DIY Built-ins Around Fireplace Reveal

Ya’ll, We finally went on  ahead and sold that monstrous cabinet that was in the living room. The fact that we had it at all was ridiculous really because we do not even own a TV.  It was huge and extremely heavy which made it difficult to host large groups in the living room. The final straw was put on the camel about a month ago when we scheduled to host our church small group of about 20 people and realized that there was no way that we were going to be able to fit everyone in the living room in such a way that would allow for any productive conversation. And so, the morning of the meeting, I posted it on craigslist just to try to see if it would sell but expecting for it not to and to my surprise, it sold about an hour before small group started.

Now that it was gone though, we had a problem: the things that were being stored in the cabinet needed a new home. I always thought that the two corners next to the fireplace were a complete waste of time and so I started to brainstorm about how we could both replace the storage that we lost when we sold the cabinet and make better use of the space next to the fireplace.

This is what the living room and the space next to the fireplace looked like this past spring! Not bad, but not the best use of our space!

Spring living room


It did not take me long before I settled on having the husbs build some cabinets. Our budget was limited to the amount that we sold the media cabinet. This meant that we had to get creative. We did some brainstorming and came up with a plan to re-use as much wood from our stash as possible.

This is what the space looks like now. Progress heh?

built in cabinets in fall


We began by removing the baseboard and other trim that would have been in the way. We left the lower paneling.



Next, we installed paneling for the back of the top cabinets. These would look very cute and the fact that they were free made the decision even easier. This paneling was originally in this room when we first remodeled this house. I hated it then so the husbs cut it down to the height that is it now but stored it in the shed. When he suggested that we use it as the back of the cabinet, I jumped on the idea. I do not know why I had such a hard time with it before but I love it as part of the shelves now.




Next, we built the bottom cabinets. This was done using wood from Lowes for the sides and whatever wood we had in the shed for the front.



Once the bottom cabinets were done, we did the top.




Once that was done, we worked on the trim and then primed. Although, husbs looks like he’s “sliding to the right!” in this picture, that’s not why I’m posting it. It is a great indication of all of the sorts of woods that we used to complete this project within budget.




I know that they look very sad now but just a few coats of paint later and they look like this:

built in cabinets in fall


I’m loving the paneling back there! I think it was a great move!! Great Idea darling!

built in cabinets in fall


built in cabinets in fall


built in cabinets in fall


I cannot tell you how much I love these cabinets! Not only are they practical but they add so much charm to this room. The space feels so much more put together and we have not lost the openness that we like to be able to host large groups. I am so excited.

My house is changing you guys! My house HAS changed you guys! Slowly but surely we are making this place ours on a tiny budget. This project took a rainy week of us working the evenings to be done. I am convinced that you can get this done in 1 weekend with the proper dedication.

What do you think of this project? Do you have any plans for any projects like this? Tell me! I want to know.

By the way, Don’t worry! I will do a posts about how the brick on the fireplace magically changed to a much more appealing color and another about how I painted those blue chairs to make them more neutral. You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging did you?

If you like it, Pin it!

built in cabinets

Many blessings,


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  1. liz

    This is such a great addition to your room – it adds so much character and looks wonderful! I am planning on doing the same to my living room, and will be showing your post to my DH. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen

    What a transformation! Love the built-ins! And I love that you did it on a tight budget. They look amazing! Thanks for your inspiration!

  3. Kelli

    Vanessa, you and your husband did an amazing job! These look great, and I give you a high five for getting creative with supplies you already had. It’s amazing to hear how fast your media cabinet sold on Craigslist too. 🙂 Good job and nice work! Hope you are doing well. 🙂

  4. Sabrina

    The built ins look wonderful Vanessa! I love them!!


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