How To Build A Bookcase

Before you dive into actually building your bookcase, your first step should be to nail down your design inspiration. Remember that the structure itself doesn’t have to be complicated. The plan just needs to be well-thought-out and the design properly constructed.

In addition to seeking out what style of a bookshelf you want to create, you should also consider its size and location. The instructions below will give you a better idea of what you need to build a bookcase and how to go about completing this DIY project successfully

Overview & Materials

The purpose of your bookcase is important in determining the design of your project. In most cases, homeowners are looking to store books and materials, fill an empty space or add dimension and character to a room.

In this article, I’m going to outline plans for creating a pine bookshelf with open sides, inspired by the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase. I want to make it clear that this is one of many bookcase design options. I’ll be showing you images of additional ideas throughout the article so you get a better feel for what other styles homeowners are building.

The bookcase above is one of many different configurations you can choose to build for your home. This particular example is made of pine and doesn’t have any side walls. It’s a basic structure with four shelves and a backing. It stands just under 6 tall and is decorated beautifully. Below I outline general DIY steps for getting started on your personalized Pottery Barn inspired bookcase.

General Instructions

Step 1: Determine Dimensions

The first order of business is to determine how wide and tall you’d like your bookcase structure to stand. Consider if you’re trying to fill a vertical or horizontal space, and how much time and effort you’d like to put into the building and finishing process. Documenting your measurements and purchasing the right saw for the job is key to your success. There are plenty of online resources to help you blueprint your plans and determine the right dimensions and tools you’ll need for your specific project.

Step 2: Construct Face Frames & Drill Pocket Holes

A standalone bookcase contains two face frames (front and back) that come together to form the edges of the structure. Make all of your cuts according to your documented measurement guide on a clean and level surface

Next, drill your pocket holes using a pocket-hole jig. A pocket hole is simply a hole drilled at an angle that forms a pocket for the screw to sit into. The purpose of pocket holes is to connect your individual pieces together.

To achieve the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase look, drill two pocket holes on each side of the tops of the legs and one on each end of the shelf trim boards. You’ll also want to drill pocket holes around all sides of all of the shelves–it’s recommended you drill two per end, and four per front and back side of each shelf.

Step 3: Attach Shelves

As I mentioned above, the purpose of your pocket holes is to connect your pieces (shelves to the frame). You’ll want to align the wood boards that are to be joined and drive a pocket screw at an angle into the pocket hole. This will securely attach your pieces together.

When you mount your shelves, leave about a 1 gap at end of each shelf. This extra space will be used for the end trim pieces. It’s recommended you attach all of the shelves on your front frame before adding and securing the back frame.

Step 4: Measure & Cut End Trim Pieces

It’s now time to measure and cut each of your end trim pieces. As learned in the previous step, your end trim pieces are for filling the gap you left on the edge of each shelf. After cutting your pieces, use your pocket hole screws to attach them through the pocket holes you drilled on the underside of the shelves. Your trim piece should now be attached to the structure. Repeat as necessary.

Step 5: Glue & Nail Back On

The final step will be attaching the back piece of wood to your frame. One recommended material that you can use for the back of the structure is PureBond Plywood. You’ll find it right at The Home Depot and the staff will even cut the piece down to the right size for you.

Once you have your back piece, use finish nails and glue to attach it to the rear of the frame. All of the pieces for your bookcase should now be connected and the configuration should be sturdy

Finishing Touches

You’ve come this far, now it’s time to apply the finishing touches! Begin by filling all of the holes with wood filler and letting it dry. When the wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Be sure to wipe your project clean with a damp cloth. To get the specific look that I’ve used as an example in this article, it’s suggested you use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Building a bookcase can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like. It depends what size, design and materials you prefer to use. The information above should give you a better idea of what building a bookcase entails and demonstrate the steps you’ll need to take to reach your end goal

Kitchen Design Mistakes To Avoid

Designing a kitchen is no easy task. A brand new kitchen takes careful planning, time and money. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of building a beautiful new space, but that shouldn’t stop you from researching all of the necessary details before you move forward.

Homeowners who’ve been in this unfortunate situation dished out some of the biggest kitchen design blunders they’ve experienced as to help you avoid the same errors in the future. Given that any kitchen remodel or build is an investment, it’s critical to know what design mistakes to avoid

1. Forgetting about Functionality

Functionality should be at the forefront of your kitchen design. The kitchen work triangle is definitely something you want to keep in mind as you plan. This triangle is defined as the busiest areas in the kitchen including the sink, stove and refrigerator. You want to make sure these key appliances are in an efficient location that are relevant to one another and not floating off in space.

2. Minimal Counter Space

Not having enough counter space is a huge gripe for anyone who cut corners or didn’t think they needed it. Yes, nice countertops will cost you money, but it’s an important aspect of the overall kitchen design. Having enough space to cook, entertain and place groceries are just a few instances where counter space will be important. More counter space isn’t a feature that’s easy to change or add on, so it’s worth giving it careful thought before you start the installation process.

3. Going at it Alone

You may watch a lot of remodeling and DIY TV shows, but that doesn’t mean you have the required skills or expertise to design and build your own kitchen. Unless you’re an industry professional, it’s not recommended you got at it alone.

Get estimates from multiple kitchen remodeling pros and consult with a kitchen design expert. These meetings may interrupt your schedule, but this preparation time is time well spent. You’ll be less stressed during the construction phase and have less regrets when it’s time to view the finished product.

4. Blowing Your budget

As I previously stated, designing a kitchen is fun because you get a brand new space to decorate and personalize. If you like to spend time in the kitchen and cook, then it’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself. The budget is the most important part of this project because it should guide all your decisions.

You should document and plan out your budget before stepping foot in a store or speaking with a pro. Knowing what you can afford and sticking to your calculated numbers is difficult to do, but it’s an extremely smart move. Otherwise, it can turn into a snowball effect where you slowly start going over budget a bit here and there and before you know it, you’re broke. Be careful, keep calm and stick to the plan

5. Dismissing the Future

Trends and personal preferences have the tendency to throw us off our game and influence us to make decisions based off of what’s hot at the present moment. It’s highly recommended you design with the future in mind and not let yourself be swayed by what you loved years ago.

Oftentimes, homeowners forget to keep in mind that designing a new kitchen is an upgrade. It’s an investment and necessary to keep up with the times so that you can sell your house one day, and hopefully, make some or all of your money back

How To Build A Mantel

The mantel is a decorative framework around the fireplace, and it can include elaborate designs extending to the ceiling. A fireplace mantel is a feature all homeowners either have or typically have a desire to build. It’s a part of the interior design process that’s often fun to decorate and personalize.

Common materials used for the mantel are stone, wood and metals. Homeowners these days aren’t shy about constructing and installing mantels themselves. See why everyone needs a mantel around their fireplace and how to build one yourself.

Why Everyone Needs A Mantel

A fireplace mantel helps create a cozy and sentimental environment in the rooms where family and friends are most likely to gather. It should be worthy of displaying your most cherished items given that it’s the focal point of every fireplace.

It’s an aspect of your home that you’re encouraged to make your own and showcase your family photos, art and accessories. It’s easy to get overwhelmed deciding how you want your mantel to look, but take one step at a time. The most important aspect is making sure the mantel you choose to build meshes with the rest of your house.

According to Ask The Builder, “You also need to decide if the fireplace mantel will be just the horizontal shelf above the actual fireplace or will be part of a fireplace surround.” In the following example, I’m going to walk through how to build a standard lumber and crown molding mantel shelf. This simple, yet sophisticated, mantel will be a helpful guide when you start building your project.

Tools & Materials Needed to Build A Mantel


  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Paintbrush
  • Crown Molding
  • Trim
  • 24 Board (or material you select)

Material options:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Limestone
  • Fieldstone
  • Ledgestone
  • Concrete
  • Brick
  • Plaster
  • Slab Material

Instructions for Building A Mantel

Building your own mantel is cheaper than having one professionally installed, however, if you’re going to DIY, be prepared to do some heavy lifting. As outlined above, there are many different designs and materials to choose from. I’m going to keep it simple and focus on those of you who are looking to add a little style to your fireplace, but not looking to break the bank, or any body parts

Step 1: Mark your Location

As with any home improvement project, you’ll want to document precise measurements for the space you’ll be filling and the pieces you’ll be cutting. Measure the width of the fireplace to locate and mark the center point. Next, measure how tall you want your mantel to sit. Mantles are usually 60 off the floor (DIY Network).

Step 2: Cut the Pieces

Now it’s time to cut your pieces. The items you need to cut will depend on if you’re building a shelf only or a shelf and surround. If you’re building more than just the shelf piece, then also cut the breast, legs, returns and nailing strips to size.

Step 3: Attach Shelf & Assemble the Mantel

To assemble a single shelf, DIY Network offers up some technical pointers. Start by positioning the mantel brace on the line at the center point. Use a level to make sure the brace is perfectly horizontal. Mark and predrill holes to line up with the mortar joints. Attach the brace to the wall using 10 masonry screws.

Cut a breastplate from a 112 board to fit around the brace. Notch out a 3-1/3 opening on the breastplate to accept the mantel brace. Predrill holes near the top of the breastplate and then fasten it to the wall with 2-inch masonry screws.

With 45-degree miter cuts at all corners, place and attach the crown molding mantel to the brace and breastplate with 1 finish nails.

Cut a bottom cap to fit tight to the bottom of the crown molding to give the mantle a solid appearance. Secure with 1 finish nails.

Step 4: Cut & Add the Trim

The trim consists of the decorative pieces that’ll attach to the outside of your frame. Add any additional decorative trim of your choosing to the fireplace mantel. If you’re adding a lot of decorative trim and crown molding, see the detailed trim installation steps on This Old House. Putty all nail holes and allow to dry

Step 5: Apply Paint

Sand the entire mantel until it’s smooth. Coat the wood in a coat or two of primer and then paint the mantel with the color of your choice!


With the right design, tools and materials, building a mantel yourself can be done. Remember that it’s the focal point of the fireplace and deserves proper attention throughout the design and decorating phases. If you’re concerned about how much you want to do yourself, start small and build from your successes.

Top 5 Small Bathroom Decor Ideas To Steal In

If you’re the owner of a small bathroom, then you know how hard it is to make it look bigger and function better. Getting to your end goal may be a tough challenge, but it’s one I encourage you to attempt.

A new year means new must-have trends and fresh decorating ideas for your home. Don’t stress out, this is all good news! Instead of focusing on the size of your bath, youll be able to enjoy the beauty of it. See 10 small bathroom décor ideas you have to try right away

1. Remove All Clutter

As a homeowner, clutter should be your number one enemy. It creates mess, stress and disorder in the home. If this is something you struggle with, then it’s time to make a change.

Every single thing in your small bath should have a place to live. Unless an item is in use or made to sit on the sink, it shouldn’t be taking up space on the counter. You have countless options for organizing and decluttering including; cabinets above the toilet, shelves, hooks, mirrors with storage and cute baskets. Decorating a small bath is a tough job. Don’t make it harder on yourself by refusing to get organized.

2. Add Natural Light

Natural light is a decorating tool that’s not only able to transform a room from drab to fab, but it’s also a free resource (once you’ve got the window in place)! Installing new windows is one way to open up your space and it’s a design upgrade worth the investment.

Many homeowners are opting to add a small, foggy window in their showers to draw in more light, or installing windows to fill bare walls. If you have a small budget then this may not be as practical of an option for you. Don’t worry, there are other tricks that’ll give you a similar result, which I’ll touch on in this article.

3. Be Choosy of Colors

Regardless of budget, a new paint job is a project we can all do. Whether you make it a DIY project or you hire a pro, it’s a task you should put at the top of your small bath decorating list.

Bright white, gray and leafy green paint are excellent choices for a tiny space. Your bathroom will appear more cheerful and look bigger with these hues. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of darker colors, then consider approaching your interior design with paint that creates a dramatic effect

4. Paint a Floral Mural

Paint not only comes in different colors, but also in various patterns and designs. I love the idea of adding an elegant stencil to your walls. Be daring and see how painting a floral mural brings new life to your bath.

If painting wall stencils isn’t your forte, then reach out and find a professional who can. You’ll not only be adding beauty to your bathroom, but you’ll be incorporating your own personal touch

5. Use Accents

The use of color or décor accents is a detail that’s often overlooked. Taking the time to carefully consider accent pieces and placement will have a great impact on the look of your bathroom.

For example, the bathroom pictured above is all about the accents. When you look at this bathroom, the first thing you probably think is how beautiful the décor flows, and not the size.


Small bathrooms are not going away. They’ll always exist and most of us will find ourselves dealing with how to make them look bigger and better at some point in our lives. Don’t let the size of your bathroom stop you from making your space look fabulous. All you have to do is recognize the potential.