As with many of the projects I have been scrambling to get done lately, this one has a brief 2-3 week window. After finishing the trim in the master bedroom, receiving the new bedroom set, and finishing everything in the office but decorating, I have decided to disrupt another high traffic area. Way back when the house was being framed and I wanted all of my components hidden, I ran all of my wires to the knee wall at the front door. At that time I also wanted a nice piece of built-in shelving that seamlessly integrated into the living room, serving the dual purpose of hiding my components and holding pictures/books/etc. Unfortunately there was no time or budget to do anything custom there in 2010 or even 2011. Quite frankly there probably still isn’t budget in 2012, but we finally got around to replacing my craigslist leather couches with these:
While we were in Macy’s ordering the bedroom furniture we were able to sit on the “Morgan” line of living room furniture we had seen significantly discounted online. We ordered a couch and two chairs for the living room (in a dark grey). I really like them because they have sorta a mid-century modern look without being too over the top. They are set to arrive in the beginning of May…thus I am scrambling to get another project done.
If you remember way back when, I celebrated my hiding of wires. My oddly sized 46″ kneewall severely limited my options for a storage solution. I found a fairly cheap 46″ TV stand online and my components had been hidden here for some time (circa 2010).
I think I initially spent $200 on the thing and it has more than done its duty. With a new rug, new drapes, and new furniture on the way, it seemed to be a no-brainer that I try my hand at some custom shelf building just in time for the new stuff to arrive…
After about an hour of swearing and labeling / re-labeling wires, I had the old cabinet out of the way. And look at that…someone didn’t bother to install baseboard behind it! I wonder who that was?
Here you can see the space I am working with. Huey is surveying from the oversized chair that will need to go back out through the window when I sell it. The goal is to do the built-in and then wrap the wainscoting I did in the entry way along the front wall of the house to integrate it all.
Because I’m so “green” I used some old boards from my old platform bed to build the base for the bookcase. Knowing it would get covered by trim and the shelf itself, I just needed to construct a sturdy base. I took some 3/4″ thick boards and ripped them down to the height of the 7 1/4″ baseboards that run throughout the house. This way I could uniformly tie all the trim together.
I know, you’re lauding my creativity and care for the planet earth. I had to notch the drywall a little bit due to the unsquareness of the front wall of the house. Nothing new there.
Here’s the last shot I took before I put the front wall baseboard back in place. I’m pretty happy thus far. I couldn’t get ahold of the truck or the jeep Monday when I built all of this to buy the bookcase materials, but a $0 cost so far is a good start. I will probably try working with MDF for the first time because I read it takes paint and sands very well. Since this will be painted trim white, I really don’t need to overpay for special plywood. The ultimate goal is to have 6 total shelves. One shelf will be occupied by my surround receiver, speaker zone selector, and cable box, while the others will be for decorations and books. The surround receiver I eventually want to upgrade to is 14.5″ deep so I gave myself a generous 16″ in depth for the shelf. This will save me having to re-wire anything, allowing the use of the giant cable pull box I installed 2 years ago.
I will need to change out the two receptacles for white ones and paint that drywall white, but other then that, I hope I can get the bookshelf built and primed this weekend.