Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Library get a Ladder!

If you can remember back, we showed you our Billy Bookcases all Trimmed out! Well because of the height extensions we put on the cases, it made it very difficult for me to reach the books on the top shelves (even at
5' 9" tall, although all 6' 8" of Lee had no trouble). So I devised a plan, reusing what we already had. I knew I wanted a ladder, but I knew I didn't want to invest a lot of money into a sliding library ladder (since we are moving), so the next best thing would be a leaning ladder.

Meanwhile we had taken down our old Ikea Rexbo shelf that was replaced by the new living room side table.
 We had already taken the shelves off and were using it as a blanket ladder.

We tested if it would hold my weight, it does, easily I might add (thank you bowflex . . . Just kidding :) we decided not to test if it would hold Lee's weight since it probably wouldn't and he doesn't need it anyways.
We filled the holes with drywall filler, Lee had some reason for doing it that way (?), also we didn't have any wood filler around (most of the filler was sanded off once it dried)

attached some L brackets to the back, so that the ladder could rest on the well secured shelf. We also attached L brackets to the bottom step I would be using, for extra stability and support.

and painted it white.

Now I can easily reach my books on the very top shelf.

(Please excuse the pink shorts with flamingos, not my most stylish outfit)

Safety Note: It's not meant to be used as a ladder, I only need the bottom step and Lee re-enforced the bottom step with small metal L brackets, and the shelf that the ladder leans on is also secured to the wall with L brackets to make sure it doesn't flip up and hit me in the head. For what we need it for, it works great. The bottom rung lifts me up the extra 8" I need to reach the top shelf, however I wouldn't be using it if I needed any more then one step :) Safety First, and after Lee's safety upgrades I feel very safe using the ladder.


  1. I LOVE the bookcases! Where did you find those little metal bookend things??

  2. Thanks everyone,
    Lee thought the disclaimer was funny too, you never know :S haha
    as for the flamingo shorts . . . It's really hot here, that's my only excuse
    The Metal Bookends are from Ikea, they are made for the billy bookcase and are $1.99 for 2 here's the link

  3. You and Lee have quite the library! The ladder was a great idea. I think the flamingo shorts are fun!

  4. Hey Ashli

    I love your home library. Great storage idea and also very elegant.

    Your guest post is now on our blog. Let me know if it looks ok. I tried to email you couple times to let you know but for some reason it wouldn't go through. Just wanted to let you know that I posted it. I would like to send you a guest post as well, so please let me know if your email works.


  5. Love the library and the ladder. We added custom bookcases in our living room a few years back to create a library. We had tons of books and no where to store them. We actually now use that room! Love the shorts too!!

  6. Hello! Love love love your bookcase/library unit! So happy I found your blog through Layla @ The Lettered Cottage. We are headed to Ikea today to purchase the Billy bookcases. Thanks for providing the inspiration!

  7. Thanks so much Mary! I'm so glad you found the blog! Have fun at Ikea today, you are brave going on a saturday :) hehe
    Let me know how your bookcase turns out :)
    Thanks again!

  8. Thank you so much for posting the finished product! I like these, and I especially love your lower bookcases with the butted out center.

    I found you because I'm specifically thinking about building the billy bookcases into a 12' wide wall in my house.

    QUESTION: Did you consider adding vertical molding to hide where the bookcases touch side-by-side? I've seen that done elsewhere, and yours look great so I'm wondering if it's unnecessary, or too difficult or what???

  9. EVE,
    We did consider it but because we were only combining a couple of units it didn't seem neccessary, but if I was combining many units I might because the seperation might be more obvious! But in our case I didn't think it was neccessary!!!
    Hope that answered your question

  10. Where is the ladder from?



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