Home » Office Library Mid-Century Modern DIY for 2017

Office Library Mid-Century Modern DIY for 2017

What is the point of having two separate areas of books in one small house, one set of bookshelves in the office (appropriate location) and the other set in the dining room (less appropriate place)? That is the question driving one of our top projects planned for 2017: creating one full wall unit of books that will include a desk in the office.


So why would we have two bookshelf areas in one small house? Let’s rewind to two years ago when we were setting up said house.

Daniel was very adamant about feeling surrounded by his books. He’s a gamer, both on computer and game console, so when he’s playing on his computer, or reading or napping on a comfy couch, he wants to be surrounded by his books. We decided that we would create an office out of an upstairs bedroom where Daniel’s desktop and our old couch from the apartment would be, so that meant books had to go up there.

However, I am usually a fan of showing off the books you have and I wanted a full wall of bookshelves downstairs. Due to us deciding to save money and not buy new shelving, that meant keeping our existing Ikea bookshelves. Due to the cozy nature of each room in our cozy cottage, we couldn’t place all of these bookshelves in a single room and still have space for other furniture. Since there was no room for these bookshelves in the living room, we ended up creating a sitting area in the dining room to show off books and trinkets on the shelves.

Which leads us to where we are now. We both got a little bit of what we wanted: him surrounded by his books in a comfy reading space and gaming area in the upstairs office, and me with books visible to anyone who comes through the house downstairs.

The problem is, I don’t think this arrangement makes sense. I think I was right in that all the books should be together. And now that we’ve had a couple of years in our house and have a much better understanding of how we use each room and where we naturally gravitate to in the house, I think he was right in that the books should be upstairs in the office. As a bonus, once we remove the bulky shelving units from the dining room, that will help us reconfigure the space downstairs at some point in the future. More to come on that, I hope, next year.

One of many ways this office gets used. What you don’t see is the desktop computer being used as a TV as I work and Molly naps.

The solution is to have a wall unit in the guest room in the place of the current shelving and desk that is large enough to hold all of our books (we may have to do some culling there), as well as office files, desk supplies and a desktop computer. I believe we have the wall space for it, as long as we maximize the space from wall to wall, ceiling to floor.

We both gravitate to natural materials and a vintage look, especially Mid-Century Modern design, as I mentioned in a previous post on decor feels. So, I got to looking and, frankly, considering price points, dreaming of potential wall units.

But we don’t have nor would we want to spend thousands of dollars – that’s right, real Mid-Century Modern is expensive! – on shelving. I started looking into other options, even more customizable options, that could work for the space and what we want out of it, such as these:

But these just aren’t our style. So then it came down to the fact that we don’t have the money for what we want and we need something specific so perhaps we should just DIY it. And that’s what we’re looking at doing. I found a DIY by designer Dabito on his blog Old Brand New that captures the Mid-Century Modern look with materials from Home Depot.

I have since found many DIYs that are inspired by Dabito. Knowing that we can DIY something in our aesthetic and customize it so it fits exactly what we need and not spend an arm and a leg makes me happy. I hope we are able to successfully do this DIY and have one, comprehensive library in our office.

What do you think of this plan? Any feedback, ideas or solutions you want to share? Also, if you want to see more of my thought process on the office, check out my Pinterest board.