Create Built-in Bookshelves

In this article, you’ll find tips on how to create built-in bookcases and shelves, like in this living room:


We love the look of built-in shelves! Framing a fireplace with them is a great way to create a feature wall and gain some extra storage. Here’s how we created this look...

Draw a Fireplace and Chimney Enclosure

  • Start in Walls mode, select Draw Interior Walls and draw the space where the fireplace and chimney will go. This will allow you to add a finish on the chimney enclosure walls.

  • Now, switch to Furniture mode, use the magnifying glass button  to search for Fireplace, and add your favorite to the face of the wall.

    bookshelf with fireplace.jpg

  • If you need to adjust the size of the fireplace to better fit on your wall, click to select the fireplace on your floor plan. You can use the straight blue arrows to size it, or type an exact size in its Properties on the right. 

(Optional) Add a Different Wall Finish to the Feature Walls

In this example, we added a gray and white striped wallpaper to just the walls of the chimney enclosure to create the feature wall.

  • To do this, switch to Walls mode and click the center of the wall you want to add the finish to. You will see that the wall has a Side A and a Side B. Note which side you want to apply the new finish to. In our example, it’s Side A.
  • On the right, click Material Side A or Material Side B (the side on which you are adding your finish).

  • The Select Material page opens. You can browse finishes, or search for the type of wall finish you would like. In our example, we searched on Wallpaper Stripe. Click on one to select it and click Appy. Do this on all three walls of the chimney enclosure.

Add a Wall Color

In this example, we added a gray paint to the surrounding walls, to match the striped wallpaper on the feature wall. Using a complementary color on your surrounding walls helps to highlight your feature wall. To add a wall finish to multiple walls in a room at once:

  • Switch to Materials mode. In this example, we will open the Interior and Exterior Paint category. Select your favorite and drag it onto your floor plan.

  • You will be prompted to specify if you want to add it to the Walls, Floor or Both. Select Walls.  
    Note: The finish is only applied to walls that do not already have a material applied individually. In other words, if you already added a different finish, such as wallpaper, to the fireplace walls, they will remain wallpapered.

Add Bottom Bookcases

When stacking furniture, as we did here with the bookshelves and shelves, always start with the bottom first.

  • Starting with the bookcases, switch to Furniture mode and use the magnifying glass to search for Bookcase:

  • In this example, we have used Ikea Expedit bookcases (type in Bookcase Expedit to find this product). If you want closed storage, search for Cabinet instead.
  • Drag the bookcase onto the floor plan and place it to one side of the fireplace enclosure. Use the curved blue arrow to rotate it so that it is facing the room (the eye should be facing out) and place it against the wall.

    bookshelf place it.jpg

  • To scale the bookcase to extend from wall to wall - click on the bookcase to select it, then on the right, click Best Fit Width. The bookcase will now automatically scale to fit the space.
  • If the walls on either side of your fireplace are close to the same length - click on the bookcase, then click Copy in the top toolbar. Then click Paste and drag the copy of the bookcase to the other side.

  • If the walls are not the same length, you can copy and paste and then use Best Fit Width to adjust the size.

Add Wall Shelves

In this case, we added two shelves on the wall above each bookcase. Start with the lowest set of shelves first. Then repeat the steps to add the next set of shelves above.

  • In Furniture mode, use the magnifying glass button to search for a wall shelf - in this example we have used Ikea Lack shelves (type in Shelf Lack to find the exact product we used).
  • Drag it onto the floor plan and place it on top of the bookcase. Click Best Fit Width to adjust the width to fit the space.
  • Adjust the Height Above Floor of the shelf - we used 1220 mm (48").

  • To add the shelf for the other side - right-click and use the Copy and Paste buttons in the top toolbar. The adjusted height will remain the same.

  • Now, repeat the steps to add the next set of shelves above - we used 1625 mm (64") as the Height Above Floor.

View the Results

  • Take a snapshot to make sure it looks good.

    bookshelf snapshot.jpg

  • Then decorate your shelves with books and accessories for that final touch! In Furniture mode, open the Plants and Accessories category to find a good selection to choose from, or use the magnifying glass button to search for Books or Vase

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