I have always loved reading. Like, really loved it. Like, I have an at least 2 books a week habit, sometimes 3 depending. I pretty much always have a book stashed in my glove box, purse, night stand, back pocket, it’s a must for me. My mom always made a point of bringing us to the library when we were kids just like her mom used to bring her.
You know that scene in Beauty in the Beast where Belle discovers the library? There are a gazillion books from floor to ceiling and she goes flying around on the ladder checking them all out. Yeah, that was my dream when I was little, not the marrying the prince part (although the Mr. is pretty great) but having my very own floor to ceiling library where I whipped back and forth on the ladder, it seemed like the best idea ever!
And so I finally have made all my childhood dreams come true (ok well not all of them, I still really want a hover board like Michael J Fox had in Back to the Future, but I’ll keep waiting patiently on that one) and built my very own library complete with sliding ladder. The upstairs hallway seemed like the perfect spot for this, right outside our bedroom door.
Ok, so when I say built, I had a little help from Ikea. I’m sure you all have seen Billy Bookcase hacks before on Pinterest. I’ve always wanted to try it and I was scared, but it really is as easy as it looks. Our ceilings are 9 ft tall so I grabbed 2 of the original Billy bookcases and 4 of the extensions packs. I stacked them all on top of each other securing them to each other AND studs in the wall. Then I just trimmed them out with inexpensive trim and my trusty nail gun to give them that built in look. That was the easy part.
Next came the ladder…
I happened upon this amazing beat up old ladder at an antique store I hit up sometimes (Duvals Antiques in Hastings, MI for you locals) and I was so geeked because the rustic finish was perfect on it. It was a 12 ft ladder so I had to cut it down, but it was love at first sight.
And then this project sat, and sat, and sat some more. I wasn’t quite sure how to make my flying thru the air on a ladder ala Belle dreams come true, but it was going to happen. Enter my blogging bestie Allison over at The Golden Sycamore (go check it out her style is amazing!). She is a fellow Michigander who lives on the east side of the state conveniently close to an Ikea (lucky duck). I regularly make excuses to visit Ikea (because duh) and consequently Allison. We met at Ikea where I proceeded to nearly kill her with my shopping cart (not the first the time sadly) and she helped me load up all my Billy’s. As if this didn’t win her a gold star already, I popped by her house to see her latest projects and sweet kiddos, when I fell in love with the barn door she had just installed in her basement (check it out here). Her husband was nice enough to explain how he hung it all up and a lightbulb went off in my head! I could totally use a barn door sliding thing (technical term) to make my ladder slide.
I hit up our farm and fleet store grabbed the barn door sliding thing, plus wheels for the bottom of my ladder…
and this doohickey hardware that works with the barn door. They are big long screws that screwed down into my ladder, with a little liquid nails thrown in for good measure.
I knew I didn’t quite have the right tools to do this one on my own, so I hit up my Uncle Rick, who is busy building my brother’s new house down the street. He helped me screw the hardware down into my ladder and also cut the barn door sliding thing down to the right size for my bookcase. We screwed it into the ceiling joists with some lag bolts and tada!
My very own Belle moment! I’m still messing around with the styling of the shelves. I truly want this to be a “library” so I have a lot more books on here then I would, say if I was just styling my downstairs builtins. So far, I’ve just used what I have around, but I’m sure it will evolve as time goes on and I accumulate more books….as I always am.
PS – Thank you so much for all the AMAZING comments on my last post, you all must love a Birch Lane throw and I can hardly blame you! With 200 comments I haven’t been able to respond to all of them, but I SO appreciate all your sweet words and the winner of the throw has been emailed. Thanks so much for reading this silly spot of mine on the internet -you have no idea how much you all brighten my day!