[DIY] Nathan James Theo Bookcase (Walnut) – 9 Simple Steps & Personal Thoughts

theo nutmeg nathan james bookcase 01

[DIY] Theo Ladder Bookcase in Warm Walnut- By Nathan James

We wanted to showcase the Nathan James Theo Bookcase in warm walnut finish with matte black hardware. This is a beautiful piece that we are using to replace an older style bookshelf that was both flimsy and was not as aesthetically pleasing.

We are using the Nathan James Theo Bookcase in a relatively narrow hallway that was painted a medium gray to contrast the otherwise coffee white surroundings. The warm walnut was a great color choice for our needs.

This is an instructional post (with pictures) to walk you through the step-by-step DIY assembly process and then show you how it all looks in the end. We hope you enjoy this brief write up.

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First we have the box and packaging of the Nathan James Theo bookcase. This is a ladder style bookcase, and gives a very rustic almost steam punk look, yet warm and very inviting as a center piece to focus the attention of your visitors. To purchase your own bookcase, please follow the link here. Please note that by clicking the link, you are supporting our site through your purchases, and we do sincerely appreciate the support and hope that we have provided value to you in some way, shape, or form.


Unpack all the contents and make sure you have a complete set. A set should come with 5 x divider planks, 2 x upper leg hardware potions, 2 x lower leg hardware portions, 2 x leg connecting hardware, short screws, and long screws with dry-wall mounting plugs.


Insert one of the connectors from Fig. 4 into the upper leg hardware (the upper part is the one that curves around like the letter “J”)

Nathan James Theo bookcase leg assembly 01

Using one of the short screws and the included allen wrench, secure one side of the leg, but do not tighten the screw all the way. Tighten it just enough to hold the connector and the upper leg together in place.

Nathan James Theo bookcase leg assembly 02

Insert the lower leg portion and also secure in place with a short screw and the allen wrench. Once both segments are connected, you can then tighten down both screws all the way. Be careful not to over tighten so you don’t accidentally strip the screw threads.

Nathan James Theo bookcase leg assembly 03

Once you have complete this step, repeat for the other leg as well. When you are done, you should have two completely assembled leg units, and you will be ready for the next step. Your leg units should look like this when all is said and done.


You can start with any shelf, and you can start with either the left or right side. There is only one possible orientation, and if you have the proper alignment, the screw hole in the bracket of the leg unit should align with the screw receiver located on the bottom side of the shelf plank. Once you are sure the alignment, is correct, gently slide the plank into place.


Using the same allen wrench from earlier, and one of the short screws, secure the plank in place and tighten down. Again, do not over tighten and it may irreversibly damage the wooden plank.

Nathan James Theo bookcase

Repeat this process 4 more times until you have all 5 shelves secured onto one of the leg units. The end result should look something like this.

Nathan James Theo bookcase

Using the completed bookshelf as a guide, mark where you want them to be mounted on your wall. Use a stud finder to see if there are studs behind the markings. If there are studs, then you can simply use the included screws to drill into the studs for a secure mount.


If there are no studs where you have marked, you must use the included dry-wall screw anchor to properly secure your bookshelf in place.

DO NOT screw directly into dry-wall without an anchor, it simply will not hold and can be very dangerous, especially if you plan to place heavy objects on top of the shelves.


Using the same logic, align and secure the other leg unit into the grooves of the shelves, making sure each plank is facing the right orientation. When everything is tightened and secured, lift up your shelf, and enjoy the final result of our Nathan James Theo bookcase DIY instructional.

Nathan James Theo bookcase
Closing Thoughts:

We really like the design, build quality, and easy of install of the Nathan James Theo bookcase. We believe this piece of art will be a great addition to any house and will work well as a standalone piece, or with multiples side by side.

If you have the space, you may even line your entire wall with these bookshelves to create a warm flowing library oasis. The walnut finish with the black metal hardware complement each other very well, and will match best with neutral paint colors.

Experiment yourself to see if the Nathan James Theo bookcase is the right piece of furniture for you. Use it as the main focus, or even as an accent piece next to larger furniture items. Get creative with it! We believe you can’t go wrong with this one.

Check out our collection of DIY articles for more do-it-yourself projects that will make your life more enjoyable. Live smart!