Better than Billy

Before today’s post, Stephen and I both wanted to extend a huge THANK YOU to everybody who commented on our little HGTV announcement yesterday.  You are a huge part of the reason why we shared our bathroom makeover in the first place, and your support means the world to us!


I typically don’t talk about our work life on the blog, but Stephen’s job sometimes requires him to travel.  Since his company consults for a huge retail chain, his trips usually take him to exciting destinations like Indiana or Louisiana or Texas, where he spends 10-12 hours a day inside said retail stores, fixing issues with their refrigeration systems.

His most recent trip took him to Dallas, and since Dallas fits the “6 hours or less by car” criteria, he rented a car and drove instead of flying.  I call it fate that he got upgraded to an SUV instead of a tiny little rental car on this particular trip.  Can you guess why?

Dallas happens to be the closest Ikea to us, and my sweet husband took time out of his busy schedule to pick up a few Ikea goodies while he was in town!

His most exciting purchases by far were three of these.


If you’re an Ikea addict or if you’ve just been listening to us ramble on about built-ins and bookcases for entirely too long, you’ve probably guessed that those boxes contain 3 new bookcases for our living room!

We chose the Hemnes Ikea bookshelves in white because we loved their subtle style. They give the look of built-ins without all the work, and they’re solid wood.  Nothing against the ever-popular Billy bookcase, but we didn’t want particleboard since these shelves will be getting a lot of use.  We’re hoping the solid-wood versions will last a really long time!

Clearing the wall, assembling the shelves, and moving them into place was a breeze. First we moved all the furniture.

Left Side Loveseat

Can you believe how different this side of the living room looks without all that stuff?

Living room wall empty

Next Stephen got to work assembling the first bookcase while I organized all the nuts and bolts and read the instructions.

Working on Base Bookcase Assembly

The instructions tell you to raise the bookcase up on books before attaching the top piece. Stephen thought you’d get a kick out of seeing which four books we used.

Cal Book being Helpful

Nerd Books

I can’t even pretend these textbooks are all Stephen’s. Two of those are mine. Nerds!

There were just a few bumps along the way, most notably that one of the holes for assembling the top of one bookcase wasn’t drilled out. We spent probably five minutes trying to figure out why that screw wouldn’t go in!

Missing Hole

After we got the process down for the first shelf, it only took about 45 minutes total to assemble the next two.

One shelf.

One Bookcase

Two shelves.




We took these photos at night so they’re not the best, but I couldn’t wait to share!  You know we’ve been having lots of fun organizing all our books on these shelves since we finished them.  Once we’ve got an arrangement we like, I’ll show you the fully finished result.

What do you think of our new shelves so far?

The little epilogue to our story is that Stephen’s trip to Dallas to pick these bad boys up will be his last work trip with his current company.  Yesterday he accepted a new position with an energy consulting firm which starts in two weeks, and he gets to work from home!  I’m so proud of him!

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