First we had a flurry of activity around here to get the Living Room built-in finished before Christmas hit, and now I’m settled in by the computer with a flurry of snow accumulation happening outside, as I write up the reveal post for the Living Room built-in (we think about 6-7″ right now and it’s still falling). I’m breaking from my regular format and doing the reveal before all of my write ups on the process this time, for no other reason than I want to My goal was to have everything done but the doors before we had Christmas at our house, and it ended up that the entire thing was done! Yay!
Before the living room built-in cabinet from the living room side:
After the living room built-in cabinet:
I’m not loving that painting on the mantel. My man and I dream of going to Europe and visiting all the cafes on all the little streets that we can, but until I’ve got a real painting someone painted on one of those little streets, this one is going. (Sorry, Honey)
Before the living room built-in cabinet from the kitchen side:
After the living room built-in cabinet kitchen side:
I painted the back of the shelves the same color that the fireplace walls are painted (it’s hard to tell since the room gets so much natural light, but the fireplace wall is the darkest color on the color swatch I used, and the walls are the second lightest on the same swatch). My Man wasn’t sure he liked this idea when I presented it to him. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I think I’m going to paint the back of the shelves a darker color.
My Man: Hmmm, I don’t think I’m going to like that.
Me: Want me to show you some examples of it that I pinned on a board on Pinterest?
My Man: Are you going to paint it the darker color anyway?
My Man: I don’t want to see it then.
(He ended up really liking the darker color just like I knew he would)
The doors did not turn out as perfect as I like. My step-dad gave me a wonderful, lovely, hugely-helpful hint for future projects that I am really, really psyched about (can you tell?). Oversize the doors slightly and then cut them down. So simple and then I can get the perfect fit. I had to shave one of these down because it wasn’t square and that threw off the rest of the fit. I may redo the door someday.
The crown molding really took it from “looks okay” to “I love it!” for me. It was looking kind of contemporary without it–still better than what we had before, but I wasn’t over-the-moon excited about it. Once I got that on, it really polished the look, made it more traditional, and completed the built-in feel of the piece.
I used these same handles a few years ago on my Laundry Room Built In, but I used them on drawers. After being inspired by Thrifty Decor Chick’s new built-ins, I knew I had to use them how she did on her doors. She also styled her bookcases. Mine are not. Yet. I’m going to do a revamp in the dining room and things are going to get moved around, so I’m not spending time styling these now!
My Man took pity on me on December 23 as I was washing up dishes from trying to get things cleaned up from cooking the food I could prepare ahead for Christmas day. He installed the block of wood and the magnetic clasps so that the doors stay closed. He knows I like to do all the building stuff myself, but after countless nights of going to bed after midnight and seeing what little time there was left to finish up, when I suggested that it would be okay with me if he put the magnets on, he obliged
It isn’t perfect–I know I say that everytime, but it’s true!–but I’m really, really happy with how it turned out. I learned some new things along the way that I will pass on to you in the next few posts–like how to install crown molding, how to rabbet out the back so the cabinet back is recessed in and not visible from the sides, and how to cope base molding.
Now, I must remember to never start a big project like this on December 8 again. Unfortunately my memory is short and my to-do list is so very long!!
If you were inspired by this project, I sure would love a share! It makes my day.
Read more about the Living Room Built-In Bookshelves Project:
***As always, I only use PureBond plywood in my builds because the air quality in my home matters to me. I have used this plywood since the very beginning of my woodworking adventure and I love it. I am now being compensated by PureBond, but I can sleep at night recommending it to you because I was buying it myself long before the PureBond Pledge existed.