Our new purchase, a big 32″ Samsung tube television, is playing Dora the Explorer (on one of our 100 channels) for our two youngest kiddos. We’re so excited about this TV. It fits our built-in cabinets area perfectly, sitting on a shelf, allowing room for our DVD/VCR player and cable box underneath. The cabinets below provide a hidden storage space for all of our DVD’s and VHS tapes. What a smart custom build.
Fast forward 10 years later and what do we do with this space NOW??? Our 60″ TV (with a ridiculous amount of channels) now hangs above our fireplace. DVD player? Do people still own those? VHS tapes are now stored in my basement storage room awaiting that magical “nothing on my schedule” day when I plan to take them in and have them burned to a CD that will one day also become obsolete.
Just as our technology changes, so do the spaces in our homes. Our builder grade corner cabinet is one of those spaces. I have contemplated removing this corner cabinet and flanking both sides of our fireplace with chairs, allowing for a nice sitting area.
I love the cozy, inviting area Kelly over at Lily Pad Cottage created in her family room…
Doesn’t it just draw you in and entice you to slow down, grab a hot chocolate and a good book and rest for a bit? Such a beautiful area that one day I would love to recreate. But for now, a smaller-scale makeover will have to do.
A while back, I removed the shelf where the TV used to sit. I replaced it with a large vertical picture to fill the space. To make the decor pop a little more, I painted the backs of the shelf area a turquoise color…around the time turquoise became all the go…
Updating Built-In Cabinets
Because I love shiplap (as evidenced by my guest bath remodel) and could seriously shiplap my entire house, one evening an idea came to me, what if I shiplap the shelf area? Great idea!! I really wasn’t digging the builder grade, “same as every other house built in this era,” look and so I changed it up a bit. To start off I added the shiplap…
But first, I painted white over the turquoise color. Because the boards are spaced somewhat apart from one another, I want white to show through and not turquoise.
Now, I’m ready to put up my shiplap…
And after a couple coats of white paint…
Next, I got rid of those particle board shelves and replaced them with chunkier, real wood shelves. After staining them with Varathane Espresso Stain…
I applied a little polyurethane, measured where I wanted each shelf to be, installed metal brackets and placed the shelves on them…
Knowing the decor I would be placing on each shelf, allowed me to measure my shelves accurately. I started by placing my “FAITH” sign on the bottom shelf and measuring the height needed. Then I screwed in my 4 metal brackets, using my level to make sure they were lined up with the brackets on the opposite side.
After placing the first shelf on the brackets, I measured the height of my clock for my next shelf…and repeat, repeat. Doing it this way made it very easy and ensured that I wouldn’t run out of space, which I was a little worried about since the real wood shelves are thicker than the original shelves.
I absolutely love this new space. It really catches the eye and brings attention to the decor in this built-in cabinets area. There was just one more thing it needed. Those gold knobs stuck out like a sore thumb. And screamed…”one of these things is not like the other!”
Easy-peasy…I removed them and spray painted them with an oil-rubbed bronze paint. Now they look like they belong…
The best part about this makeover was twofold: First, it was super easy and took hardly any time at all to complete. Second, it completely updated this space for very little cost.
The only materials I had in this built-in cabinets makeover was:
- One sheet of underlayment (less than $12) at Home Depot
- One 2×12 8-foot board ($10)
- Three packages of 2″ galvanized metal brackets (each pkg. contains 4 brackets) (all 3 pkgs $14)
- Stain (smallest size) (less than $5)
- White paint (most people have some of that sitting around)
Not many makeovers cost less than $50. Gotta love that!!
Do you have these builder grade built-in cabinets? Are they in need of an update? Try this out. If you do, I would love to see your before and after pictures. And as always, hit reply to ask me any questions you may have.
Until next time,
Don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter going out tomorrow.
Sign up for the RL Newsletter
Never miss a RepurposeLife post and valuable emails containing: DIY Projects, Full Tutorials and Interior Design Tips.