When we moved in out our “fixer upper” we were overwhelmed with all the DIY’s we had to do in the coming months. There was so much to choose from, that we started with trying to just make the house habitable. Which was no easy feat, in that the house had not been lived in for years and was severely outdated. After a year of living in ugly, we were FINALLY able to start working on the living room and making it pretty! I was over the moon excited because this is where we spend all of our time as a family. This is before we built our DIY livingroom builtins…
This picture is actually what was on MLS when we bought our fixer upper. Peeling linoleum, awful faux beams, random light fixtures, and just check out that stellar mantel!! In hindsight, I can’t believe we bought it. HA!
I really tried to make it work, for the time being. It was SO HARD!!! Just look at my attempt at decorating this thing…It was a rough year!
On New Years Eve, we decided what a better way to ring in the New Year, than to demo our fireplace and get the party started! Or should I say, I watched while my husband did the demo…
After demo’ing the upper part of the brick fireplace, my husband added all the electrical wiring so that we could hang our television above the mantel. We contemplated putting the brick back, but our brick is so old that we were unable to find a match. So plan B was to add shiplap!!! It turned out even better than I could have hoped.
The DIY builtins were a doozy to build, but were so worth the time and effort! I adapted a lot of what Kristi, from addicted2decorating.com, did when constructing our builtins. On her blog, she talks about building the base for the cabinets and gives you pictures of how to assemble. It was a HUGE resource (down to the lighting above the builtins)!
We used 3/4″ maple plywood to construct our builtins. The base cabinets are kitchen uppers (stock cabinets from Home Depot) because of the depth. Standard base cabinets were too deep for the area by the fireplace and would protrude past the hearth, making them look awkward. We built a platform for the upper kitchen cabinets to sit on, if not, the doors would be an inch from the floor.
The counter (top of the cabinets) we used 2X4’s, Kreg-Jig together. Originally I was going to stain them, but didn’t use the stainable wood filler…lesson learned and such a rookie mistake!! We trimmed out the face of the builtins with 1×2’s and added additional moldings to trim out the base cabinets. Then everything got primed and painted in Sherwin William’s Creamy.
The overall project cost us approximately $1,200. We received quotes prior to tackling this, and they were in the 6K range!! So it was a huge savings and did take us a few months to complete, but was SO worth it in the end!