cabinets make the heart grow fonder

So, we’re well on the way to the functional family room of our my dreams with the planningadditional lighting, and new sectional out of the way.  (Michael’s dream family room contains a much, much larger TV, maybe even a wall of TVs, and no space for me to “clutter up”.  O, and lots of speakers.)  Now, it’s time to get all of the decisions for our soon-to-be-awesome built-in bookshelves to David at Custom Express & More, so they can get their cabinet-building on.

Decisions, decisions.

– decide on fireplace insert
We decided not to use a fireplace insert (because we’re cheap and thought we could always add it later if we needed it), but we based the opening on the dimensions of one we liked, in case we go that route later.

– decide on color to paint the back wall of the bookshelves
We picked Sherwin-Williams Stamped Concrete to paint the back of the bookcases – we wanted something as neutral as the soon-to-be-painted walls (SW Silverplate) so I can change the look of the room by changing out the accessories and something darker than the walls so my white menagerie would stand out.

– decide on color to stain the mantel beam
We picked a dark walnut stain with a distressed finish.

– decide on size of the mantel beam
We decided to go with a 6″ mantel beam.

– figure out where our TV components are going to sit
We were trying to decide between setting the components on a shelf (but didn’t want to have them in sight) or putting them in one of the cabinets (where we would have to put a child-lock to keep the spirited toddler out), but David came up with a better option.  An awesome option.  He said he could make the panel below the mantel and above the fireplace opening into a drop-face panel so we could put our components in there.  And, since we were already hip to the idea of using an infrared repeater so the remotes could access components not sitting out in the open, we had found our solution.  (If this doesn’t make sense yet, don’t worry, there are pictures of it below.)

Other details we had to finalize:
– For the cabinet color, we elected to color-match the white to our existing moulding throughout the house (which is roughly the color of what basic white non-tinted paint looks like after aging almost 50 years – we’ve repainted it all but had SW mix us something to match one of our old louver closet doors since we like the color).
– We decided to go with 12″ deep shelves on the top and 18″ deep cabinets in the base.
– We decided to use the same thin bricks (aptly named Thinbrick) for the face of the fireplace that we used on the exterior of the garage column a few months earlier.

All of the my decisions had been made.  Shew!  Meanwhile, Michael hemmed and hawed about how he wanted the panels in the TV-area since he is still pushing for a larger TV. (Never going to happen. Sorry, babe.)  Once he finally came to terms with this TV being plenty big for the soon-to-be 12-foot wide room (the room was 21′ x 13′ to begin with, but would soon be under 12 feet once the cabinets were in), we sent everything to David and waited patiently for the installation day to arrive.

Here is what the soon-to-be-cabinet wall looked like from each side of the room before they started the install.

Built-Ins Before Right Side

And once they got the base cabinets in…

And once they got the top unit on…

And added the shelves and crown moulding…

And here is the awesome super-secret (ok, so maybe not so secret anymore) component compartment…Built-Ins Front

Built-Ins Component Compartment

How cool is that drop-front cabinet??  I’m in love with it.  And the rest of our new built-ins.  I was a little afraid the room would suddenly be dwarfed by a massive wall of cabinets, but it actually makes it feel bigger.  Crazy, right?

Here’s what’s still on the old to-do list to wrap up this room:
– find small end tables
– decide if we want to re-cover the ottoman squares
– find white ceramic objects
– find/make wall art
– find curtains
– find throw pillows
– paint the walls (SW Silverplate)
– find baskets for toys
– buy/install flat bricks on the face of the fireplace
– buy TV mounting supplies
– paint/install return covers
– mount TV above the mantel
– hook up other components
– decorate the shelves

Anyone else ditching their formal living rooms for a more casual space?  Or hiding their components and using an infrared repeater?  Or are you googling it right now? :)

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4 thoughts on “cabinets make the heart grow fonder

  1. This is awesome! It really makes that space have more of a purpose. Plus, I love anything with hidden compartments, so of course my favorite part is the under-mantle hidden shelf.

    • Thanks, Ellen. Yeah, we were excited about the bookcases arriving and knew that compartment was a great solution, but it turned out even cooler than we expected :)

  2. Pingback: pinterest inspired: toys turned art | deranchification

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