Built-In Bookcase - DIY Mirrored Doors

Our living room is shining a little brighter today!  And honestly, so am I!

We are still in the process of "warming" things up in the living room, after painting the walls in a cooler, neutral tone.  As much as I miss the green, having the freedom to play with colors and accessories leaves me excited and happy on a daily basis.

However, even after the curtains and the lamp and the playful bits of color, there has been one more mighty project on our list.  Our built-in bookcase!  It needed a new top and some pretty glass faced doors.  So that is just what we have been working on.  And all I can say now is, "Wow".  Probably one of my most favorite projects yet.  The pictures just do not do justice to the change this project made in the room.

This project was initially going to be another "low" for the High/Low challenge, and although we kept the overall budget down and manageable, there were a few things that added up.  This cabinet was our inspiration piece coming in at $600 plus shipping.

The size of the inspiration piece is 34" tall by 71.5" wide, while ours comes in at 43" tall by 126" wide, giving us an amazing amount of storage.  We have been living with the first half of our project for the past few years {you can read all the details here}, and see it in a recent photo below.

The bookcases have been fantastic for our living space.  We absolutely love how much storage they have provided us for games, photos albums, books, crafts, movies, puppy toys, magazines and even more books.  However, all of the open shelves meant more to "style" and more eye clutter.  I have been wanting to add doors to the outer two cabinets for quite awhile now, yet the way we had it set up previously wouldn't allow for it to be a quick project.  New doors would require us to remove the decorative moulding across the front which would also require us to re-address the top piece as well.

So, we went into it with a plan.  The room has A LOT of white pieces.  The white bookcases, the white shoe cabinet, the white school cubbies/credenza.  It was time to break that up a bit.  Adding solid white doors would conceal the clutter, but would add more white, and I wanted a little bit of drama.  That is where the mirrored furniture comes in.  I have always coveted beautiful mirrored pieces yet have been hesitant with little kiddos ruling the roost.  Now that they are all older, I figured it was finally time to take the plunge.  The mirrors would break up the white and add some glam, however, we also wanted to bring in warmth.  I am on a mission to sprinkle in wood tones throughout our home, and the bookcase was the ideal piece in this space to do that with.  To sum things up; pretty glass doors plus warm wood top equals beautifully updated "built-ins" and a happy living space.

As soon as my hubby gave me the thumbs up on the project plans, I ran right over to the bookcases and started carefully removing the pieces of decorative moulding.  Please forgive my awful photography, we were nighttime warriors and photo lighting was less than ideal.

While I pulled nails and caulked exposed holes from removing the trim, Bryan got busy cutting down some pieces of wood for the top.

The top was made from two pieces of 1"x12"x12' lumber from Home Depot.  I wanted something with grain and knots yet budget friendly.

Bryan started by bringing in a board and measuring it right on top of the bookcase unit.  He figured out where all of his cuts needed to be and took the board back out to the garage to cut the piece down to the correct length as well as jig out the front bump-out.  He then ripped the second board to the remainder of the width of the top of the unit.

Above shows the test fit where we determined that we loved the slight overhang and that the boards were all cut just right!  High fives happened and then back out to the garage went the boards to prepare for the staining process.

In the meantime, it was time to turn focus to the doors!  IKEA makes doors specifically for the BILLY bookcases, so instead of custom building something, we went the easy route and picked up four total doors which were already the perfect size and included the exact hinges we needed.  Once we had the doors in hand, I brought one to our local Ace Hardware store.  Ace has cut plexiglass for us in the past, so I thought I would check into mirror cutting services as well.  I received the thumbs up and for a total of $40, I was able to purchase mirrors for each door as well as have each piece cut exactly to fit.

To affix the mirror to the cabinet doors, we used a construction grade adhesive.

Once the mirror was set, we allowed the adhesive to cure for 24 hours.  The doors were already looking so very pretty!

Once the boards were stained and had dried in the garage for a day or two, we brought them in and carefully placed them on top of the bookcase to get an idea of how it was all going to come together {using a drop cloth to buffer just in case there was any wet stain remaining}.  The wood tone received a HUGE thumbs up from me and I couldn't wait to start assembling the entire unit!  So good!  And because you all love to see my messes, this is how our living room looked for an entire week while we worked on the project.  This is a very common, oh-so-glamorous side effect of our DIY projects....

Do you spy that pretty door in the photo?  I had to pop it into the room when we brought the wood top in.  I am such a visual individual that I wanted to be sure we were on the right track.  And after seeing it even in the messy space, I was smitten.

To create the beautiful "x" treatment on the front of the door, we purchased approximately 56' of simple screen moulding.  That was enough to cover the perimeter of each mirror as well as an "x" through the center.  I painted the wood strips {which Bryan had pre-cut to fit each door}, with a white paint that had been color matched to the IKEA doors.

The moulding was attached to the glass with a simple white caulk.  The moulding was cut at 45 degree miters for the perimeter, and once affixed, we also caulked the cuts to hide the seams.

To create the "x", the corners were a custom cut-to-fit process.  For each door, Bryan began by laying a strip of moulding at a diagonal from corner to corner of the door, then drawing a pencil line where the trim met the beveled corner of the already affixed frame.  Next, he used his miter saw to cut the end of the moulding to fit each corner {this took a few attempts to get it exact since it wasn't a specific angle; a.k.a. finicky and putsy}.  Once the pieces were finally cut to size, a thin strip of caulk was used to affix the moulding to the glass {see step one and two}.  For the opposite diagonal, he repeated the first few steps and marked the intersection point.  This allowed him to split the intersecting board into two pieces, which he also caulked into place.

I know it wasn't his favorite job and that it was a bit tedious with a lot of measuring and marking and cutting, but he totally rocked it!

The new top boards were affixed right over the existing MDF top with a brad nailer.  To hide the newly exposed MDF edge, we added a strip of decorative moulding which I later painted the same IKEA white.

And here is the state of the bookcase today; simply stunning!

The top turned out really lovely.

I had never used a stain/poly combo before, but now I may never go back.  It was really easy to use {a total of three quick coats} and the finish was exactly what I was going for.

Seriously though, those doors!

We selected over-sized cabinet {appliance} hardware, coming in at over 15" long each.  I adore the dramatic effect they add.

The set of doors behind the teal blue chair will ultimately house all of our crafts {our future craft cabinet}, while the left side now conceals all of our family board games.

The doors give us the glam I was after, while the top gives us the warmth.  It really turned out to be the perfect combination.  Plus the fact that the room can still house family crafts and games without visually cluttering the space is joyful candy to my eyes.

The mirrored door fronts also seem to bounce extra light around.  Is there such a thing as too much natural light?

And for a final budget breakdown of the entire wall to wall unit {over 10 feet of storage}:

Grand total: $450

Still under the high end version with far more storage and substance, yet custom to fit our home and needs.  I would say it is a win!  It also helped to build it in phases over a few years, which allowed us to spread out the cost over time.  

I still have to add a few small details and touches to the space in the form of accessories, photos and art, however, I finally feel like it is "finished". 

This room has really been one of those "built over time" spaces.  Much of it has been done on a budget by hacking IKEA pieces, shopping thrift stores, using coupons on top of sales, sewing our own curtains and building/DIY'ing pieces that will always have a place in our hearts.

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