Organizing Books and TV With Built-In Alcove Shelving

by Eloise
4 Materials
5 Days
Our living room had two alcoves which we weren't making great use of and we also had tons of books lying around. The logical solution was to turn the alcoves into built-in bookshelves, with space for our TV and set top box to be stored neatly too.
This is the empty alcove space before the project began. There were many layers of wallpaper on the wall, which we needed to remove before the shelves were installed. It took a while, but using a good-quality steamer meant this step of the project wasn't hard to do ourselves.
You can see that the wall isn't in great condition - but this can all be dealt with now that the wallpaper has been removed.
Instead of simply purchasing bookshelves which fitted the alcoves, we decided to opt for built-in shelves. This meant that there were no unattractive gaps at the top or sides of the shelves, and no space was wasted.

We hired a local carpenter who measured the space and fitted custom-made battens to the wall, going from floor to ceiling.
Sturdy wooden shelves were fitted to the battens that the carpenter had previously installed.
We knew that we wanted space to store our TV and other electronics on the shelves, so we measured enough space for it to fit comfortably at a good height for viewing.
Having the TV on the shelves looked a lot neater than having an extra TV stand here. We used a bracket to attach the TV to the wall once the project was complete - it's just sitting on the shelf in this photo.
To complete the project, we painted both the walls and the shelves with Matt Emulsion Paint in the color 'Stardust'. Using the same color for the shelves and the wall has created a nice seamless look, which is exactly what we were going for.

There's space to store books all the way to the ceiling, and a decent gap below the bottom shelves means there's room for small storage boxes.
The TV is on an extendable bracket for easy viewing, and there's a hole in the shelf below which allows us to feed wires through from our set top box, with a simple paper tube to cover the messy wires.
The finished project gave us tons of extra book storage, a neat way to store our TV, and a nice floor to ceiling effect which makes the room feel larger.
Resources for this project:
Custom-Built Wooden Shelves
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2 of 12 comments
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Jun 06, 2018

    Wow you really brought those alcoves to life! They look beautiful! You weren’t kidding when you said you had a lot of I’ve always wanted a library like this with built-ins but since I don’t have this type of space, I’ve opted for bookcases.

    I love what you’ve done with this!

  • Lisa House Lisa House on Jun 09, 2018

    Perfect! I like that you didn't hide the books by covering them or putting them on the shelves with the spines in first. Thanks for sharing.