Monday, December 10, 2012

Built-Ins - Part 1

We just completed our very own, homemade, built-in bookshelves for our living room! And let me tell you - I am totally in love! I cannot believe that we really did it and these beautiful things are in our living room!

Let's start with the space and the inspiration. Here's the wall we were working with...

Just basically a blank slate with some holes in the wall where some surround sound speakers used to be (previous owners). We really wanted to add something that would provide something interesting to the room, as well as add storage space. Plus I've always loved the built-ins at my parents house and Rob's dad's house. Hence the idea of building our own built-ins was born.

Here are some photos I found via pinterest for inspiration (pinspiration). We knew we wanted cabinets on bottom for hidden storage so that's what I was looking for.

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

That last one was the final straw to get us motivated to tackle it. It was so similar to what we wanted in a lot of ways - cabinets on bottom, simple bookshelves on top, and she even used top cabinets which is what we wanted to do as well (so they would be more shallow and not stick out as far).

We had been looking casually for months at Habitat Restore and Lowe's/Home Depot for some cabinets and were pretty bummed out at how much we were going to pay. The weekend after Thanksgiving we finally decided it was time to make a move. So Rob went to our basement to work out and then when we were going to head out to buy some. Well...he was hit with a beautiful idea! Why not use the old, gross, rickety old cabinets in our basement (currently being used as tool storage, etc.) for our built-in bookshelves??

I was eager to try it out and so we measured all the cabinets we had, messed around with some arrangements and lo & behold....they were the PERFECT fit. I mean...PERFECT.

Check these babies out...

Here's a closer up shot...

You can see why they didn't immediately jump to mind when we would walk past them in the basement :)

Once we measured it out and saw that they would fit perfectly, we were motivated to spruce them up. We sanded them down, used some liquid deglosser, removed the hardware and spackled the holes. Since they were top cabinets, we had to make two minor adjustments. Rob built out the bottoms on some 2x4's so that they would stand off the ground like bottom cabinets. We also had to do a thorough job filling the holes from the previous hardware and sanding them down so that we could make new holes at the top of the doors with new hardware.

Here is a picture of Rob assembling the cabinets on top of the 2x4's.

Sanding, cleaning, sanding, cleaning...

Then once they were clean, we dragged them upstairs and put them in place. And I shrieked in excitement probably five times. And put up stockings because Rob says I "couldn't resist my urge to start decorating them...".

Our two stockings and one little baby shirt from Sarah that says "My First Christmas" for baby Shields for next Christmas. Love it!

And that's where I leave you for now. Up next, painting, removing molding, planning the bookshelves.


  1. Had no idea you re-used basement smart! Just thought you two built it all from scratch! Gotta love Pinterest for inspiration and a husband who came up with a brilliant idea!

  2. I really cannot believe this. I would have NEVER walked by those cabinets and been inspired. That's what makes yall so great at DIY!


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