I’ve been so pumped about this recent project lately and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. For the past year, I’ve wanted to finish this project and I don’t know why it took me so long. With a little determination and basic problem solving skills, I’ll show you how I created these DIY built in shelves and saved hundreds (if not thousands)!!!!
Make any room work harder with custom shelving using these easy steps.
This is what my fireplace wall started off as (Ignore the Valentine’s Day decor.. lol). I always felt like the sides of the fireplace were missing something, and I didn’t want to commit to a specific type of artwork in case I didn’t like it down the road; then I’d be stuck with some giant holes in the wall.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen this photo, but one-day last month, I was playing around with photoshop and I created these pretend shelves. Well, I ended up LOVING what I saw and couldn’t get it out of my head.
I had a day off work last week, so I decided it was time to get down to business. I started off by clearing everything off my the built in cabinets. If you want to read more about how I built the fireplace “faux chimney” and cabinets, you can read about that here —–> Living Room Built Ins Around An Electric Fireplace.
I went to Lowes and had them cut four 3x2x8’s. I wanted a 1×1 to act as the shelf bracket, but there is no such piece that can be bought. I had a little A-ha moment in the store and asked if they could cut 2 inches off a 3 inch board. They said yes, so they did that, and I ended up using the remaining 2 inches pieces for the outer trim, which would cover the shelf brackets.
For the shelf brackets, I located the studs in the walls, levelled out the piece and screwed them in place.
I had the nice people at Lowes also cut my 3/4 inch MDF to the width I needed and then fit them into place on the shelf brackets. For the cubbies, I started measuring and fitting them in place as I went (since this wall is not perfectly square, I needed to cut each piece a slightly different size).
Once the dividers were measured and tacked in place using my nailgun, I then cut my trim pieces to size and then nailed them in as well. I love this nailgun because it leaves very small holes that are easily filled in with silicone caulking.
Here are the shelves coming along nicely. I still needed to fill all the holes and gaps, and paint them.
A bit more caulking needed, but it’s coming along. I really could have saved myself some time, if I had painted the MDF boards first before putting them in place and that was initially my plan, however, while doing a dry fit, they were very snug and it would have caused damage to the walls if I removed them to paint them.
These shelves cost me a total of $128 including the paint. I’m not sure how much a contractor would have charged, but I’m thinking it would have been just a tad more than that.
They took a total of 1 day to build and another half day to paint. I could hardly wait for the paint to dry before styling them.
I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit it, but I literally shopped my house for items to add to these shelves and I didn’t purchase a single thing. Yes, it’s true. I had all these knick-knacks in storage around the house (with the exception of maybe the typewriter).
I’m so glad I finally got to use this white deer head that’s been hiding in my basement.
This formal living room is right off the main entrance, and I love that this wall now has a defined purpose.
When we first toured the house, this is the what the living room looked like. It’s a teensy bit different now, no?
One of my favourite things about these DIY built in shelves is how I can change up the theme and accent colours of the shelf decor to whatever suits my fancy for the season or holiday.
I opted to use some gold and green tones because St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.
Thank you so much for checking out my post and huge shout out for all those Instagram friends that offered words of encouragement before tackling this project. See you soon my friends,