If you like the look of built-in bookcases, but not the look of the bill from the contractor who installs them, you can build them yourself with some basic carpentry skills and some modified pre-made cabinets.
Instructables user CarlS wanted the look of custom built-in bookcases without the huge expense that usually comes with getting custom work done. By using pre-built cabinet bases, topped with simple pre-drilled melamine boards designed for shelving, he was able to build a huge built-in bookcase inexpensively and perfectly fit for the long wall he wanted to dress up.
Check out the tutorial at the link below to see how he turned pre-fab materials into a built-in with a very polished look. If you have any experience with built-ins or using basic materials to make things that look professionally crafted, let's hear about it in the comments.
Built-In Bookcases [Instructables]