Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Progress on the Built Ins... Phase One!

Well- we have made some progress on the built in/mantel/entertainment center conglomeration (that is what I am calling it now). If you're just catching up on this, you can reference back to this post which will give you a little background and inspiration behind this project.
Just a reminder, this is where we started:

This project definitely wasn't even on my radar until a few weeks ago, but it quickly jumped to the top of the "To Do" list... maybe because the holidays are coming and I'm dying to do some mantel decorating... or maybe because I knew it would be such a big (and much needed) change to the living room. Like I said before, I've been kind of stuck in that room so I'm hoping once this is done, it will help me get excited about the room (for once). We shall see.....
Clear it out!

The first phase of the project was pretty easy. Before we cleared off the shelves and unmounted the TV, we headed to Lowes to pick up some boards and crown molding. From there we cut the lumber per our measurements.
Too much trim to choose from..... Simple cuts made for the wall.

Two pieces would need to fit vertically from the top of the bookcase trim to the ceiling. The other piece would need to fit the width horizontally in between (If that makes sense). We then cut the crown moulding to span the entire width and overlap the vertical boards. We don't have much experience cutting crown, so it may have taken a bit longer than normal, but we eventually got the right angles.

Before we installed any of the boards, we broke out the paint and applied it all the way up to the ceiling- Nathan cut in and I rolled... aka: Nathan has patience for the small important details... and I like to see results quickly ;) Instead of applying primer, we just did two coats of white paint. It ended up being plenty and covered well. Painting the center wall already made a huge difference in the look of everything. It was easy to see the vision once that paint was on the wall.

Yep.... We just painted around the TV mount. Don't judge :)
I wanted to make sure the center wall looked like it was a part of the bookshelves and fit right in, so with our boards we continued the line from the bookshelf edge trim to the ceiling. This way, the top crown of the bookshelves looks like it was built over the center boards, making it appear like it was built in. I think continuing the existing lines, but making it look layered is key in trying to give it the feel of "Oh this has always being here" look.... if that makes sense.

We then nailed up the rest of the boards....

Once the boards were up, we applied the crown moulding with a nail gun where the wall met the ceiling and made sure the edges wrapped around the boards we just applied.
I swear the boards were not this dirty...
Something is wrong with the contrast in a LOT of these pictures. 
From there we spackled any nail holes that existed. Then Nathan took some caulk and applied it to the edges and any extra spaces where boards met.
Once dry, we gave the boards and edges a new coat of paint.
Nice and Fresh! Maybe the boards were that dirty! haha

So with that, 'Phase 1' is complete. This is where we are as of now:
We hung the TV back up and placed the stand where it previously was so we could watch some TV.... And that weird wire thing is our new antenna. Very high tech- I know.
Here is a side by side. Even this small improvement makes a HUGE difference in the room! I feel like the room is already taller and the wall is much more balanced. I'm excited for 'Phase 2'!
Such a huge difference!

The next step will be installing the mantel. We may or may not have messed up on the first piece of crown at the ceiling so we have an extra piece. To save money, we'll just be using that piece for the mantel since it's still plenty long for what we need.
Once the mantel is done, we'll start working on the lower center cabinet, doors, and detailing. It's not an overnight project (which I definitely prefer), but by taking our time and focusing on budget, I think it will be worth the wait.
What do you think? Like the progress so far? 


  1. How exciting!! It looks great so far!

  2. Tricia it looks awesome! Couldn't be better!

  3. Looks amazing! I LOVE LOVE LOVE built ins but we are not DIY people by any means and they are crazy expensive to have made for you. So I just drool over amazing projects like this one : ) Nicely done!

    1. Thank you! I'm hoping they turn out well. Stay tuned for progress!

  4. It already looks great! Can't wait to see it all finished!

  5. Awesome job and it makes me long for some built-ins too!