There is a built in cabinet in our living room that has been bothering us since moving in.
Now I love built ins. They provide storage space without taking up a lot of room and they do this while looking beautiful. A well done built in can also add value to your home. When we first saw this house I was thrilled to find a built in but I wasn't thrilled that the shelves were sagging in the middle due to lack of support. Or that the largest shelf was at the top instead of lower down. I also hated that the bottom of the cabinet was open so that plumbing pipes were visible. It needed a makeover.
I should mention. This is NOT, like many things in this house, an original piece of work. It was done by the previous owners. If it had been original we would have taken care to preserve it. As it was, we decided to remodel.
The first step was removing the mouldings and taking out the shelves.
This also provided a grand opportunity to remove the wallpaper. I have absolutely hated that wallpaper since the day I set eyes on it. I couldn't rip that stuff off fast enough. No more cabbage roses for this girl.
Next we contemplated how we would put the space back together again. We liked the large space at the bottom for storage but it needed to be enclosed so those pipes wouldn't be visible. In the upper cabinet space we wanted room for books but also for electronics.
The shelves were built in three sections. Essentially each shelf was created as a box. Unlike the free floating shelve we had before, the boxes provide ample support so sagging will not occur again. They also enabled us to add drawers to the space.
We decided that rather than a background of drywall, pine board would be added to give some rustic appeal. We do live in a farmhouse after all.
Some critical thinking was necessary at this point. Since we were adding electronics it was necessary to make sure all the power cords could be accommodated but would not be visible. A power bar was installed inside the lower cabinet area and holes were drilled in the shelving so cords could run down to the power. Along with the plumbing pipes it makes the lower cabinet a bit ugly looking but the addition of doors fixed that problem.
|The power bar is visible on the right hand side of the cabinet |
and the power cord exits through a capped hole in the base
|The new base under the cabinet doors now perfectly matches the existing baseboards.|
The final touch was paint. Like our previous renovations we opted to remove as much dark wood as possible. We used the same cream trim colour as our piano room and used a darker shade of cream milk paint for the cabinet doors and shelving.
A little contrast was added by making the drawers and cabinet pulls out of walnut.
The final result is a much cleaner looking, more functional space.