Let me be frank, I do not like buying furniture from Ikea. That doesn’t mean I don’t LIKE Ikea furniture, I do. It’s just that I don’t like having the exact same furniture as 2.5 million other people. So imagine my dilemma when I am given a $600 budget to design an entire library! We all think that Ikea prices are pretty great, so off to Ikea I go!
But here’s the thing. During my latest Ikea adventure, I discovered that it isn’t actually that cheap! The two items I was keeping an eye out for were bookshelves and a long bench seat. Let’s start with the bookshelves. I essentially need to fill every vacant wall space with bookshelves, as the Wellness Library already has A LOT of books! I am starting with the small wall beside the door. This wall measures 47 inches wide x 73 inches tall. Here were a few options I found at Ikea:
1. Expedit Bookshelf
The trusty Expedit bookshelf is $59.99. Like most people I own an Expedit 4×4 bookcase, and although it looks good, it is so ridiculously heavy as it are made out of particleboard. For those who don’t know, particle board is engineered wood made up of woodchips and wood shavings. The sheer weight of particleboard is never appealing to me. Although this option is quite cheap, I would need 3 of these to fill the space, which already takes me to $180.00. This is not going to work.
2. The Ivar Pine Collection
The Ivar collection is made of solid pine which means it is lighter and can be stained to the colour you like. This appealed to me as I would like a dark, rich colour for the library. The 5-shelf bookcase you see in the center of the picture comes to $92.00, which is fairly expensive for an unfinished bookshelf. Not to mention there is nothing decorative or unique about these shelves.
3. The Hemnes Bookcase
The Hemnes Bookcase is $149.00 and is made of solid pine that has been stained. This means it won’t be as heavy as particle board which is a win. I think this is the best value for money when it comes to Ikea options, as it is decorative and finished.
Now, let’s look at the alternative – making shelves yourself. I went to my local hardware store to see if I could figure out a cheaper way to get this done.
Upon arrival at the hardware store, I met a lovely man named Dave in the lumber department. I explained what I needed, gave him the measurements and my price restrictions. He then gave me an estimate on the cost for 5 wooden shelves which would fill the wall space by the door. It was too good to refuse, so I went ahead and sealed the deal!
This is what I bought:
The grand total came to: $82.00!!
This was the finished product:
So now we have the answer! If you are willing to put some time and effort into building the shelves yourself, it is clearly cheaper than buying a ready-built shelf.
On the downside, it is rather time-consuming, but the upside is you can design the shelves to fit your space exactly. And the personal satisfaction is totally worth it!