Maggie’s Built-ins

We feel like we literally need to refresh your memory because it’s been so long since we chatted about the progress of Maggie’s place. We can’t believe it’s been almost TWO months since we revealed Maggie’s living room.
maggie revealBack then, pretty much every inch of her place looked AH-MAZING except for one small part…the blank wall in her living room. Maggie had a shelving unit being built & was waiting for it to be installed so that she could stick a fork in this never-ending living room makeover. When we shared this space on the blog, we promised you that we would check back when the shelves were complete. TODAY is that day when we can finally share the details on these newly finished and very g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s built-in shelves.
maggie beforeMaggie Built-in Final PhotoCan you see why we can’t stop oohhh-ing and aaahhh-ing?! The pictures do make these shelves look awesome, but it’s hard to translate how truly stunning they look in real life. Forget watching TV when we’re over here, we can’t take our eyes off of these shelves. #mesmerized

Maggie hired this project out to the professionals, which was definitely more expensive than DIY-ing a shelving unit. But we think it was money well spent because of the value (and storage!) this unit adds to her small city space. The built-in project took longer than expected and that’s why this reveal has been MIA here on the blog for the past few months.

IMG_9080IMG_9311IMG_9212Now that we see the final product, we think this piece was well worth the wait! Plus, waiting for the unit to be done left us plenty of time to collect a lot of treasures to decorate the shelves.

You may be surprised to find out that everything (or almost everything) on the shelves was from:

  1. A garage/estate sales
  2. Goodwill
  3. Target/World Market Clearance sections
  4. HomeGoods

PLUS, none of the items cost more than $19 and most items were only about $1-$7, which makes us love this look even more.

ddiy pla

Styling the shelves was really just a series of putting things up there, moving them around, and having fun arranging + rearranging until we loved the look.

maggie built in shelves

IMG_9142IMG_9247-001One of the best parts of the new look is how the shelves reflect through the mirror above the couch. Absolute perfection. #hearteyesIMG_9060


IMG_9253We were nervous about the cords/TV box being exposed, but using a few decorative boxes from Michael’s totally solved that issue. Maggie can watch TV without staring at an ugly cable box.Maggie Built-in Final Photo
Before hanging this TV & getting the wall unit installed, Maggie was using her bedroom TV out in the living room. Now that the bedroom TV is officially back in the bedroom, we can finally tackle the gallery wall we plan to hang around the TV in her bedroom. Why does this matter to you? Great question. Because once the gallery wall is hung, we can FINALLY share her bedroom on the blog and officially be done with these spaces and out of Maggie’s hair…. for now.

maggie reveal full room

Until then though, Maggie can count on these two rookies hauling over more frames + more tools + more crap over the next few visits!! And yes, it will probably take a few more visits since we can’t seem to get much done outside of sipping coffee and staring at these new built-ins.maggie built in shelves

Source List

All Books — garage sales/estate sales

Starting from Top Left working Down (Row 1):
White milk glasses — Goodwill
Brown Vase — Burlington Coat Factory
Basket — HomeGoods
Frame — Target
“8” — Crate & Barrel Outlet 
3 Wood + Silver Accents — Goodwill
White Bowl — Target Clearance 
Succulents + Wood “tray” — Goodwill (from Target originally)

Row 2 from top down:
Frame  + White accent votive — Target Clearance
Gold Sphere — Target Clearance
White Vase — Goodwill
White Vase + Silver Candle holders + Joy of Cooking book: Thrift Store

Above the TV:
Clear Dome — Michael’s Clearance
Baskets — HomeGoods
@ sign — Michael’s
Plant — HomeGoods

Row 3 From Top Down:
Basket — my dad’s old shop
Mirror + Wood/Silver Accents — Goodwill
Wood Chess Piece — World Market
Vase — Goodwill
Blue bowl — Thrifted

Row 4 from Top Down:
Wood Statue — Ross for Less
Plant — IKEA
Multi color vase + Succulent — Goodwill
Frame — Target 

Bridget and Casey Signature

Playing catch-up? Check out Maggie’s Kitchen, Maggie’s living room, Maggie’s balcony + Maggie’s bathroom. Maggie’s Bedroom & Entryway coming soon!! 

  • Jo Abella

    I love the built-ins and the way they were styled. My only question is why turn the books around? Personal preference, I guess. I’m an avid reader, and I like to see the books on people’s shelves. It says a lot about who they are.

    • Thanks Jo Abella! And great question. We totally understand your perspective and we too think it’s personal preference. For this space specifically, we wanted a very neutral look on the bookshelves and having the spines of the books facing out (with a mix of all different bold colored books) looked a little too busy/colorful. Switching the books the opposite way gave us the neutral color and saved us from having to hunt down and buy a ton of neutral-colored books. <— does that makes sense?! And yes, we still may be crazy for doing this.

      Maybe around the holidays when we are looking for more color (reds, greens, maybe even blacks), we will flip the books around for a different look without having to buy any new ones. Who knows?!

    • We feel ya, Jo! We too think books really say a lot about the homeowner.

      Whenever we style shelves, we always go back and forth about turning the books around or showing off the spines. For this particular space, we wanted to keep the colors really soft, muted, & neutral. We didn’t have nearly enough hardcover books with white or cream spines, so instead we flipped the books!

      Other times we love to show off the spines and group the books according to color, or height. There really are so many ways to use books in your home decor and we love each and every way! 🙂

    • That was my first question too! Mostly because I was concerned about being able to find the book I wanted to read (if they aren’t just for decor). I get their reason and it looks great…just makes me panic a little about not finding the one I want. Hahaha.

    • hahaha that’s too funny! Sometimes my husband will ask me where a book is and my first questions back is…”do you know what color the spine is?” hahaha. That always helps me figure out which little area of the house it might be styled in.


  • Leslie Sasser Jackson

    Gorgeous! Great job as always! I wonder if you could use a few command Velcro strips to attach the Direct TV receiver to the back of the TV. Or maybe inside the cabinet below (drill a hole in the very back for cords). When we were installing our TVs and Direct TV boxes in our new house we found out that our remotes worked without the receivers being visible. Her equipment might be different, but just wanted to throw that out there!

    • Love those ideas, we’ll have to look into them. We were nervous that if we put the box in the cabinet, that the remote control wouldn’t work unless the cabinet was open. But if this has worked in the past, definitely something worth looking into. Thanks Leslie!

  • Wow! I seriously wish I had some space in my house for something like this! This makes me want to get a few more things for the bookshelves I already have!

  • Emily Dunham

    This turned out so great! What a huge difference!

  • Ashley Sorrick

    Oh my goodness those built-ins are amazing!! So beautiful and perfect for that space! Y’all also styled them so nicely! Will definitely be using this as inspiration with styling our TV stand

    • Thanks so much, Ashley!! And good luck to you!

  • One thing I’ve realized about my style is that I love trinkets and filler items. These built-ins are perfect for that and I love what you did with the spaces in between. I need to start garage sale-ing!

    • YES! You don’t have to spend a ton of $$ to get some awesome shelf decor. =)

  • Oh love these so, so much. I can’t wait to have custom bookcases built in our loft and do this! Hmm looks like I need to hit up Goodwill for some filler items.What a great idea!

    • Thanks Kimi! Yep, no need to spend a fortune on decor.

  • Nikki Simmerson

    Epic! I love built-ins and you guys rocked these!!!

    • Thanks so much Nikki! We’re huge built-in fans too!


    I am pretty sure I am going to be dreaming of this built-in. So pretty!

    • Thanks so much Elise! We’re pretty obsessed too 🙂

  • These look A-MAZING. You ladies sure have a talent for bookshelf decorating (which can be really hard!). Wish I had a place for all these built ins. I need to start looking at thrift stores and Goodwill for decor!

    • Thanks Diana! Yes, definitely start hunting for some fun thrifty finds!

  • Summer Hogan

    Beautiful shelves and perfectly styled!! Great job all around!

  • Katie

    this. looks. awesome! i think i love the sea glass color and natural wood accents most.

  • Sara

    Is it possible to share a ballpark budget for these built-ins? We are looking at having something very similar done and I’m not sure what to estimate? We live in the Chicago area and would consider the same contractor. Thank you~

    • Sara,
      No problem! Maggie got quotes anywhere from $4k-$9k!!!! Whoah! This situation was a bit unique since we had one person build it, another person paint it and then a team effort to install it. Note: it’s sometimes hard to find a carpenter that will finish (paint) it too and finding a finisher can become expensive. Since we had to transport it from the builder to the painter to Maggie’s condo, we would also advise budgeting in truck rental to your total costs. Long story short, it’s hard to put a specific number on the unit as a whole but this one was definitely on the LOWER end of that range because we hired out different individuals and did some of the transporting ourselves. Hope this helps!! Feel free to email us if you have more specific questions, we would love to help!

    • Sara

      thank you!

  • Hey Robin,

    Sorry for the delay! The base is 28 inches (24 inch tall cabinets) and the shelf openings are 13 inches high and 17 inches wide. Hope this helps =)

  • Maggie McCausland

    Where is the cable box and all of those wires hiding?