Create Modern Built-In's for Your Living Room

4 Materials
$350
8 Hours
Easy

I have a serious color palette problem, it's brown and it's everywhere in my home. I'm going room by room to address....like my recent dining room project. In my living room, there was a giant armoire and shelving set that needed to go. Behind the armoire, was a decent sized cut in by the fireplace. I had always thought about adding shelves/built-in's to the space but had never really come up with exactly what I wanted. My living room is a little intimidating, with 19 foot ceilings and a lot of wall to fill, I felt like I had never gotten it right.

In my living room, there was a giant armoire and shelving set that needed to go. Behind the armoire, was a decent sized cut in by the fireplace. I had always thought about adding shelves/built-in's to the space but had never really come up with exactly what I wanted. My living room is a little intimiding, with 19 foot ceilings and a lot of wall to fill, I felt like I had never gotten it right.

Time to Paint...

After 15 years, it was time. I used a tall ladder and extended rolling pole to paint within a couple of inches from the ceiling and then rented scaffolding to do the rest. These high ceilings are a lot of work but SO worth it. I chose a dark grey for the accent wall (fireplace/built in wall) and then painted the rest a light grey that will be on most of my other walls in the main areas. I painted the fireplace white with some areas where I let the dark come through and added a slight little bit of grey to get a worn but white look.

I painted the fireplace white with some areas where I let the dark come through and added a slight little bit of grey to get a worn but white look.

Built-In's

After a bit of looking around online trying to figure out how we were going to make these built-in's look modern and fresh, Markus thought of adding butcher block style shelves. To do actual butcher block wood shelves wood have been pricey, so we found the butcher block counter tops at Ikea for $100 each. These are not solid butcher block and only have one top and the sides that look like butcher block finish but it works in my space (the cut edge is to the wall). For the cutting specifications and complete diagram, visit my website.


We started by trimming the butcher block counter tops to fit into the cut in space. Then we used a circular saw to cut one inch pieces the same length as the sides that would serve as supports below each shelf.

The picture above shows the support piece being installed - make sure to use a level, then use 2.5 inch screws to attach the supports to the wall/studs.

The cords to the TV were run up behind the wall and the TV mounted to the wall with hardware that has an adjustable arm. I added baskets for games, remotes, and movies.  I needed something else from a decor perspective, so I added a pouf for additional seating and foot rest. After trying to sell the old furniture online (with no luck), we are using it as storage in the garage and I'm glad it didn't sell.

I really like the clean modern look!

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Flawless Chaos

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Donna Ohanian
    on Nov 28, 2019

    Didn’t want the TV centered over the mantle?

    • Nancylynn
      on Dec 5, 2019

      I agree that the tv should now be included in the decor however, I get frustrated when designers put the space for a tv on an opposite wall from the fireplace. I prefer to watch television and enjoy the fire together. And there should be space allowance for a Christmas tree as well. Enjoying the fire and Christmas tree lights in a darkened room is wonderful. Just my opinion. 🎄📺🏠❄️

Join the conversation

2 of 11 comments
  • Flawless Chaos
    on Dec 6, 2019

    Love all the comments. Placement of the TV is defintely a personal choice but luckily, you aren't locked in with this design.

  • Jennifer Roysdon
    on Dec 6, 2019

    Great outcome and that wall color is gorgeous!!!!

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