Hyllis Ikea Hack – DIY…

I wanted to make a tutorial in english, due to traffic from Apartment Therapy after this Ikea hack appeared there.

What we really wanted was to make a sort of build-in industrial shelving unit.
A bit Pottery Barn-ish and maybe with a dash of Restoration Hardware.

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…so my solution was to buy the Hyllis units from Ikea.  Super cheap, industrial looking for sure, but not very sturdy…

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…for this purpose we used four units.  In order to get the shelves just as we wanted, we deceided to turn each shelf upside down and flip the actual shelves.  That we had them just as we had invisioned them…

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…turning them upside might seem strange, but that was the best way to get them to fit…

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…my husband then took each and every unit and cut them to the right length.  We were hopeing to cut each one into two parts and use both, but since they are very inexpensive and we wanted it just right – four units was the only way to go…

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…after reassembling them the next step was to spraypaint them with a primer…

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…using Metal Primer from Montana…

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…then some Black matt spraypaint – also Montana…

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…and as you can see this took a while…

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…then after a coat of clear finishing spray we hauled all shelves into the house and tried them to see how they fit the best…

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…the wall is 4m, and the space we had to fit the wooden boards was 27cm…

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…we made marks in the wood boards in order to see where to cut, and then it was off to the “cutting board”…

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…I treated the wooden boards with wood stain, a mixed together antique oak and teak…

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…when placing the top boards we deceided to have them a bit wider – to get a more polished look…

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…and the end result came so close to what I had already “seen” in my head…

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…when we were getting everthing in the right place the poor shelfs took some beating…

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…so I simply sprayed some paint into the box and painted in were needed..

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…easy solution…

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…and it was a good fit, even the electricity outlets fit perfectly…

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…and then for the fun part – styling…

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…since part of the shelves are hidden behind the couch it was perfect to store magazines and such items…

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…and this is the final results:

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…and we could not be happier….

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…and our son seems to approve 😉 …

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…and it sort of finshes the room of perfectly and created the right ambience…

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…just the wibe I wanted…

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…gives the room plenty of character and personality..

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…dont you agree?

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…So please feel free to leave questions and I´ll do my best to answer them.
Also english is not my first language so please excuse all grammatical errors…

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Thanks so much  ❤

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Aha!

1-Starred Photos22

Updated with photos of the new sofa, Stocksund from Ikea as well 🙂

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132 comments for “Hyllis Ikea Hack – DIY…

  1. 11.11.2014 at 03:58

    This is wonderful. You did a very good job, with the project and translation. Thank you!

    • Carin
      23.07.2015 at 14:41

      Awesome! You gave me a lot of inspriration…
      I will not copy your idea, but you helped me getting back on track & reset my thoughts after a period of refurbishment that never seemed to end.
      Thank you for sharing!

  2. Melissa
    12.11.2014 at 13:04

    This is gorgeous! One of my favorite hacks of all time. Your tutorial is really good too – good photos and descriptions. Enough information to be able to make this myself, without it being too detailed and overwhelmingly long. Thanks for sharing – it is an inspiration.

  3. mARIANNE
    12.11.2014 at 13:27

    Hi! Could you explain more about the shelves upside down? I don’t see it in the picture.
    Beautifull by the way!!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      12.11.2014 at 13:41

      Thanks Marianne, I´ll do my best 🙂

      You see there are holes for the screws at the bottom and at the top. It we had used them the normal way, the bottom shelf would have been at least 10cm from the floor. But by flipping them over, up side down, we used the predrilled holes and could place the bottom shelf just 3-4 cm from the floor.

      That suited us much better! Hope this makes sense.

      • Marianne
        18.11.2014 at 00:10

        I still don’t get it. But will have a good look. Thanks anyway 😉

        • Anonymous
          25.12.2014 at 01:58

          It is the uprights that are used upside down, not the shelves

      • Nathalie
        26.09.2015 at 23:21

        Thank you so much for your tutorial and this magnifique idea !!! I have do my best to do the same in my place … it’s no as good but I love it anyway !!! One more time thank you, your idea have cross until France … ( sorry for my english !)

  4. Lisa
    12.11.2014 at 14:52

    This looks great!! Love it!
    Is the top board fixed to the shelf?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      12.11.2014 at 15:10

      That was the plan, but in the end there was no need to. The planks sit perfectly still and dont pudge at all. But the two top boards have been fastened together 🙂

      • Nicole
        06.02.2015 at 15:55

        Hi there!

        How have the two top boards been fastened together? I like that you can’t see it (sleek!) but not sure how to make it happen.

        Thanks!

        • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
          06.02.2015 at 23:47

          Hi Nicole,

          Yes the are fastened together from underneath. It was safer that way. We just used a small metal bracket with two predrilled holes 🙂

  5. Shay
    13.11.2014 at 00:45

    Wonderful! I think you did a great job with your translation too. It was very easy to understand. I have been looking for something like this that was affordable. I may just try it. I like the taller shelves and I have high ceilings, so I could use the shelves without cutting them down. Do you know what type of wood you used?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      13.11.2014 at 07:49

      Thanks so much Shay 🙂 The wood is just basic pine planks, very affordable! I think the taller version could look wonderful as well – please share a picture if you go through with them 🙂

  6. Marcia
    13.11.2014 at 07:25

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I love the Pottery Barn Griffin media console but could never justify that $1100 price tag. This hack will get the same look for a fraction of the price. I really love it. I think your idea will soon be showing up in homes across the world.

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      13.11.2014 at 07:50

      Thanks Marcia! 🙂

  7. Kun
    13.11.2014 at 09:43

    Such a great unit! Wondering what width was the wood planks you used? Was it pre cut or did you had them cut to certain width?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      13.11.2014 at 09:48

      We found planks at two different widths that together fit perfectly in between. However when we came home we discovered that we had gotten the wrong width. So we had to cut one of the planks down the entire length.

      But finding the right width is preferable 🙂

  8. Jeanna
    16.11.2014 at 20:10

    It looks wonderful! It was a cost effective solution, and it looks great in your space 🙂

  9. TJ
    18.11.2014 at 02:40

    can you please tell us how you cut the shelves and what the dimensions ended up being for each shelving unit?

    • Carla
      05.02.2015 at 06:19

      Please can you tell how you cut the vertical bars?

      • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
        06.02.2015 at 23:48

        Not quite sure what you mean, we just used a handheld metal saw for what needed to be cut!

  10. Marina
    18.11.2014 at 09:24

    First off all Soffia, CONGRATS!! it’s really nice, and super effective!! I’m so excited to start doing mine, and the week simply seems endless : i can’t wait for the week end to start….
    I’ll do mine in white, but i love the color of the wood, is exactly the result i a searching for. A bit grey, like real aged outside wood.
    Could you please be more specific about the mix you did? You mixed two products, 50% Antique oak, and 50% Teak?

    Thank you so much for your advises Soffia!

  11. 02.12.2014 at 02:32

    This is so creative and beautiful. Great job!

  12. Dave
    09.12.2014 at 19:56

    Great idea, soon one in the netherlands! 😉
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Dottie Smith
      03.07.2016 at 21:31

      The finished product is outstanding. Absolutely beautiful. I would love to try it myself however I feel it mane out of my rage of expertise. Thank you so much for sharing.😐

  13. Manu
    14.12.2014 at 11:42

    Thank you so much for the great idea! We just made a slightly shorter version for our new house in Germany. It looks amazing!!!

  14. Liz
    25.12.2014 at 22:54

    Beautiful! I wish I had room in our small-ish Washington, DC condo to build this…

  15. Toni Allan
    26.12.2014 at 22:24

    A fantastic piece of work for such a beautiful room!

  16. Mia
    27.12.2014 at 12:56

    Great work! Where did you get that fantastic coffee table from?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      27.12.2014 at 16:40

      Gosh – the coffee table is at least 15 years old and was bought at a local store here in Iceland. It got a mini-makeover last year when I painted the bottom half 🙂

      http://www.skreytumhus.is/?p=15815

      • Mia
        28.12.2014 at 12:45

        great work. I love it 😀

  17. Brooke
    28.12.2014 at 13:23

    Thank you so much for making this tutorial in English! This is the best IKEA hack and I am going to try it soon. I love the styling of your room! Great job all around!

  18. 04.01.2015 at 17:34

    This is a brilliant idea and the results are beautiful. If I had somewhere to put this I would make one myself. I love it. Great work.

  19. Leslie
    05.01.2015 at 18:57

    Thanks for the English translation! Two quick questions. How did you cut the metal legs down and what was the final height of the metal shelves after they were cut?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      05.01.2015 at 21:45

      Hi Leslie,

      The legs were simply cut using a metal saw!

  20. Kymee
    06.01.2015 at 07:13

    Hi!
    Could you tell me how you cut the grooves in the bottom and middle shelves to get them to wrap around the legs?
    Thanks! Love this and want to do it, just worried about the cutting of the wood!

  21. Barbara
    07.01.2015 at 22:58

    Hello, since I think you’re the shelving hack expert… maybe you can help me out and give me some suggestions for my soon-to-happen hack.
    I want to use for white DVD holders http://www.ikeahackers.net/2014/03/lerberg%C2%B2-industrial-sideboard.html#K5VllLq8iSTEEWzU.32 to copy your layout, all white though. Anything I need to look out for to make sure it doesn’t all collapse on me? I would love to keep the drillink to the minimum as I’m not very handy.
    Any helpful advice for a newbie?
    Tnx!!

  22. Nicole Smit
    08.01.2015 at 15:09

    I love it! your living room looks great! I miss european living. Beautiful tall walls with big windows.

  23. gail
    18.01.2015 at 02:49

    Can you tell me what the finished height ended up being? Thanks! gail

  24. Melissa L.
    20.01.2015 at 17:21

    Cam over from Apartment Therapy…beautiful shelves and beautiful room! And so kind of you to provide the (very good by the way!) English translation. Thank you!

  25. Nina
    30.01.2015 at 16:47

    Hi
    The spare between the top and second shelf appear to be a bit smaller than it would be, if you used the predrilled holes – did you drill other holes, or is it just me? If so, how did you do that? 🙂

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      02.02.2015 at 21:07

      Hi Nina,

      we just used the predrilled holes. However the unit is turned upside down and then we put the shelves in. It made more sense in regards to the botton shelf for us, to do it that way. Hope this helps 🙂

      Soffia

      • Janie
        18.05.2015 at 07:18

        Absolutely love this, fabulous job!
        Question, instead of taking it all apart and turning it over, couldn’t you just cut down (height of the unit) from the bottom of each shelving unit?
        Thanks for the inspiration!

        • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
          18.05.2015 at 08:34

          Thanks so much Janie!

          As it happens the pre-made holes on the barckets fit better for us after flipping it over. It all just depends on how you wanna use them 🙂

  26. 17.02.2015 at 23:22

    The shelves look amazing, Ive been looking for a solution to not enough shelving in my very small apartment with a long hall and I think this is a wonderful solution!! Thank you so much.

    Leticia

  27. NIa
    25.02.2015 at 20:17

    How did you cut the notches in the plywood?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      25.02.2015 at 20:40

      With a small tablesaw!

  28. Alex
    28.02.2015 at 13:12

    Hi Soffia,
    This Hack is amazing – gorgeous bookshelves & great easy to follow directions. I’m planning to create in the living room of our new house! Thanks for your ingenuity 🙂

  29. les
    08.03.2015 at 01:52

    this is hardly an ikea hack — this is simply amazing! excellent work and fantastic translation!

  30. chanie
    10.03.2015 at 10:35

    Hi –
    This is beautiful. I am considering doing something similar with the ikea fjalkinge (also metal, taller, and white).
    How much space did you leave between each unit? I’m wondering if it is sturdy enough to leave enough space to make one of the in between spots a desk, if you put the wood boards at the right height.
    Thanks!

  31. annvdj@hotmail.Com
    13.03.2015 at 10:15

    Terrrrrrrrific, great idea, fabulous, magnifique … and your explanations are just perfect 🙂 !

  32. June
    24.03.2015 at 08:24

    Both your finished product and tutorial are amazing. Many thanks for sharing.
    Someone mentioned Pottery Barn and yours looks far better. I like how it could fit any size room.

  33. shayna
    26.03.2015 at 00:39

    Oh my god I love this. I wanted one like this and it’s over $ 2000 CND. At the ikea in canada, they don’t carry this particular shelf. Do u know I’d it would work with another one similar? I hope so. I really want to make it. My husband anf I are NOT handy but it looks simple.
    I’m not sure how you turned it upside down. I looked at the original picture then yours and all I could awe was that you shortened the shelf. Am I missing something? Lol

    Great work!

  34. Enrique
    03.04.2015 at 20:18

    Awesome!! I will do one for my house!
    Could you explain me in detail how did you treated the wooden boards? The colour is wonderful!.

    Thank you very much!

  35. 10.04.2015 at 06:12

    You are genius!

    What did he use to get a smooth cut on the metal?

    Please stop by storybook-cottage for fun nonsense and a few of my DIY ideas when you have a chance.

  36. Suzana
    19.04.2015 at 09:30

    I simply LOVE this and this is my next project. Thank you for sherring and once Im finished your shelfs wee be C/P in Croatia, Zagreb!

  37. Jenny
    10.05.2015 at 12:53

    Very beautiful! I am going to do it. Can you tell me why do you need to spray the shelves into rusty color before the black spray? Also, what is the product name for the last layer of spray (clear) you used?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      10.05.2015 at 22:08

      The rusty color was a primer, to help the black spray paint to stick to the metal. The last layer was just clear varnish, a sealer 🙂 It was from Montana!

      Hope this helps!

      • Jenny
        11.05.2015 at 02:11

        Thank you! I have already got the shelves. So exciting 🙂

  38. Jenny
    21.05.2015 at 16:21

    May I know what type of wood you are using there? Thanks!

  39. Tracy
    28.05.2015 at 11:41

    You ‘saw this in your head’. Wow. I wish my head was like that. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your hack and excellent instructions when you could have kept it all to yourself!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      28.05.2015 at 23:34

      Thanks Tracy 🙂

  40. SHANA
    22.06.2015 at 20:38

    I was wondering what height you cut the uprights? 30″ (76CM) High?

    • Joël
      20.08.2016 at 13:56

      Hi! This is so nice! I have a question, how big is the space between the shelves?

  41. Allison
    29.06.2015 at 01:30

    Great idea! Please can you tell me the brand name of the 50% antique oak and 50% teak stain that you used?

  42. brandy kmiec
    03.07.2015 at 17:01

    Hard to tell by picture, but do you feel these would be sturdy enough for a TV media stand in kid’s area?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      10.07.2015 at 23:05

      hmmmmmm……not sure. But if its fastened to the wall then it should be ok 🙂

  43. kristie
    09.07.2015 at 15:55

    I’m in the middle of this and can’t seem to drill holes in the metal to put the top shelf on, any suggestions?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      10.07.2015 at 23:04

      We did not have to fasten to top shelf because it was lodged in between the walls. But arent there any predrilled holes?

  44. 12.07.2015 at 09:37

    Brilliant!! I just love this post… IKEA has so many wonderful products that can be adapted to fit your own style & budget… great tutorial, explained perfectly. Well done & thank you
    C

  45. Diana
    12.07.2015 at 20:29

    Do you think this would work as a tall shelf in a smaller space for example a closet? All I would end up doing would be adding the wood pieces.

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      12.07.2015 at 22:32

      It should work, sort of depends of what you intend to store in it 🙂

      • Diana
        19.07.2015 at 03:02

        Mainly clothes. Just trying to get rid of all my dressers. So I’m going to try to get 2 shelves and add the wood to it. Hopefully it comes out great.

  46. Emily
    22.07.2015 at 20:13

    Hello! Can you please tell me what the color of the dark Stocksund sofa is? Is it the Nolhaga dark gray? Love love the shelves! I am bookmarking this for when we finally settle down and own our own home!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      23.07.2015 at 00:57

      Hey Emily,

      yes its the dark gray Nolhaga – we love the couch 🙂

      • Emily
        23.07.2015 at 01:36

        I just bought the same one a few days ago! It looks great!

  47. Janne
    16.08.2015 at 15:48

    Hey, can you tell me the height of the shelves when its done? Im thinking of doing it myself, but im not sure if its to high, for what I planned to use it for 🙂
    Thanks! 🙂

  48. Amber
    03.09.2015 at 13:00

    thank you for posting this! We made this for our living room and it looks amazing in the long space. Our favorite things are on it (books, globe, grandmother’s typewriter), baskets of kid toys and our TV. Great tutorial. The only thing we struggled with was the notches but we figured them out. Thanks again from Ohio, US!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      04.09.2015 at 03:12

      Thank you so much – so glad to hear that my hack is making it´s way around the globe ❤

  49. Brittany
    18.09.2015 at 10:57

    Hi, this is absolutely beautiful! How did you secure the top boards to the shelf? Did you simply drill through the wood into the shelf? Thanks!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      18.09.2015 at 11:41

      Hi Brittany,

      we meant to drill down the boards but in the end there was no need. The top boards were fastened securely simply by the walls 🙂 And the lower shelves arent going anywhere!

  50. Berta
    19.09.2015 at 17:45

    Hi,

    I have a question on how you treated wood, if you did not varnish or dye? I’m trying to do it for my livingroom and I don’t know haw to treat the wood!

    Thank you!

    BERTA

  51. Qelly
    03.10.2015 at 10:02

    Hi,

    impressive Idea! 🙂 How high is these shelfs?

    Thank you, Kelly

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      03.10.2015 at 15:50

      Thanks Kelly – the shelves are 80cm 🙂

      • Marlene
        23.06.2016 at 16:25

        Did you drill holes for the top shelf? Using the pre drilled holes our top shelf height is 93.98 cm.

        • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
          23.06.2016 at 18:26

          We did not need to drill any holes, the shelves is complete wedged in between the walls 🙂

  52. marre_m86@hotmail.com
    20.10.2015 at 15:34

    Oh my God I love this diy-shelf! Been looking for something similar but never found anything as simple AND good looking as this one! I needed to do this!

    • marre_m86@hotmail.com
      20.10.2015 at 15:47

      Oh, and could please tell me how high it is? 🙂

  53. Joe
    13.12.2015 at 18:42

    Hi,

    You did a great job with these shelves 🙂

    How much weight do you think they can take, do you think its strong enough to sit on?

  54. Kristien
    09.01.2016 at 19:24

    Your living room is simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing your project! I’ll look at the ikea catalogue with fresh eyes 🙂

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      10.01.2016 at 01:26

      Thank you so much 🙂

  55. Roz
    28.01.2016 at 15:33

    What is the height between the bottom shelf and the next one up? I am wondering if it would work under our windows. Thanks!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      29.01.2016 at 08:57

      You can basically control the height by using the premaid holes or just drill your own 😉 The height of our is aprox 50cm.

      • Roz
        30.01.2016 at 16:54

        Thanks! You did a fantastic job!

  56. Brenda Hamadeh
    20.02.2016 at 21:26

    Incredible…absolutely awesome job…
    I do have a question (not in regards to your super talented work unfortunately) Where did you get your coffee table? or I would not be surprised if you made that also…

    -thank you

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      25.02.2016 at 21:45

      Hey Brenda and thanks for the compliment 🙂 The coffee table was bought back in 99 and I then painted it a few years ago, under heavy Pottery Barn influence 😉

      You can check it out here: http://www.skreytumhus.is/?p=15815

  57. Marili
    29.02.2016 at 04:37

    What brand stain did you use?
    And what size width are the boards?
    Very nice shelves!

  58. Michelle
    15.03.2016 at 02:44

    Hi I have a nine foot wide wall would you suggest I use two or three of the shelves?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      15.03.2016 at 23:31

      I´d say three shelves. But its also a question of taste 🙂

  59. Michelle
    15.03.2016 at 02:45

    To clarify the ikea shelving units thanks!

  60. Michelle
    19.03.2016 at 06:27

    Thank you! I can’t wait to do this project I’m so glad you’d share this! One more question- how wide is the top shelf? I like the more polished look you have. Thx- Michelle

  61. Kristin Smith
    29.03.2016 at 19:32

    I love this! I found this on Pinterest and I would love to make this. Thank you for sharing. I was also equally excited when I realized you are from Iceland. My mother was born and raised in Reykjavik and I still have family there. It’s so rare to happen to come across someone from Iceland accidentally 🙂

  62. Lykke
    03.04.2016 at 13:30

    This is fantastic! We have been thinking and researching for weeks, what we could do with the long wall in our new home. We wanted a cabinet of some sorts there. But everything we found was just, mweh.
    This is great, it’s everything we love and it fits our new home perfectly. Thank you so much for all the pictures and the great explanation! We are definitely going to make this 🙂

  63. Allison
    13.04.2016 at 16:37

    Are these sturdy enough to sit on?

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      14.04.2016 at 23:31

      I wouldnt recommend it !

  64. kmozaffar
    20.04.2016 at 18:44

    This is amazing. But how did you cut the shelves? What tool did you use?

  65. Muriel
    22.04.2016 at 18:54

    Hello,

    I love your shelves and wishing to do the same .
    I saw that article is not recent but I will wish to know the colors of the boards.

    thank you for your reply

    Muriel de France (Bordeaux)

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      22.04.2016 at 23:51

      A wood stain, a mixed together antique oak and teak!

  66. martine
    13.06.2016 at 17:53

    I find it beautiful. Congratulations for the work.

    Martine de Belgique

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      23.06.2016 at 19:03

      Thanks Martine 🙂

  67. Shradha
    21.06.2016 at 03:55

    This is awesome!!! We are in the middle of this project. I’m wondering if you used any top coat like polyurethane? I’ve used the sheen finish before on another project and still found it too shiny, but yours doesn’t seem to look that way. If you could let me know what you used I’d appreciate it!!

    • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
      23.06.2016 at 19:03

      Thanks Shradha, we did not use any top coating. Mostly because Im so impatient and I couldnt wait to start displaying things in it 🙂

      This has not proven to be any problem yet and I wipe of the shelves without any problems!

      • Shradha
        11.07.2016 at 18:17

        Thanks so much for your response! One more question – did you do any sanding of the boards prior to staining them? Our wall is HUGE and I would love to avoid sanding if possible since it is already inside and the beams are extremely long (we ended up getting the exact length to fit the wall which are 18 feet long)!

        Thanks 🙂

        • Soffia - Skreytum Hús...
          12.07.2016 at 02:13

          No sanding, just staining the wood and then decorating 😉

  68. Heidi
    30.06.2016 at 02:16

    Hello! Your room looks amazing, wonderful job with the shelves!

    May I ask were you got your lovely ocean painting you have hung? Or who the artist is? I have been looking for something like this for 6 years and it is BEAUTIFUL!

    Cheers 🙂

  69. 30.06.2016 at 17:32

    Love the shelving! We decided to add it to our list of the Best IKEA Hacks http://www.listsforall.com/best-ikea-hacks/ Keep up the good work!

  70. Delphine Cappronnier
    18.07.2016 at 12:37

    This simply looks amazing! what an amazing job 🙂
    Could I ask you what kind of wood you used?

  71. 12.08.2016 at 18:43

    This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I will try the sequel 🙂

  72. Sherri
    02.10.2016 at 04:11

    Thank you so much for your post, I am currently making this for my
    living room I have a question what size lumber did you use for the lower shelfs and the upper shelf Thickness and width, please,

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