Casey’s Family Room Built-In Reveal

Last we spoke of my family room, I was scheming and dreaming of an updated space that would be functional & stylish in our home. Because this is the first room you see when you walk in the door, I knew it needed to be a showstopper. That’s when I came up with the idea for some fabulous built-ins on the big blank wall you see right when you come into our condo.

But before we get to the reveal…let’s take a look at the before. before-family-room-augustaPretty sad, right? Okay here’s what it looks like now!family-room-wall-built-ins


Oh-so-dreamy! I mean look at all of those spots for knick-knacks! Not to mention all of the hidden storage in the cabinets. These built-ins certainly check the box for both functional & stylish!Β bookcases-built-ins-home-decorNow this exact built-in plan might look a bit similar for you devoted readers out there. Yep, this is the exact same plan that Maggie used in her condo. In fact, we even used the same carpenter for the job. Ours is bigger than hers, but it’s the exact same layout. I figured I loved hers so much, why not recreate the look in my own home?baskets-accessories-built-insWe had the carpenter come measure the space right when we moved in, and then he built it piece-by-piece in his shop over the course of 3 months. The pieces were then taken to a painter who sprayed them white and let them cure for over a week.

built-ins-bookshelf-worker-diy-contractorThe carpenter then picked up the pieces from the finisher, and installed them in our home. It took 3 guys about 10 hours to get the job done, and I’m pretty sure I bugged them about 1,000 times as I kept venturing into the room to take a peek.

crown-molding-built-in-bookshelfThey did an amazing job on the crown molding. It matches our existing molding so well, and really makes the piece look high-end and customized. crown-molding-built-ins

(Side Note: I know a lot of you guys might want the carpenter’s information, but he did this project as a side job/favor. He doesn’t typically take on projects of this size. However, we do have the information for the painter/finisher…so email us if you want his contact info!)

casey-built-ins-accessoriesIt didn’t matter that it was about 8pm at night when the carpenter was done installing…I got to work right away styling these beauties. And I must say…so much room for pretty objects. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to fill these massive shelves, but I ended up having more than enough.Β bookcase-built-ins-accessoriesI picked up a few wicker baskets from Michaels, as they fit the cubbies perfectly and could provide some secret storage. books-frames-built-ins-home-decorbooks-emmy-shelvesThen I added most of our book collection to various shelves. casey-built-ins-bookshelvesFinally, it was time for all of the personal accessories! #myfavoritepartframes-shelf-home-decorI added some framed pictures to various cubbies, and even included my DIY home key art. bookcase-shelf-home-decorI also displayed our wedding album, a Chicago record, and some china filled with photo booth strips. wausau-basket-built-in

This old box was purchased at a little shop in the small town of Wausau, Wisconsin (where we lived right after college!) It works perfectly up high on the built-ins.

postcards-accessoriesI couldn’t forget to include our vase of postcards that we collect from every destination we visit together.Β  It sits on one of the shelves, and whenever I’m bored I’ll browse through our travels, and immediately get wanderlust! typewriter-books-yearbook-built-inThe typewriter from our wedding was added on there…love-letters-jar-built-ins…along with a cookie jar from our wedding day! This one is filled with all of our handwritten love letters that we wrote one another in high school (no joke…there wasn’t texting back then!), and I even added my graduation tassel. Gotta love personal touches right?vase-books-shelf-decorbookcases-accessories-family-roombooks-plants-shelf

shelves-accessories-baskets-built-inscandles-shelves-bookcase-built-inshome-key-art-shelffamily-room-built-insIt’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with our new built-ins. Honestly, worth every penny (& the long wait)!Β casey-family-room-built-ins

There were a few times during the waiting process that Finn seemed a little skeptical of this big purchase for our new condo. In fact, one time while sitting on the couch he gazed at the blank wall and said, “I don’t get why we’re spending so much money to put another wall on top of a perfectly good wall.” built-ins-accessories-plant-family-roomBut now that they’re in…I’m pretty sure he is eating his words. built-ins-casey-family-roomThis is officially my new favorite spot in the house. Being surrounded by all of my favorite items that remind me of our story. flat-screen-tv-mountedTomorrow, I’ll be back to chat about our TV setup. We aimed to make it as streamlined and organized as possible (no messy cords!), and I think we did a pretty good job. Plus..I’ll show you a cool techy feature we added to take it to the next level. Here’s a little sneak peek…blue-led-lights-televisionBut before then…let’s do one last before & after. augusta-family-room-beforebookcase-built-ins-accessoriesfamily-room-bookcase-built-insbuilt-in_shelvescasey_sig

  • Andrea Pepe

    Cue all the heart eyes!!

  • This turned out amazing! I absolutely love it. I also really like the LED lights..that’s the one request my fiance has when we move to a house πŸ™‚ If he could just hand LED’s around every room and have a light show for wallpaper he would do it!

    • hahaha too funny! It’s literally my husband’s favorite part of the room! And surprisingly easy to setup.

  • shawnna griffin

    hey Casey! Love the built in! So cool!

  • Summer Hogan

    Wow, the built-ins are perfect but I love all the personal touches the most! The notes, typewriter and the keys! love

  • Erin Olson

    So beautiful! It was definitely worth it! love, Love, LOVE!

  • Kimberlee K

    So pretty! I love the Wausau, WI box! I Live in Wausau πŸ™‚ Very fun.

    • Oh my goodness! What a small world. We loved living there. It was a great year for us πŸ™‚

  • Ashley Sorrick

    Y’all do the best job with built-ins!! They look amazing and I love all the special personal touches (the high school notes are way too adorable!)

    • Thanks so much Ashley! And I’m so happy we still have them, they’re hilarious to read through. I always cringe when I open one up and read all of the crazy things my 16-year-old self was thinking at the time. Ha!

  • Ugh. I love this so much. I have GOT to convince my boyfriend that we need to do this in the new house. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the words “entertainment center” because he gave me an icky face. Haha

    • hahaaha yeah “entertainment center” might not have the same ring to it! Just tell him that it’s good for resale value & will provide lots of great storage πŸ˜‰

    • And I really think it transformed your space and made it look sooooo high-end fancy. It really made a big difference. Gorgeous.

  • Kara D

    Wow, that is huge! I didn’t truly comprehend just how big it was until the picture where Casey is leaning against it. Looks amazing!!

    • haha right?! It’s seriously ginormous! I’ve gotta get up on our bar stool to reach the top shelves.

  • Ana

    The built-ins look amazing, Casey!!

  • Trang

    It is so gorgeous Casey! Well done my friend.
    Any suggestions on us folks outside of Chicago to find a local carpenter? My only thought is to ask on Facebook (of all places) in the online garage sale groups that I belong to.

    • Great question, Trang. We’ve been fortunate to find most of our handymen/contractors through word of mouth. Mostly just friends who have had good work done for them. I did use for my backsplash project, and the guy was great! I’ve even had him back for a few other projects around the house. So I know Angie’s List & are always good places to start. But really I think it’s just about asking around, getting estimates & quotes, and asking potential hires to see their work.

      Facebook might be a great spot too! Definitely give that a try.

  • These are amazing! You girls have me fully on the “I need a built in” train but with no open enough wall spaces in our house! I love all the display area and storage space! And styled to perfection, as always!!

    • hahaha I feel ya on the built-in train! I walked into our place during the showing and immediately pointed to the wall and told Finn….BUILT-INS! Ha!

  • So gorgeous! I really hope to be able to incorporate some sort of built-in in my future home, I love the feel they can bring to a space.

    Sweet Spontaneity

  • Sara Kral

    I have a major crush on your new built-ins! And you styled them beautifully to boot!

  • Austin Schneider

    There really aren’t enough squealing sounds to type out that would indicate my love of these shelves! And beautifully styled πŸ˜‰ I think it makes the room seem 100x more cohesive and “established,” if that makes sense.

    • You are way too sweet, thank you!! And yes… that totally makes sense and I really appreciate it.

  • Casey- wow! These are GORGEOUS!! This is not the same condo I showed you months ago. I am just in awe of your personal touches, design and transformations of the spaces in your home. We need to talk! I like that it looks like it doesn’t take up too much depth of that space. Are the shelves deep enough to hold baskets? My issue is kids toys- legos, play doh etc that I need to hide. I have larger baskets on each side of our media stand but I am just curious if a wall built in would be better storage. #momproblems

    • Awww thanks so much Colleen! Yes, it does look a heck of a lot different than when we first walked in. It’s definitely getting better little by little!

      The shelves are 13inches deep, and the bottom portion is 18 inches deep. It’s definitely slimmer than the media console we had in its place while they were built. It doesn’t take up much room at all, and it holds SOOOOO MUCH! The baskets on the shelves hold all kinds of knick-knacks and storage. And then underneath we have games, DVDs, etc. So yes definitely good for a mom!

  • YESSSS!!! This built-in makes me so happy. I love that you went with what you wanted – built-ins for every room!!! πŸ™‚

  • Patricia Carlson


  • Zan Turner

    I love how it turned out and I can tell that it is truly your fav spot now! Hopefully, your hubby is loving it, too rather than the big blank wall. That carpenter did an amazing job – so glad you are happy with the investment. I also love the stories behind the decor. I love looking at built-ins but our current home is set up sort of differently with a fireplace in the middle.