Living Room Built-In {post 3: The Reveal}

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!

Befores and afters:

Whole room before picture--living room side

Built In--whole room picture living room side

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)

Living Room before

Built In--dining room 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?

Me:  Yep.

My Man:  I don’t want to see it then.

(He ended up really liking the darker color just like I knew he would)

Living Room before picture

Built In Living room side vertical view

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.

Living Room before--vertical

Built In Living room side--vertical

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.

Built In Dining Room side--vertical

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!

Built In cabinet left side

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 :)

Built In cabinet right side

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!!

Other posts in this series:

Living Room Built-Ins {post 1: The Befores}

Living Room Built-Ins {post 2: The Plans}

Living Room Built-Ins {post 3: The Reveal}

Living Room Built-Ins {post 4: Coping Base Moulding}

Living Room Built-Ins {post 5: How to Install Crown Moulding}


This project is made with PureBond plywood because I care about the air quality in my home.


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About Pink Toes and Power Tools

I'm a DIY girl with a blog. Trying to complete one project before I jump into the next one!

23 responses to “Living Room Built-In {post 3: The Reveal}”

  1. Jerri C -TN says :

    It looks great! You are so talented!!
    What color of paint did you use for your walls & fireplace?


  2. Melissa Lee says :

    I think it looks fantastic! You did a great job!


  3. billlattpa says :

    Nice work. I am a fan of built-ins. I put one in each bedroom closet in our house. Unfortunately, the way my house is laid out, it would be a challenge to incorporate a built in(the way I would like to anyway). But, well done on your part!


  4. Anonymous says :

    It look amazing like always. I’m thinking we should be sister wife’s. lol We could get so much done together.


  5. Lori Komlos says :

    Looks fabulous sis!!!


  6. rwethairyet says :

    It looks wonderful and I think the crown molding is what really makes the piece. Since I’ve spent the past few months working on a craft space full of built-ins and am pretty much down to trim work, I’m looking forward to the tips on molding and baseboard.


  7. Maureen says :

    It is absolutely stunning! You did a great job!


  8. Michelle says :

    Oh my goodness! This is awesome! You and your family should be so very proud! I have some projects in mind ;)


  9. Mike Johnston says :

    I found your blog while trolling for “built-in ideas” and I’m very glad I did. Very impressed with your no fear attitude and willingness to try anything…and succeed at it! I just have a simple question about your inset cabinet doors. What type of hinge do you use? Is that just a 1 1/2″ butt hinge? I usually make 1/2″ overlap doors but Id like to use inset on my next project. Id also like to conquer drawer slides someday..thanks for your tips on those as well. Keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiration! A new fan…Mike


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      Mike–thanks for the nice things that you said and I’m glad to have you here! The hinges that I use are full wrap inset hinges and I can only find them locally at Woodcraft. Here’s a link on their website:
      I have only used them twice now, and I can say that they are a little finicky to get the door to close just right. I planned on doing a tutorial post on how I got them to work, but then my computer crashed and I lost those pictures. I basically had to hyper-extend the hinge by closing it around some cereal box cardboard and then gently pushing the door into the cabinet box just a little, past what would be even with the face frame. That created some give in the hinge that allowed the door to close even with the face frame (it had wanted to stay slightly ajar). I also use a magnetic clasp to keep the door closed. I use these hinges because they are non-mortise. Hope that helps! I may still try to do a tutorial on them, it will just be harder without the pictures I took during the process. Thanks for the question, and welcome to the blog!


      • Mike Johnston says :

        Just an fyi..these very same hinges are $8.99 pair at just so happen to have a Rockler store about 10 mins from my house so I will check them out there..I could spend hours in there. Thanks again!


      • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

        I envy you that you are so close to a Rockler store! I get my drawer slides from them, but through mail order. I’d love to walk around their store and see it all. Even the Woodcraft store I have local isn’t handy–about 35 minutes away and not on my normal errand route.


      • Mike Johnston says :

        Thank you for the link..and the for the info. Looking fwd to the tutorial, and your next project.


  10. Rob Joram says :

    Hopefully, this post isn’t too old to get a response but did you do the fireplace surround/mantle for your living room fireplace? I love how it’s kind of minimalist but traditional and slightly ornate all at the same time. If you did it do you have the plans posted anywhere? Thanks!


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      Hi Rob, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately that mantle was done before I learned how to use power tools. It is custom built by the finish carpenter that was working on our house. I wish I could help you out with plans–I love it too :)


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