Asked on Nov 23, 2014

To built in or not to built in?

Kayo FrazierNor710090Jen @ Do Measurably More


We purchased our home with these built-ins and everything that's on them. My husband wants to rip them out. BUT they are great quality and in fantastic condition. My idea was to take out everything marked with red and put the flatscreen in that spot. I can't picture it without actually cutting it. What say you?
22 answers
  • Tonya Kadaj
    Tonya Kadaj
    on Nov 23, 2014

    @11 Magnolia Lane

  • Tonya Kadaj
    Tonya Kadaj
    on Nov 23, 2014

    @The Blissful Bee

  • Tonya Kadaj
    Tonya Kadaj
    on Nov 23, 2014


  • Tonya Kadaj
    Tonya Kadaj
    on Nov 23, 2014

    @Lisa and Joey

  • Marion Nesbitt
    Marion Nesbitt
    on Nov 23, 2014

    They are lacking a top board which makes them look unfinished. Perhaps your husband would like them better if one were added. What room are they in? Your family room? Think I'd lower your flat screen by one shelf if you decide to use it here.

  • Ange
    on Nov 23, 2014

    I agree with Marion. Add the top board. Straighten the slanted shelves. Add hardware to cabinet doors. Paint shelves with a white glossy paint. Paint the wall behind a contrasting color. Add books/decoration.

  • G B
    G B
    on Nov 23, 2014

    Ditto to Marion and Ange's suggestion. Top enclosure will make it into a finished piece.

  • Barb
    on Nov 23, 2014

    great place for TV and components. Definitely add a bridge across the top with some nice crown molding. Paint them so anything you put on display will be more visible than the shelving itself.

  • Priscilla G
    Priscilla G
    on Nov 23, 2014

    That sounds like the perfect solution without tearing it all out. I think a contrasting color behind the shelves would open the room and take off some of the nick knacks..

  • Patricia Miller-Darrow
    Patricia Miller-Darrow
    on Nov 23, 2014

    I think it is a perfect idea, I wouldn't lower the shelf as I use it for your receivers, dvd players, etc, but I a;so would dd a top shelf when you have the money. The quality is nothing like you'd get in the store and if you choose to dress it up, add molding! and you can also try chalk paint.

  • Pati
    on Nov 23, 2014

    I love them. But - I love unpainted wood, anytime, anywhere. I like bringing nature inside like that. I think the idea of a bridge with crown molding across the top is fabulous - and taking out a few shelves to get the TV in. Maybe you could try playing around in photoshop? Super impose a picture of your TV (I'm sure you can find one on the web) over the shelves, and draw in/erase to suit and that would give you a moderately good idea of the final look. I hope you'll share after pics!

  • Lindcurt
    on Nov 23, 2014

    How would it look to enclose the top with a soffit to create a more built in look ? Plus it would not be necessary to dust that top board. I like the flat screen idea. Maybe down one more level, leaving a shelf above.

  • Jan Loehr
    Jan Loehr
    on Nov 23, 2014

    How about just removing the middle section and leaving the two on either end for your shelf/cabinet units? Definitely do a bridge soffit across the entire top to connect all of it, try removing or respacing some of the shelves on the end pieces, you do not need too much clutter of extra shelves to decorate. TV should not be too high as it will have wires, etc. to be connected & you want to cover all that. Love the idea of crisp white paint with wall in back a soft neutral to contrast...will make the shelves & anything you place on them to pop...good luck...this will bring a wow factor into the room!

  • Michelle Scott
    Michelle Scott
    on Nov 23, 2014

    I agree it needs something at the top to finish it. I would not paint the wood though, but that is my personal taste. Can you put the tv on a different wall? Or can you fit it on one of the shelves in the middle section, just taking out some of the shelves for the height you need? I am afraid once you start taking it apart it may look not look good.

  • Virginia
    on Nov 23, 2014

    We have something on the same order of the shelves with the TV in the middle and it's great. Try it.

  • Peter Ziske
    Peter Ziske
    on Nov 23, 2014

    Don't take out the shevles. Put up a flat board to cover up the shevles you want to take out and mount TV to that.

  • Swan Road Designs
    Swan Road Designs
    on Nov 23, 2014

    Yes, remove the marked shelves and use the shelves to create "faces" for the top of the unit to give it a finished appearance. Don't enclose the top. Instead, install some low-watt LED lighting in the recessed area behind the faced space to provide a soft light to have on while viewing TV and to give off a nice gentle light when the TV isn't on. We did a very similar thing with our entertainment center in our living room. It made a huge difference.

  • Liliana Wells
    Liliana Wells
    on Nov 24, 2014

    I like built-ins. But I agree with some of the comments here that the unit needs to be finished in some way. Molding comes to mind. Also, you may want to rearrange the shelves, if you can, to accommodate the flat TV and then fill the other shelves with books, souvenirs, collectibles. They don't have to match because whatver you put there will reflect your personality. Good luck. Share pictures when done.

  • Tina Yoder
    Tina Yoder
    on Nov 26, 2014

    take the shelves out will give you more space it just looks to cluttered .

  • Jen @ Do Measurably More
    Jen @ Do Measurably More
    on Feb 20, 2015

    Nooo... don't tear them out! A finished top board with crown, all painted white. hardware on doors, and maybe a contrasting color in the back. Also, I'd recommend going a bit lower to remove some shelves for the flat screen and leave the current top header and maybe even the second shelf in place. The tv won't fit in between the current supports/sides? It'd be so much better if you could leave those intact. Good luck!

  • Nor710090
    on Mar 16, 2015

    Yes do it

  • Kayo Frazier
    Kayo Frazier
    on Mar 19, 2015

    Here's my 2 cents...I would take the 3 middle shelves out to place the TV there. I would keep 2 sets of shelves on either side. Then, I would cap the shelves w/ a topper & add crown molding to match. I would move the shelves around so you have some large & small spaces. Try not to make it too matchy-matchy. Then I would paint it white. I would also paint the wall behind it a light grey such as Stonington Grey by Benjamin Moore. This will make all of your artwork & decorative pieces pop. Place the movies in the cabinets out of sight. Then I would get rid of the fake greenery. I would also edit some of the knickknacks, add some books, various sized baskets to hide things & scatter them thru out all the bookshelves. That's about it...Hope this helps.

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