Thursday, September 22, 2011

Built-In Beauties...

In case you haven't heard, we have an awkward "hole" in our living room. 

See it there to the left?

Yep, there it is again.

It's attempting to hide in this picture, but obviously still there.

So, the plan has always been to build in that space to make it feel less like a hole and more like a part of the room.  In comes my granddad and his amazing wood-working skills.  So far, he's made a bed, dining room table, media armoire, candle stands, and bowls that have all found a spot in our home.  It's so neat to use pieces that he's made in decor--it's like having a little piece of family in every room.  All of this to say, he is currently working on making us a built-in bookcase for the living room!  I could not be more excited to have him help us with this project, and it's been fun batting ideas back and forth with him on it.  I have no doubts that it will be absolutely perfect when it's finished!

Granddad brought the "face frame" by earlier this week to see how close the measurements were to what he had made, and it fit like a glove!  Although, the plan has changed slightly from the original design.  As you can see here, we had originally planned on two drawers sitting above the cabinets, but to maximize the shelf space, we have since taken them out of the design.  We are planning to keep the TV in the built-in, so we need all of the shelf space we can get.  I know this is a very controversial thing--to mount the TV or not to mount the TV.  In the end, the questions it raised (what lies behind the fireplace wall? where will all of the wires go? will using our fireplace often in the colder months affect the TV? do we want a larger TV mounted in full view on the first floor of our home? etc.) worried us too much to go through with it.  I think I also came to the conclusion that I enjoy having artwork above the mantel.  It's not for everyone, but it is prime decor real estate in our house, and I love a good painting to pop some color on the wall and create a solid focal point.  Long story short, the TV will sit in the built-in.

When we first began talking about possible designs, I sent my granddad some internet pictures I had found that best showcased features I wanted.  Here were a couple I sent him:

I loved the simplicity of the cabinets in this built-in.  I think it will help tie in the kitchen cabinets (flat panel) since the kitchen/living room areas are seamless.

I sent him this one because they had incorporated a TV in the design.  It helped to give us an idea of how much more space we might need above the TV for shelves to make it feel more balanced.

For the record, there are hundreds of gorgeous built-ins out there, but these were a couple that seemed to make sense for our space.  I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress!

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