while the kids are away, the parents will… install shelving.

Our boys are with Nana and Papa tonight so naturally we are going out to dinner renting a chick-flick visiting the museum of modern art cutting trim and installing built-in shelves in our living room.



The idea and bones came from the IKEA (where else?) Billy bookshelves, which we bought several of this past weekend (goodbye Christmas IKEA gift cards!) then modified to fit our space and needs. We also used 4×8′ sheets of bead board wainscot as shelf backing instead of the flimsy cardboard that comes with the shelves.


What you see above is the skeleton of what it will be. It is just resting upright on the ground here without any of the movable shelves set in yet, but by this evening it will be flush up against (and mounted securely to) the walls, have outlets cut through it, and (hopefully) have re-installed the base trim around the bottom.

Related: It is nail-bitingly nerve-wracking to pull off 75 year-old original base board.

In the next couple of weeks (some other time when we have a babysitter) our to-do list looks like this: attach the crown molding on top, wall-mount the TV instead of sitting it on the shelf, and fabricate bi-fold doors to cover the screen (lest this become a glorified TV shrine).

:: :: :: Let’s chat. :: :: ::

How awesome are those shelves are going to look? Go ahead, tell me.

What crazy things do you do with your babysitting/free time?

18 Responses to “while the kids are away, the parents will… install shelving.”

  1. Jessica

    Your shelves will totally look awesome – I should know, we did the SAME THING! :) We put beadboard on the back of our Billy bookshelves and bought the glass and white doors for them, and they look AMAZING.

    I haven’t had any free time yet since my baby was born :) Well that’s not true, occasionally my husband takes the baby on a walk so I can take a bath. Baths rock. OMG.

  2. Ryley


    It looks so good.. I didnt even realize your house needed that until I see it sitting there! looks amazing!!!
    (for me.. the tricky part would be not letting those shelfs get cluttered with crap from walking in the door, or keeping things out of little hands.. you know?)

    • sidnie

      The solution to both of those problems?

      I buy baskets all the time.
      It keeps clutter contained and keeps little hands off things.
      In theory.

      In reality, I have a kitchen counter that’s covered in mismatched baskets.
      The boys climb up on the counter and sort through the clutter- throwing stuff all over the floor.
      It’s a gold mine for little boys.


  3. Christy

    The shelving looks great. So great I may have to steal the idea someday! Have a wonderful adults-only evening!

  4. Dawn S

    Nice! We added crown molding to our 2 Billy bookcases that flank our wall-mounted TV last summer…couldn’t be happier with it! Beautiful!

  5. Savannah

    Love it!

    And when hubby and I get a babysitter, we always go out and do something…because we never see each other! My husband is in dental school and time just is hard to come by! But getting a project done sounds fun too!

  6. Martha

    The shelves are going to look SO awesome. I love built-in type shelving like that.
    Once a week we have a babysitter so we can go to church band practice together. It’s so fun to be able to do that with the hubby. Also, on Black Friday, the daughter’s preschool had free daycare all morning so parents could Christmas shop. We dropped her off…then went hiking! It felt so rebellious!

  7. sidnie

    Looks like staying up until midnight was worth it!

    I hope David and I can DIY our [eventual] house. I’d love an old house that we fixed up ourselves!
    Y’all rock. :)

  8. Andrea

    Ahhhh… I love them! The finished look is going to be fabulous!

    We totally get you on the whole “glorified TV shrine”. We bought a unit that hides our TV, too, and I love that the whole room no longer leads to our TV.

  9. Dad

    During my babysitting time, I have fun with my grandsons. I don’t get enough babysitting time!

  10. Stephanie

    We are getting an Ikea here this fall, FINALLY!! I am all kinds of excited about this and have so many ideas pinned already for built ins using Ikea bookcases :) Like how yours is looking, can’t wait to see the finished product!

  11. Kaycee

    Oh my gosh that is going to be amazing!! I can’t wait to see the finished product. Also? I love IKEA. LOVE IKEA. The end.

    • AllisonO

      Hi Iryna! I get it, I totally do. Thankfully, I don’t much worry about how things appear while they’re in progress. If you’ll notice in the post I said that this is a skeleton of what it will be. The post is about how we are working on the shelving when the kids are away. It looks much different now.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>