Create Modern Built-In’s for your Living Room

I have a serious color palette problem, it’s brown and it’s everywhere in my house.  For example, my recent dining room table 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 to the space but had never really come up with exactly what I wanted.  My living room had really intimidated me for many years, with 19 foot ceilings and a lot of wall to fill.  I pretty much felt like I had never gotten it right.

Before Pic


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 did a lot of looking around online trying to figure out how we were going to make these built-in’s look modern and fresh.  Then 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).

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 below 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.

level each shelf support














You will want to measure each side and each level in your built-in area.  Our house is 15 years old and has settled slightly, we had to make some allowances where the wall was not as square as the butcher block.  The picture below clearly shows how the supports were attached on all three sides.















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.

After Pic














I really like the clean modern new look!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *