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Today, while I worked late, B was extra productive and finished phase two of the bathroom bookshelf. To explain:

Phase One: Reconfigure an Ikea Billy bookshelf to work over our tub. This included trimming off the last shelf (and then some) to fit our space.

The above image shows the original Billy backing in place, to demonstrate how much B had to cut off of it. We then put the bookshelf in place, and got this:

Oh. See, I had originally wanted the bookshelf to go all the way to ceiling, but once we got it in there, we both agreed that it was too tall. It overtook the entire room. So down it came, and more measuring and cutting ensued, to give us this:

Much better. The added breathing room at the top did wonders for the room (though it kind of looks like we cut a bookshelf off in the photo). Trust us. It works better in person.

Next B had to add the backing. We tossed the original Billy backing because it was, well, cheap. Instead, we took a piece of beadboard, primed and painted it with leftover Behr Paint and Prime in One in semigloss in the regular ol’ white that it came in (we primed first with Olympic Go Green Zero-VOC primer). Then B cut the board to fit the back, and nailed it in. Then the shelf went back into the bathroom, for this:

Ta da! Okay, you might have to full view the picture to get the full effect. It does look much better than the Billy backing. Here are some close ups:

So that takes us all the way through phase two. Phase three is adding framing around the outside of the bookshelf to help it appear more built-in and less like we just threw up a shelf next to the tub. In other words, to help the whole endeavor look legit. We’re pretty sure this is what the people in our inspiration photo did. If you look really closely at the photo, you can see the little dots inside the bookshelf on the sides. Those are for adjusting the shelf height.

Via Pinterest

They just chose to cut the shelf bottom off, instead of us, who chose to cut the top off and keep the bottom for extra stability. Then they framed it, and wah lah! Or at least, that’s what we’re going for.

So after framing it, we’ll prime and paint the whole deal, and then we’ll be done. The rest of tonight B spent anchoring it to studs in the wall, because nobody wants to be chilling in the tub when an earthquake decides to strike and their bookshelf falls on top of them. And ’cause it seems like the proper thing to do. And ’cause Ikea included the hardware to secure it to the wall. You know, for those reasons.

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