Built-In Wall Unit

Ever since we moved in, I’ve been lusting after a built-in wall unit / bookcase / entertainment center for the living room.  I’ve been talking about this for a while.

See, Danny does this kind of thing everyday.  He works for a fellow named Michael.  And although I’ve been planning this for a while, I never wanted to detain them from their usual high-end paying work to do small stuff around our house.  But as luck would have it, they didn’t have anything in the hopper for the week leading up to Thanksgiving.  And two and a half days later my custom built-in dreams have come true.

Here’s what we started with, a roughly 7″ span of wall between the door to the upstairs and the entry to the dining room.  This is the only logical place in the room to have a TV.  We previously had it here on an old particle board TV stand from Target.

They started the project by removing the baseboards so that the whole thing could sit flush with the wall.  Then they assembled the basic frame out of beech 1″x12″ boards.

They installed the frame with a composite board backing, and put the whole thing on risers so that the bottom shelf would be elevated off of the floor and the original style of baseboard could be put back continuously around the bottom.

And finally all of the moulding went up, and it really started coming together.  I’m really happy that the 6″ baseboard continues across the front of this, and the crown moulding at the top is a nice touch.  They also put little strips of trim on the outer edges of all the fixed shelves. We also have holes for the electrical outlet and cable jack, and a few holes between the shelves for passing cords through.

Now the task at hand for the rest of this weekend is finishing.  All of the little nail holes need to be filled in with wood putty and the tiny gaps along the seams need to be caulked.  Tomorrow when it all sets, all the little patches will need to be sanded before the primer can go on.

While that’s in progress, I’m getting a head start on painting the smaller, adjustable shelves down in the basement.  The whole thing is going to be painted semi-gloss white to match the trim throughout the downstairs.  It will probably need two time-consuming coats of primer and at least two coats of paint.  The little shelves are pretty easy though.

So the best part of this whole thing is that it means that the living room has been bumped up to next on the list for me to start working on.  It’s looked like a hot mess since we moved in because we’ve basically given it zero attention.  Considering that it’s the first room you see when you walk into our house, it’s a little sad.

Really, I’ve been putting it off for two reasons: because I was waiting for this whole built-in idea to come together; and because I knew it was going to be more expensive than most of the other rooms on the to-do list.  The main expense is going to be a new sofa.  I could go into obscene detail about the type of sofa that will fit best in this room, but I’ll wait to discuss until that purchase is a little closer to reality.

Before we go buying a new couch, there’s a LOT of painting that needs to be done.  Ceiling, walls, and all the trim including the fireplace mantle.  I’d like to get as much of it done as possible through the weekends in December.  It’s not going to be particularly fun, but the good thing about the painting part is that it’s cheap.  So you’re spending very little money to make tangible progress on making the room look better.

Y’all just wait…it’s gonna be awesome.


3 thoughts on “Built-In Wall Unit

  1. very nice! our entertainment center was provided by one of john’s old jobs… it used to be on wheels, but the day john wheeled it home it lost 2 of the wheels… so the other two needed to go. that made the hole for the tv rather low, but then we got a larger tv that wouldn’t fit in that hole anyway… so now the tv is on top and we have stacks of books in the hole. it all looks rather odd. what i’m saying here is that i’m very jealous of yours!

  2. Pingback: Completed Wall Unit « escape from brooklyn

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