations. There are two outlets on the wall, so I was able to place a surge protector extension cord under the bottom shiplap board and now it’s accessible to use under her bed. We currently plug in her wall sconce and white noise machine into that surge protector.


DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

Although the bedroom is small, it also has a small walk-in closet with a full-sized door. When I decided on the bookshelf depth, I had to make sure the door could fully open. These DIY modern farmhouse custom built-in bookshelves have two cubby spaces along the bottom. These cubbies were sized to fit some felt bins that I already had on hand. The bins are full of stuffed animals and some art supplies, and the best part is that she can easily slide the bins in and out without damaging the wood. The rest of the bookshelf has adjustable shelves. I don’t know what types of items she’ll have on them down the road, so adjustable shelves made the most sense. I gathered all her stuff and sorted it out on her shelves with the purpose being storage, not just decorative. However, storage functionality doesn’t mean that the items can’t be arranged in an organized and decorative way too. I spaced out her books, used bins on both shelves for a balanced look, and kept as much negative space as I could to reduce a cluttered feel.


DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves


If you like styled shelves, but struggle with how to start, be sure to subscribe to my blog so that you’ll get one email a week sharing my latest project as well as my free shelf styling ebook. I think you’ll love my approach and easy to follow recipe for beautifully styled shelves. My recipe wasn’t followed for these DIY modern farmhouse custom built-in bookshelves because their primary function is storage, not decorative, but I think her storage looks pretty cute too.

With bookshelves on each side of her bed, I installed a wall sconce instead of placing a lamp on one of the shelves. The wall sconce is so cute, and the dimmer switch is really nice when tucking her in at night. The wall sconce will also work well when her desk is located between the bookshelves. To save money and to not have a permanent feature, I used a plug-in wall sconce and then covered the cord with a paintable cord cover. I love how it blends in and provides a finished look.


DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves – How to

The steps to design and build DIY modern farmhouse custom built-in bookshelves is easy. After you note the studs, any outlets etc., and determine all possible furniture layouts, you’re ready to design.

  1. Measure the width of your wall.
  2. Measure the width of any furniture that will be paired with the built-ins, if any and make sure it will all fit.
  3. Use the Shelf Help Now configurator to try out your measurements and have a visual of the built-in you want.
  4. You can also order the wood for your design directly from Shelf Help Now – they have standard depths to choose from (consider how deep your built-in will be at this point).
  5. Once designed, you can either order your wood from them or you can use the design to create your own cut list.
  6. Download a copy of your design, this will show you how to assemble the pieces for the best stability. I used pocket hole construction to build the bookshelves.
  7. Once assembled, paint or stain the built-ins. This post shows how to achieve the stain color I have on these built-ins.
  8. Once finished, position the built-ins where you want them attached to the wall. Double check measurements and try to attach the piece into at least two studs if possible.
  9. Once in position, predrill the holes to attach to the wall studs and then use three-inch screws to secure the built-ins to the wall.

DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves – Video tutorial


DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

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DIY Modern Farmhouse Custom Built-in Bookshelves

Thank you for checking out this post. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below~ Adding storage cubbies and shelves has been a great way to save space in Quinn’s small bedroom. The room looks and feels bigger now, the built-ins with her bed fit the space so nicely. The other side of her room functions as her craft and study center with a space for her cherished items. Quinn loves displaying items and she adores birds and butterflies, so I found a fun way to give her a space to show off her treasures. Coming soon…

804 Sycamore signature

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IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

The original plan for Sawyer’s IKEA Billy Bookcase was very different than how it turned out. I would say that around half of my ideas change shape from the original idea – that’s a part of design and planning, sometimes plans change. In my mind, the bookcase would have no glass, and cane webbing in place of the glass. Then when I actually purchased the IKEA bookcase, I realized that the glass was incased in between the wood doors. And I wasn’t going to break out the glass so it was staying put. After unboxing the door, I realized I only had about 1/18 inch of wood to staple the cane webbing into the wood… um what?! The cane bookcase idea wasn’t going to work. As usual, I went to the Internet to brainstorm other possibilities for the IKEA Billy Bookcase boho hack. Jen of City Farmhouse actually paints right over the glass – her bookcase unit turned out beautifully, check it out here. I considered decoupaging paper and fabric, stapling fabric, contact paper, and peel and stick wall paper. I ordered some free contact paper samples and knew right away that paper wasn’t going to get us the boho look. We needed texture! Sawyer has had a burlap pin board for several years and she wanted to keep it with her new room design, so we decided to try out some burlap fabric in the bookcase.


IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack – Tutorial

The steps are easy and straight forward. In fact, there are probably many other ways to attach fabric to cabinet doors, but this is how I did it. You can also check out my short video to see how easy it is, but here are the steps:

  1. Measure the cabinet door and determine how much fabric or burlap you need to buy.
    (I only needed three yards for this 8′ bookcase because the burlap is 45″ wide.)
  2. Cut the burlap in half and iron out any creases.
  3. Apply double sided tape around the inside of the bookcase, right against the edge of the wood frame near the glass.
    (The tape is just to reinforce the edge of the burlap and help keep it in place. It may not be necessary at all.)
  4. Use a small nail and lightly hammer the nail into each corner of the wood to make a start for the thumbtack.
  5. Then carefully hammer a flat thumbtack into the shallow nail hole until it’s flush with the wood.
    (I evenly placed 10 thumbtacks around each cabinet door.)
  6. Add door hinges and attach doors and handles to the cabinet.

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack – Video

Be sure to watch the entire video from start to finish. It’s short and the end shows how I organized the inside of the bookcase, shelf by shelf! Also, please hit that Like button!


IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack – Shop this space

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IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Boho Hack

Full disclaimer: It’s not perfect. There, I said it! I didn’t cut the burlap perfectly straight, I didn’t cut the burlap correctly (just google it), and I didn’t finish the burlap edge with a stitched edge or glue – nothing. But it still looks good, it works well, and it really does look cool in-person. This bookcase is a place for my daughter’s stuff and even though it’s organized stuff, it’s not stuff that she wants to look at all the time. So, covering the glass doors with inexpensive burlap was our fix. I love the idea of painting these doors, but that style wasn’t as good as a fit for this room. We could have found a different cabinet for her things, but we wanted a tall and slim bookcase to do the job – and the IKEA price couldn’t be beat. The point is, this worked for us and I hope it inspires ideas to help make your furniture or design work for you. Design plans don’t always pan out, so be encouraged that you’ll find a solution that works well and looks good too! And I’m always happy to help brainstorm possible ideas, so leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

If you don’t want clear glass doors on your cabinet or bookcase, there are lots of different techniques to consider. Using burlap is just one idea to consider and it was really easy to install and it’s not permanent. If we remove the burlap, tacks, and tape, there will be 10 tiny tack holes left, but we’re not worried about those. If you like this side of my teen daughter’s room, you gotta check out the other side with her bed. I created boho farmhouse shiplap with a plant shelf – it’s relaxing and soothing~


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DIY Farmhouse Bunk Bed

DIY farmhouse bunk bed

It seems like every kid likes bunk beds! I also love bunk beds! They are a great space saver and those custom-built ones are so amazing. Plank and Pillow created an amazing bunk for the buyers of their home when they sold it. And Our Faux Farmhouse whipped up farmhouse bunks and a desk area like it was nothing. I am not quite at the stage where I’m confident to take on building bunks from scratch, but I did have a vision to embellish an existing bunk bed and create my own DIY farmhouse bunk bed.

My future plans for this DIY farmhouse bunk bed is to add a flower box below the window and my teenaged daughter, Sawyer, suggested adding fairy lights. The fun thing about this bunk bed is that I can add festive holiday garland or change the bedding to give it a quick refresh. I may also add some artwork along the wall space of the upper bunk – we’ll see!

The third and final project for Quinn’s bedroom design is a DIY farmhouse bunk bed. The bunk bed I selected was cute from the start, but I wanted to modify it slightly to give it more of a farmhouse look and coordinate it with the rest of her bedroom. Here is the bunk bed that I purchased from Amazon:


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Thank you for considering and using my links!


DIY Farmhouse Bunk Bed – custom steps:

  1. Assemble the Amazon bunk bed per the instructions – but do not install the 3 roof pieces. See photo below.
  2. The Home Depot cut my 1/2″ sheet of plywood to the exact dimensions I requested. The 39″ x 76″ sheet of plywood fit perfectly onto the floor of the top bunk. Be sure to sand the edges and top surface if necessary.
  3. Measure the width and length of the roof area to calculate how much plywood you’ll need.
  4. The Home Depot cut my 1/4″ plywood at 27″ so that I would just have to make the vertical cuts.
  5. I cut seventeen roof shutters at 4.5″ wide. You’ll want to cut the plywood with the pretty-side face down. Be sure to give the edges a sanding.
  6. These roof shutters are connected to 1″x2″x6′ pine boards using a brad nail gun. I used 3/4″ brad nails. The 6′ pine boards are 12 inches apart.
  7. Once the roof is constructed, use clamps to hold it onto the bunk bed roof frame.
  8. Finally, brad nail the roof along the top roof frame board and the bottom roof frame board. I used 1.25″ brad nails for this step.

    I also created a video to show each step as well as my daughter’s reaction to her DIY farmhouse bunk bed and her new bedroom design. Be sure to check it out and hit that Like button.

DIY farmhouse bunk bed
Assembled bunk bed without the roof

DIY Farmhouse Bunk Bed

The simple step of creating my own pine roof for this adorable bed transformed it into a sweet farmhouse bunk bed for my youngest daughter, Quinn. The bed coordinates nicely with the huge peg board I made for above her desk. Her desk chair also has a small pine colored accent around the edge as well as the pine midcentury modern desk legs. It’s all very subtle, but it makes me so happy when the details add balance to a space.

Quinn loves her bed, she loves using the top space to get dressed, to relax or “sleep”, and to play. When a bedroom is too small to use the linear footage, consider using the vertical footage to get more function out of the space. The video below shows you just how simple it was to create this DIY farmhouse bunk bed! If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them here on this post or on the YouTube video.


DIY farmhouse bunk bed

diy farmhouse bunk bed
diy farmhouse bunk bed

diy farmhouse bunk bed
diy farmhouse bunk bed

diy farmhouse bunk bed
diy farmhouse bunk bed

DIY Farmhouse Bunk Bed – Video Tutorial


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