Do it Yourself Custom Built ins

Everyone Welcome Amy from 20 mintue mom

20 Minute Mom

Hi Brooke and Fellow GOMHP fans! Thank you so much for having me over at your wonderful and inspiring blog! I am so excited to share a big home update that we worked on this past Fall. Since I usually share easy and quick organizing, cleaning, and recipe tips over at 20-Minute Mom, I thought I'd share one of my longer projects (but definitely one of the best Before/Afters) here!

When we purchased our townhome last June it was clear that something had to be done with the large blank wall in our family room. The layout of the room and downstairs open floor-plan left no quesetion as to whether or not it was intended to be the TV/Media wall (the other two walls in the family room have large windows and doors) and our modest Ikea Hemnes dresser was dwarfed by the nine-feet high ceilings and open wall space.

We exercised patience and lived with the pathetic setup for four months while we looked into our options (and DIY'd our kitchen). Finally, in late September we set to work on a built-in bookcase and entertainment center combination. I am a very lucky girl who has a handy father-in-law, so between my design and building plans and his self-taught woodworking skills we totally transformed our family room and are thrilled with the result.

I started by creating a Shelving and Accessorizing board on Pinterest and filled it with inspiration and ideas for the unit. One of my favorite inspiration photos was from another DIY'er so her unit is very similar to ours. We added more cupboards to the bottom half and our ceilings are higher so we have more shelves, but the basic idea is the same.

Here were the basic steps to DIY'ing built ins. It does take someone who knows a little about woodworking, in my opinion!

  • Construct bookshelves (or purchase cheap ones, but they need to be very close to the height of the ceiling

  • Insert into wall and add crown moulding, decorative moulding around edges, and picture   window moulding along the TV wall

  • Add doors (we had ours custom fit because our dimensions were tricky). I wanted cupboards on     the entire bottom half because I wanted it to be baby/toddler proof and I wanted extra storage

  • Caulk, prime, and paint!

...and here is the final result!! (scroll down for Before and During pics!)

{Before} large blank wall. TV on a dresser.

{During} Bookcases framed out on wall, decorative moulding applied to sides and front

{During} Crown moulding has been added, doors have arrived, prime & painting in progress

{During} TV has been hung, doors hung, paint and primer on to decorative touches!

Another {After} shot from a similar angle:

 So there you have it! We are so happy with how it turned out and the huge improvement it makes for the entire downstairs. It definitely turned our townhome into a home. Thank you so much Brooke for letting me share with your wonderful readers!! I hope some of you will join me over at www.20MinuteMom.Com or any of the links below for some tips on organizing, cleaning, easy recipes, and lots of fun!


  1. WOW! Looks so amazing! You guys did an unbelievable job!! Looks so pretty!

  2. I am so impressed with your diy projects! This looks great.

  3. Brooke4:27 AM

    Amy Did a Great job! I wish I had this built in ...

  4. Looks amazing!!!! I would love to do the same in my home. You've given me the courage to try it!

  5. Thanks to Amy for telling me about your follower! Great blog you have, :)


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