When most people decide they want a new bookcase, they head to their local Ikea or other favorite store to pick up a basic set of shelves. But husband-and-wife team Jessica and Sinclair Breen, from Brisbane, Australia, are not about keeping it simple. In fact, they had a wish of creating a library in their eventual dream home and building a bookcase that looked as compelling as the books it held.
According to Jessica Breen, the inspiration for their massive wall of books came from a design they saw on the internet a long time ago.
“About 10 years ago, I came across an image that I thought would be perfect in my dream house,” Jessica told Simplemost. “So when we were finally in a position to build our house, we had a ‘library’ section added to the plans with a wall large enough to build this bookcase which should make a large impact. We’re always inspired by designs that are unique and creative.”
This bookshelf wasn’t just about going big with size; it was all about making a functional piece of art with a major wow factor!
Sinclair (a home builder by trade) and Jessica worked together to build the individual boxes that would be arranged into an incredible bookcase. In this Facebook post, you can see Sinclair crafting the boxes, one by one:
As they started laying out the project, though, they quickly discovered a problem: The weight of all these boxes would be a strain on their wall!
So, they decided to build the whole thing on the ground on a “fake” wall that would then be mounted to the actual wall behind it. You can see how Jessica did it in the Facebook photo below.
Of course, that caused its own set of logistical problems.
“The biggest challenge was how we were going to secure the weight of the fake wall and the boxes to a preexisting wall with the average amount of timber studs inside,” Jessica said. “Because the boxes and the fake wall consume the entire space, the weight is spaced out evenly which has helped the whole bookshelf be quite steady and secure over the last couple of years.”
In this photo posted to Facebook, Sinclair is seen carefully affixing the boxes to the wall:
The entire project took 16 hours to build, but it has given the family years of enjoyment, so far.
The children’s books are low to the ground and within easy reach of little hands, while mom and dad’s books are tucked away safely on the upper shelves.
After they completed their labor of love, the couple posted photos of the amazing finished product on social media.
The pair was stunned at the enthusiastic reception that their bookcase received from people all over the internet.
“We were absolutely dumbfounded at the response our bookshelf got!” said Jessica. “I posted it with some Kmart furniture to a Kmart Facebook group, and within five minutes we had 10,000 people comment and like it, with people sharing how much they loved the bookcase. The picture just took off and now it’s unstoppable! The couple of months that followed were pretty amazing to see the shares, but now it’s started the rounds again being a couple of years later, is totally astounding!”