Finally—a house update!
My sister-in-law helped me create the plans for our large-ish living room. We segmented it into two sections: a library “room” anchored by two IKEA bookshelves, and a sitting “room” anchored by a large sectional.
(I highly recommend persuading your brother to marry a designer. Breaking down a large room into two “rooms” was something I wouldn’t have tried without guidance.)
In the library area, we wanted space to display our books, a small desk, and plenty of storage. We had a small budget for the room and we spent most of it on the sectional. (More on that in a future post.)
My designer recommended the Borgsjö bookshelves based on size, style, and price, but I couldn’t find any reviews online. Even at our “local” IKEA (a two-hour drive for us) they were only displayed in one place on the sales floor. We decided to go with them anyway.
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve now lived with them for six months. Here’s the lowdown.
After we snapped these photos, I went to town with color on the bottom shelf. Highlights, in order: classic Nancy Drew mysteries, The Mother Daughter Book Club hardcovers, Little House, Noel Streatfeild’s shoe books, the Beverly Cleary box set.
First, the good:
• They’re inexpensive. The units we used—with glass cabinets above and concealed shelves below—are $130. We bought them during an IKEA family promotion, so the units were closer to $100 each. (Also available: units with drawers on the bottom instead of shelves, and glass-door cabinets.)
• They have great lines.
• They’re nice-looking. They are not pure white; the off-white finish resembles a wood grain.
• The doors open and close smoothly and silently, much better than the more expensive Hemnes units. This was a huge factor for us.
• They have hidden storage: a huge perk for our family of six. (The concealed shelves hold board games and photo albums.)
• They are not high quality, made out of pressboard with a thin veneer.
• At 71″, they are shorter than other IKEA bookshelves.
We went with the Borgsjö because they did the job, the price was right, and we’ve never had a furniture arrangement like this.
With the Borgsjö shelves we could try out this library “room” arrangement with a much smaller financial commitment than any other option. They were easy to match with the desk we wanted to use. We could easily sell them at cost on Craigslist or repurpose them elsewhere in the house if we decided to do something different with the space.
top shelf, center: the Puffin in Bloom collection. I love these books.
The two Borgsjö units are flanking a Vittsjö laptop table ($40). I chalk painted it white to match the bookshelves. The other “walls” of our library area are a Hemnes sofa table, our piano, and a big window.
We also used two Borgsjö glass-cabinet units in the dining room, but that’s another story for another day. (We are happy with them.)
We’re very happy with our little library room. The kids love hanging out in this area: it’s a favorite place to color, read, or just do their homework. The shelves are meeting our needs. On another day when the rest of the room is tidy, I’ll show you pictures of the whole space.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with library nooks and IKEA hacks in comments.