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.

Our Living Room Before

before-family-room-augustaPretty sad, right? Okay here’s what it looks like now!

Our Living Room AfterOur living room with the built-in's installed! Doesn't this floor to ceiling shelving look amazing?

Here's a front view of our new Family Room Built-Ins. I can't believe how great they look!

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! Family Room Built-Ins - check out how great thse look in our living room! I love the contrast of the white shelves with our orange chair. Now 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?I bought these baskets from Michaels to help accessorize and double as extra storage. We 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.

Here's the contractor working to install our gorgeous new Family Room Built-Ins. The 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.

Doesn't the crown molding on our bookshelf match the existing crown molding wonderfully? They 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. I love how professional the Family Room Built-Ins look! You can't even tell that they aren't original!

(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!)

Side view of our Family Room Built-Ins. I think it really classes up the joint. It 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. After our built-ins were installed I got to decorate them! I added some of our favorite mementos. I picked up a few wicker baskets from Michaels, as they fit the cubbies perfectly and could provide some secret storage. I started the process by adding books to the bookshelves. Then I added most of our book collection to various shelves. Finally, it was time for all of the personal accessories! #myfavoritepartThis shelf got a photo from our wedding day, our DIY key art and some pottery. I added some framed pictures to various cubbies, and even included my DIY home key art. This shelf got a wedding album, a succulant, some potery and a Chicago record. I also displayed our wedding album, a Chicago record, and some china filled with photo booth strips. I love this vintage wooden beer crate from Wisconsin!

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.

One shelf has all the postcards from all the places we have traveled together!I couldn’t forget to include our vase of postcards that we collect from every destination we visit together.  It sits on one of the shelves, and whenever I’m bored I’ll browse through our travels, and immediately get wanderlust! Here's the typewriter from our wedding. The typewriter from our wedding was added on there…Here's a jar of love letters Finn and I wrote each other in high school. …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?I love this ceramic and wooden vase.

Close up of the keys from all the places Finn and I have lived together. It’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with our new built-ins. Honestly, worth every penny (& the long wait)!

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.” But now that they’re in…I’m pretty sure he is eating his words. These Family Room Built-Ins just tie the entire apartment together as well as adding extra storage and more spaces to decorate! This is officially my new favorite spot in the house. Being surrounded by all of my favorite items that remind me of our story.I filled our Family Room Built-Ins with mementos and treasures of my life with Finn. It makes me so happy to look at all of them! Tomorrow, I’ll be back to chat about our TV setup (here’s how we added LED lights to the back!). 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…We put blue LED lights on our television. Stay tuned for the tutorial!But before then…let’s do one last before & after. The blank wall that we put the built-ins on. Our new built ins in our living room. We had them custom made and I'm so glad we spent the money to get it done right!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.