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DIY Built-in Bookshelves

I am so excited to share these DIY built-in bookshelves with you! It sounds so funny, but to finally have  small space of my own dedicated to creating is like a dream come true. And it’s something that I have thought about doing for so long that I can’t believe that we actually did it! My hubby was such a good sport too and quite the hunky handyman.:) Here are two shots of the space before. We are in a split level and are lucky enough that our dining room area is a bit more elongated than the other homes in our area.  I was never quite sure what to do with the back area as you can tell by the two photos.
Living room and dining room combo area with chairs, a large wall clock and a board and batten wall
Open living room area with table and light on the ceiling with board and batten walls
You can see the how we built it here. We added trim at the  bottom and crown molding at the top to finish the built-in bookcases off. We didn’t want it to feel like a full wall, so we left about 12 inches of space to the ceiling.


Small built in bookcase used to divide a roon in half

What do you think of  our DIY bookshelves? They really add some functional storage for us and make it easier to divide up the room between uses.
DIY built-in bookcase with work area behind it.
We painted the wall in Benjamin Moore White Dove like the rest of the walls. This helps it to give it a more seamless look with the rest of the wall.
And peek around the corner…it gives me a ton of shelving for all of my supplies. The DIY built-in bookshelves are attached to the wall studs through the side to give it stability.
 Ta-da! Isn’t it exciting!!!
 My daughter even made me a sign.We still have to move the clock over the mantel and I still have lots of fussing to do. I want to put a magnetic cork board up among other things, but I couldn’t wait to finish to show you.
Vintage milk glass with art supplies like scissors and pens
The backside of built in bookshelves with art supplies
It was so nice to pull stuff out of plastic tubs and have  space to put it! We made the shelves adjustable so that I could get bigger things on there if I needed to.
Small artist work area with art supplies on built in bookshelves
Sewing machine on shelf
 There’s even a space for my sewing machine and canvases and tall stuff too.
Painted sign that says create
Metal rack with mugs on it
 I wanted the back to blend in with the rest of the house and serve a purpose.
Built in book shelf that is also a part wall for a mirror and a dresser
 …And hide the incredible mess I am capable of making. And this way if I need to spread out past my desk, the table isn’t too far away, and I don’t have to be constantly cleaning up my space.
Dresser top with mug rack , lamp and mirror
And if for some reason I am not using the space any more, we now have a little home office or even  a place to put a reading nook. I feel like that area has more purpose.I am so glad we finally took those first steps and just did it!
P.S. For those of you that have asked; my drapes were sewn from a Thomas Paul fabric called Aviary.
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  1. This looks really great! It not only multiplies the uses of your space, but it defines your dining area so nicely. It has added great deal to the personality of the room- and such a simple solution!

  2. Congratulations on having such a great studio space. I love it. I think it is a very clever use of the space. and looks great too!

  3. What a nice cozy little place to create, It’s perfect You are so blessed to have a wonderful hubby to help make it happen. Enjoy


  4. Now that is using space creatively! It’s so good it looks like it was always meant to be there and what more could you ask for? You even have a sign that declares the space all yours!! Well done!!

  5. WOW! Jen that space turned out wonderful. You bookcases really create privacy for you. I smiled when I saw the sign your daughter made for you.

    I spy some bird cups I sent your way. Fun to see something from me in your home. I have a small painting of yours sitting on my dining side board and think of you every day when I pass it!

  6. It looks really good. What a great idea to divide the space like that.
    I live in a split level as well. Our rooms on both sides of the house are so long…..like 29 feet long. Those with new big homes might not think that is long. Sometimes I wish I could divide the spaces, esp. in the bedroom. Hmmmmmmm, I have some ideas now.

  7. It looks wonderful, and like it was there all along! I have the exact tiered stand, and never thought of using it in that way-thanks for the idea!

  8. Oh it’s beautiful and that’s so shabby too!!! It really gave me an idea for my own rental home I live in!! How pretty!!! Thank you for sharing! Hop over to my blog for a couple share’s I’ve posted!! Ciao!! xxxooo Shabby Jen

  9. You did a great job Jen, you are sooo handy,do you know what I could do in my house if i didn’t have to rely on my man!! Love what you did!

  10. Jason wants me to ask you if you are “for hire”

    he’s so impressed

    as am I –

    one thing is for sure, you won’t ever go hungry!! you multi-talent you!!

  11. Oh, Jennifer…this is perfect! I am currently working with my hunky (for an old guy) handyman husband to finish up out attic space to use half of it for my creative space. And the sign your daughter made is the best part!

  12. Just lovely….so perfect….and hiden so you can be messy if you need to be. I love it….OMG…I was so going to ask about your drapes…….(smile)……what a great reveal!

  13. It is every thing and more. What a perfect spot for you to unleash your creative genius! Chalk up another amazing decorating project by Jennifer Rizzo and Company! Take care sweetie and stay warm…

  14. It’s beautiful!! What an awesome solution – it’s incredibly practical and maintains the beauty of the space. I love it.

  15. That seriously looks awesome. The beadboard… love it. It might blend even better if you added molding to the rest of the room. Just a thought! It still is fabulous as it is!

  16. I love this project. There are so many areas in my home I think this would work. What a difference it makes to have a little space of your own to work and create. And not be seen from the rest of your house. I bet you are having fun in there! Love the sign. I have one similar from my daughter when I finally carved out an area just for me. So good to raise daughters who recognize mom can work from home too, but needs her own space! If you have time, I would love to have this linked up at my party that runs through Thursday-Sunday. Starts at 2:00 PST. Thanks!

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