| by Kenneth Chase | 100 comments

How to make a temporary room divider with IKEA Billy bookcases to create a home office

– Hi I’m Isabelle and welcome
back to Engineer Your Space. Today I’m gonna share with
you how I made a temporary dividing wall to separate my home office from my living room. So let’s get started. (funky music) I really do love my office
and it’s a great place to work from home. But the one thing that I
was missing was storage, and I also didn’t like
the fact that it was completely open to my living room. So my solution for this
was to use Billy Bookcases as storage, but also as a base to hold some shelves that complete
the visual separation from the living room, but
without closing in my office. The first part of the project
was to join the two bookcases by first attaching them together
with screws at the front. For the back, I covered it
with quarter inch plywood. I needed a piece that was
63 inches by 41 inches. I had the four by eight sheet
cut at the hardware store, and had the piece cut in half so that it would fit in my car. It’s easier to screw the plywood in place with the bookcases lying on the floor. And you will want to
countersink all your screw heads so that the back surface is smooth. I attached a one by three
board between the bookcases and the plywood, plus with
the bottom of the back of the bookcases. This board
makes the base more stable and it gives a place to screw
in the bottom of the plywood. Next I prime the surface. And you could fill in the
holes of the screw heads with wood filler before doing
this, and that would give you a more even surface. I decided to go with a beautiful
textured metallic wallpaper to cover the plywood. It’s the perfect thing to
cover up any imperfections and the joint in the plywood. Because I didn’t overlap the
wallpaper enough at the seams, when it dried, it shrunk a
little bit and I ended up with a white line. So for a quick fix, I ended
up using some eye shadow that I had that matched
the color of the wallpaper. And I simply brushed it on and then wiped it off with my fingers. Now one last thing that I
wanted to do to the base, was to make a hole in one of the sides. And that’s so I would be able
to put in an extension cord to plug in things like my printer. I used tape to cover the
sides of the bookcase to mark the location of the shelf, the back panel, and the center of where
I want my hole to be. And then I used an inch
and a half hole saw bit to make the hole. The tape helps protect the
finish for a smoother edge, and all that’s needed is a light sanding to take out the rough spots. The next part of the
project was to make the top, and I made mine using
one by fours that I had cut at the hardware store. It’s very important to measure
and have your cross pieces cut carefully because you want
the top to be able to slide over the base smoothly,
but without leaving too much of a gap. I painted all the wood and then
using a combination square, I marked the location
of the shelves across all of the vertical boards. It just makes it easier
to line everything up. I used a corner clamp to hold the boards, and drilled pilot holes and screwed the pieces together,
countersinking the screws. Next I attached the
crosspieces the same way, and I covered up all the
screw heads with wood filler, let that dry and sanded it down before touching it up with paint. I also made a hole in the
side of the top to match the hole in the bookcase
for the extension cord. Next it was just a matter of
sliding the top over the base, and my furry helper here
wasn’t actually very helpful, but she’s pretty cute so
I think I’ll keep her. I left an overhang of half
an inch and screwed the top to the base and covered the
rest of the sides and the top of the bookcase with a one by
six and another one by four. I also added a one by one on
the bottom of the wallpaper side of the dividing wall,
just to complete the frame. And that’s it, the dividing wall is done. Now it’s really just a matter
of dressing up the shelves with some accessories. I used a piece of
driftwood that I had found at the beach to fill
in the middle section. And I did that by drilling
holes in the branches, and using wire and eye screws
to secure it to the top. I also made a double-sided
picture frame by removing the flaps from two
frames, adding some Velcro, and then stapling a wood stick
with a small hole for hanging The Velcro makes it really easy to attach the frames together and take them apart for changing out the pictures. And then you simply hang the
whole thing from a small hook. Having this dividing wall has
made such a huge difference. Now I have tons of storage
in my office that’s completely hidden from
the rest of the apartment. And my office truly feels
like a separate room, but without feeling closed in. The dividing wall is really
stable with all the heavy things that I’ve put in my bookcases. But you could also use
brackets to attach it to the wall for extra support. Well that’s it for today’s episode. If you want to watch how
I use Billy Bookcases to create an entryway in
my New York apartment, you can click on this video here. And if you wanna watch
part one and part two of my home office projects, you
can click on these videos here. And don’t forget to
subscribe to my channel so that you don’t miss any
of my upcoming episodes. You can also visit EngineerYourSpace.com for more information on
this project and other DIY tips and inspirations. See ya next time. (funky music)


Mikey Stojsic

Mar 3, 2016, 3:49 am Reply

why are you green screened into the office?

Sandra Sanchez-Rolon

Mar 3, 2016, 1:20 am Reply

this is awesome….

Geefe Alba

Apr 4, 2016, 5:19 pm Reply

Wow! that was great!


Apr 4, 2016, 4:23 am Reply

Amazing! ???


Apr 4, 2016, 4:29 am Reply

Amazing, so clever! Love the metallic wallpaper you chose.

Lưu Huy

May 5, 2016, 1:35 am Reply

that's fantastics 🙂

Alatina A

May 5, 2016, 5:30 am Reply

Wow, exactly what I needed, great work

b rett

May 5, 2016, 5:03 pm Reply

I just found this channel and it's safe to say you found a new subscriber ?? amazing job

Paula Caddo

May 5, 2016, 5:30 pm Reply

Well done!

Rachell M L.

May 5, 2016, 5:46 pm Reply

so good well I love all your ideas

Joshua Carter

Jun 6, 2016, 9:39 am Reply

May I ask where you got the wall paper??? I love it!


Jun 6, 2016, 10:59 am Reply

what is the name of that circular drill thing she used at 2:11 ???? I have tried to ask for something like that at home depot and the sales people don't know what I am talking about.

Carolyn Bostic

Jul 7, 2016, 5:03 am Reply

Love the tip on the double-sided photo frame. Loved the rest of it as well.


Jul 7, 2016, 1:08 pm Reply

The floating picture frame is blowing my mind.

Mona E

Aug 8, 2016, 3:14 pm Reply

Very creative using eye shadow!

Lisa Jude

Sep 9, 2016, 4:29 pm Reply

The picture frame idea, great job!! ?


Sep 9, 2016, 6:09 am Reply

love this

style city

Oct 10, 2016, 4:51 pm Reply

i love it. this is awesome i must say

Brea’sBeauty& Beyond

Oct 10, 2016, 9:30 am Reply

I love you and your videos but sometimes when you get started talking about what you need and what you do you talk really fast talking about things I know nothing about and you loose me. I'm a beginner so a little more slower detailed directions will be appreciated


Nov 11, 2016, 8:44 am Reply

you've been watching my videos haven't you!

Onofre L Herrera

Nov 11, 2016, 3:37 pm Reply

Hello,I would like to know do i measure the small shelves before i go to Hardware store. i want to make your small shelves into a small wall unit.

Erakina A

Dec 12, 2016, 2:38 am Reply

wow this was beautiful excellent job ???

Kathleen Baron

Dec 12, 2016, 9:29 pm Reply

This video was really well done. You included the necessary details in a succinct presentation. Way to engineer the video!

Cecília Nagy

Dec 12, 2016, 9:32 pm Reply

Great video, you did an amazing job.

Shahnawaz Alam

Dec 12, 2016, 11:16 am Reply

is it a joke i saw people made their house more beautiful with less space

Banzai Banzai

Jan 1, 2017, 11:14 pm Reply

Wow…just wow!!!! Thks soooo much!!!!

daiki hishinuma

Jan 1, 2017, 3:10 am Reply

Why are you using green screen?


Jan 1, 2017, 9:33 am Reply

Amazing diy!


Jan 1, 2017, 12:46 am Reply



Feb 2, 2017, 8:56 pm Reply

Loved it!


Mar 3, 2017, 11:32 am Reply

Too complicated for the tool-challenged. Great idea, though. Think I'll just get a planter, put a top on it, and a short bookcase on top. Don't know what your cat has to do with it

Blonde Bobbi

Apr 4, 2017, 5:51 am Reply

This is awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Tessa Johnson

Apr 4, 2017, 6:38 am Reply

This isn't even the kind of divider that I needed but I watched the video anyway because it was so beautiful! I wish u would go for a more natural look to your videos though. It felt so much like a commercial

Chante Cooper

Apr 4, 2017, 5:06 am Reply

I just want to say that this channel is amazing ! Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Grooming Lab

May 5, 2017, 3:03 pm Reply

What is the total budget for this project, please?


May 5, 2017, 2:49 am Reply

good job…

Dante Velasquez

May 5, 2017, 7:00 pm Reply

this is fabulous

Grooming Lab

May 5, 2017, 11:23 am Reply

Hi, Isabelle, I just moved into a studio apartment and I came across your video. It gives me a big bust to wanna make my little space more inspiring. I would like to know where to find that gorgeous wall paper you placed over the plywood. I'm trying to look up the material on IKEA to get my project rolling :).


Jun 6, 2017, 1:49 pm Reply

The eye make-up tip is fabulas. I have gotten some really good ideas for my next home. We will moove to a smaller apartment when my son gets a dorm. My daughter allready lives on campus and your ideas has been like a treasurebox as the dorms has to look excatly the same when mooving out (even though some ideas are too good to remove) and gives better value to the dorms.
Thanks for sharing all the great ideas. I can't wait til remodeling our new home using many of your ideas ? the only bad thing is that my son has to moove out – thats the only thing I struggle with. My husband is a joiner (carpenter) and I'm also pretty creative and have both hands screwed on the right way. I sew, plaster walls, put up wallpaper, tiles and can assamble any IKEA furniture, so we are hopeful! ?

lo le

Jun 6, 2017, 6:25 am Reply

This channel is my favourite? you give me inspiration!


Jun 6, 2017, 3:35 am Reply

I love all these videos, but your living seems so impersonal and nomadic. I don't see any type of personal memorabilia. Your entire space is something I would use in an office, but not where I live. I could never live in a staged ikea ad.

Miah Leissa

Jun 6, 2017, 12:51 pm Reply

Wow. You're amazing! lol You have convinced me to go out and buy my very OWN toolbox and screwdriver and attachments! lol I love how you did this and am totally addicted to all your helpful, inspirational videos. Thanks so much. 🙂

Ram Ram

Jun 6, 2017, 7:30 am Reply

you are amazing, i m really excited about your creativity

cris jesús

Jun 6, 2017, 7:51 pm Reply

Remove the desk and on the furniture made add the door that works as a desk.
Up and down the door works as a desk.
This saves more space.
I like your project

People of Palestine

Jul 7, 2017, 10:37 am Reply

I was more excited about the double frame idea than the bookcase divider thingy lol.


Jul 7, 2017, 1:58 pm Reply

Great Job!

Pythia Sibyls

Jul 7, 2017, 7:48 am Reply

Why would you build out from the book cases ND not put the additional shelves on the cases themselves?

Anita Beliovsky

Jul 7, 2017, 4:44 am Reply

your pretty amazing!!


Jul 7, 2017, 4:07 pm Reply

That is an awesome idea!

Eddie Casas

Jul 7, 2017, 9:54 pm Reply

She is a great designer. I truly love her work.

ML Korb-Leung

Jul 7, 2017, 11:45 pm Reply

What a great design to a popular idea !!! Really enjoyed your video. Its not all the time that you see something original. I have just subscribed. Thank you !!


Aug 8, 2017, 2:10 pm Reply

genius fixes!

Trish Fitzpatrick

Oct 10, 2017, 10:11 pm Reply

May offer some humble advice? Slow down your speech just a bit. I had to hear you say "Engineer Your Space" four times before I could understand. Also, shorten your intro. The lead- in montage is okay but you are hoping to have many viewers and many videos. Hearing the music and seeing the pics over and over and over is tedious and unpleasant, changing an up tempo jingle into an annoying infomercial. Otherwise, you have a good thing here. Thanks!

delf ofosuappiah

Oct 10, 2017, 7:25 pm Reply

Give us something to fix a preschool classroom

Diong 5928

Nov 11, 2017, 3:52 am Reply

Fake. All done by other and not yourself.

A. Nony Mous

Nov 11, 2017, 7:31 am Reply

Thank you for the inspiration! This really shows anyone can do this sort of creative home improvement in their own space, even if they don't have a big workshop and a huge cabinet of power tools available.

Nicole K

Dec 12, 2017, 9:48 pm Reply

Thank you so much for this video! It was the perfect guide for my own room divider project.

Efia Sheila’s Journey

Jan 1, 2018, 10:18 pm Reply

I love how the eyeshadow came in handy :).


Jan 1, 2018, 2:27 pm Reply

I just love you! The eye shadow was brilliant! I seear i would have done the same exact thing. Your double sided picture shows how you think outside of the box! One more thing, i swear im not lieing about this but a couple summers ago i was cutting dead branchs off of a tree i have i thought they were so neat that i attached them to my fireplace. (I know this is hard to visualize but i have a double sided fireplace smack in the middle of my living room) it reminds me of jacks bean stalk. Wish i could post a picture. I guess great minds think alike. I love how you explain everything so clearly. You make it all look so easy!

Barbara Gilbreath

Jan 1, 2018, 6:38 pm Reply

I have been doing bookcase room division since downsizing to a one bedroom apartment . I have never liked a tv in the living room but have not had the extra room. My living area is very spacious so i divided the area designated for the dining room with 4 bookcases. On one side are all my books, tv, chairs and even an electric fireplace making for a very cozy room. On opposite side i put my hutch and dining table and chairs. The hutch hides the bookcase back. The table is a dropleaf so does not take much space and i still have plenty of room for living room furniture. I am into country and antiques so my furniture is not big and bulky. Good rule my much traveled Army wife mother taught me – to buy furniture that will fit everywhere you go. I have followed in her footsteps and i too have been a much traveled Army wife and wherever we went the furniture always fit. I even had New England in a Thai house!
I did like your video but i was able to cut down on DIY by buying the whole bookcase

Agustin Leal

Feb 2, 2018, 12:11 pm Reply


Toni Backus

Feb 2, 2018, 5:01 am Reply

You have a lot of tools to begin with. What should be my basics?


Feb 2, 2018, 3:05 am Reply

New subbie ❤ Love your channel!

Marlene Haro

Mar 3, 2018, 2:38 am Reply



Mar 3, 2018, 7:57 pm Reply



Mar 3, 2018, 2:40 am Reply

I wish I found your channel sooner. I LOVE all your ideas. You made it so easy. just subscribed too.

Centennial Rodriguez

Apr 4, 2018, 2:41 pm Reply

You are absolutely genius. This is an incredible, inventive, and affordable way to separate an area — I’ve been looking for something like this for WEEKS on Pinterest to separate my home office in my studio, and I ended up finding this video (and your channel) by chance, looking for small space solutions. I’m subscribed. I’m obsessed. I’m eternally grateful! ????

baljeet ahluwalia

Apr 4, 2018, 6:57 pm Reply



Apr 4, 2018, 2:54 am Reply

What a good job you did!

Leila Ghauri

May 5, 2018, 3:08 pm Reply

Loving the tour!
I moved out too!
I posted an empty apartment tour video 🙂
Check it out and let me know what you think?

Spoiler alert: My place is not as pretty as yours 😛

M Mac

Jun 6, 2018, 12:26 am Reply


Jennifer Garcia

Jun 6, 2018, 7:22 am Reply

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!!! This would not only be a great room divider but also a as shelving behind my sofa and avoid drilling <3

Jennifer Hill

Jul 7, 2018, 8:29 am Reply

I just cant believe it. even down to the eyeshadow

Arun M

Jul 7, 2018, 10:10 am Reply


joe sefa

Jul 7, 2018, 8:17 am Reply

I enjoyed your video and will try it soon????

Charlene Santos

Aug 8, 2018, 4:58 pm Reply

This is a great project that is doable!!! I love your creativity ideas and designs. ?

Im So Favored

Sep 9, 2018, 2:11 pm Reply

excellent job

matt lao

Sep 9, 2018, 4:07 am Reply

This is beautiful

liza las

Sep 9, 2018, 5:23 pm Reply

Very nice ?

Ashlan Kemp

Sep 9, 2018, 4:01 pm Reply

Why are you using a green screen?

Gloria Ortiz

Oct 10, 2018, 9:19 pm Reply

Good idea!!!

green koko

Nov 11, 2018, 10:52 pm Reply

How did you learn about all this wood work?


Nov 11, 2018, 7:59 pm Reply

how do you secure the bookshelf so it doesn't fall over?

Erics Granny

Dec 12, 2018, 12:41 am Reply

Great project!

Gabriel Rojas

Jan 1, 2019, 8:03 am Reply

Amazing project for studios as well!! 🙂

Chanelle Di Marco

Jan 1, 2019, 2:21 am Reply

I am literally obsessed with your videos. You are an utter genius and I've been looking for someone like you for such a long time. Most people are renters and truly want their places to reflect themselves without having to put in money to a property that isn't owned and to not break any lease requirements. Thank you times a million for the content you have released and please please continue to build your channel.

Krystal Bradsher

Jan 1, 2019, 11:47 pm Reply



Jan 1, 2019, 4:01 pm Reply

Great idea. Thanks for the video.

Tammy Fong

Jan 1, 2019, 1:44 pm Reply

this is good

deirdre o halloran

Jan 1, 2019, 1:54 am Reply

Ingenious. I'm so glad I came across your site.

BlueCat Blu

Mar 3, 2019, 2:01 am Reply

Love it! That would even look nice to separate a dining/kitchen. Thank you. This is what I’ve been looking for. ❤️??

Henry Macaluso

Apr 4, 2019, 9:03 pm Reply

►u did a great job!~  Have any DIYer know about DIY SmartDesk Kit from ➨Autonomous?

ItsAllAbout Uranus

May 5, 2019, 2:53 am Reply

U just make it look easy

I to the Iz-S luv

May 5, 2019, 4:34 am Reply

This is so awesome! Go girl ??????

Lulu Berry

May 5, 2019, 6:28 am Reply

What are you going to do with all those tools after building the bookcase?

Virginia Valentin

Jun 6, 2019, 1:42 am Reply

I love this tutorial! Thanks for sharing

A Price

Jun 6, 2019, 3:28 am Reply



Jul 7, 2019, 3:51 pm Reply

This is such a good idea!

sean maxwell

Jul 7, 2019, 11:02 pm Reply

this is fantastic. I have been looking extensively for something like this, great job!

Lori Ann

Aug 8, 2019, 1:57 pm Reply

nice! I love the legs of your desk aka cat scrstching post! clever x

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