How to work this built-in in living room?
emily996
April 29, 2013
What would you do with this built-in and wall? The floor plan calls for a fireplace, but unfortunately we don't have one and don't want to do a big project right now. We just moved and I don't really know how to make it work in general, or how to fill it. The room is an open living/kitchen/dining.

The sample on the wall is SW macadamia.

I'd love to hear your suggestions!
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Margo
Personally, I would remove the top half.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 6:38AM
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Amy Stanley
You could have doors made to match so you can close it off while not in use.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 6:59AM
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soberg
I agree with Margo....remove everything above the bottom cabinet. Otherwise, it's just too busy.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:14AM
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pontoonwoman
We have one like this- an inexpensive- easy remedy- take out the shelving all around it, and put a simple piece of decor on either side of the t.v. That's the way ours is and it looks really nice. All that open shelving makes it look busy and not pretty
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:26AM
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emily996
If we remove the top, how do I fill the walls? The ceiling is 9 ft already, 10 ft if you count the bumped up part. There is 6 ft on either side of the built-in. I already feel like the sides are huge and empty but at least right now I have a way to have something above the TV (if we keep the hutch part, I want to lobby my husband to move the speaker up, since the TV is actually floating right now). If we remove the top, I can use the shelves in my mudroom, which would be nice, but I still would have a huge empty living room wall. I am toying with the idea of parallel picture ledges, but I think the wall is too long to do that for the entire wall? Do that on the wall with the shelves as is and thin out the shelves to look less cluttered? (e.g. all dark book spines or something)

A fireplace would solve all these issues but we are afraid that if we are only here a few years that the cost of the fireplace will not be recouped when we sell. Plus, we are in the hot humid South, so it is not needed for functionality, only for a focal point.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Are you removing the bookcase around TV. I hope so. Just looks cluttered. Stack a few of those books. On media. On floor put tall 4 ft pot in color with sticks or heavy bamboo. On left side, put a bamboo tree or palm. Remove pic too small. Do you need basket cab on right? Move to other part of room. Not necessary to fill wall less is better. The colors samples you have on wall are nice but go 2 shades darker. Will make room pop.dont be afraid to paint, it's the cheapest thing you can do to improve room.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
I can't see wood floors. Use area rug in front of TV 8 x10 in color print. Use browns, cream, and a red or turquoise . In print.make sure it's big. A round coffee table or ottoman in front of sofas.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Need more pic of rm. is that a top of a bar in yr pic? If so add some bar stools..
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Leave white trim. Pendants are good. Get bar stools in bronze metal.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Forget firepl to expensive. You are doing fine just need some decor tips. It will come together.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:00AM
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sheryl N
I totally agree with Travis Interiors, paint the wall a bit darker and use bamboo and put a large vase with flowers or some type of long stems, it would be beautiful. You can add some color to the sofa and other decor with pillows and a throw. Also, remove that picture, this isn't the right place for it. Good luck!
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:01AM
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emily996
Thanks, Travis. I think we will take it out, it's a matter of when. Nothing in the pic has to stay, it's just where it landed when we moved a few weeks ago. No, we don't need the basket storage, the new cabinets provide more than enough toy storage now. I am just trying to get a game plan together and need to find a new home for that. I like the idea of sticks/bamboo for height once the shelf is gone.

My husband doesn't like the paint color because he says it looks dingy. I have been through 8 paint samples and am not happy yet either.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:06AM
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emily996
Ah, sorry saw more comments. Hold on I'll upload some more pics. Yes, I need barstools but wasn't sure where to start. Bronze metal I can do. I was leaning towards X-back wooden before you said that.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:08AM
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handymam
I guess I am the only one that likes the top part of the built-in... I would keep it. I would use a large art piece on either side of the unit though. And I would take down what looks like dvds or videos? or even if they are books and just put things that are more decorative. I agree that the paint could go a tad darker, but if you add art, it may be okay.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:08AM
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houssaon
I would put up a graphic wallpaper on that wall. This in blue would look great: Kelly Scanlon Interior Design. Contemporary Living Room, Stockholm, Sweden and LoHi Private Residence are interesting patterns.

Also, add another comfortable chair in the corner about where the toy truck is now to round out the conversation area.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:10AM
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emily996
Here is the bar and the yellow cabinets that I have been stumped with. They are actually pretty even though I would not have picked them. They've given me horrible fits though, trying to decide colors that work. That's macadamia (one sample coat) painted below the bar.

I do not like my mission tables either, that's 2 houses ago...
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:12AM
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emily996
Houssaon, we have orange peel walls, so I am guessing wallpaper is out and probably even wall stencils. Is that true?

Thanks for the ideas, keep them coming!
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:13AM
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PRO
Gantt's Decorating
The main thing that troubles me about the unit is that it is so close to looking like a built in. I would be tempted to take off the crown molding,enclose the six inches to the ceiling and put the crown back on. The other thing i don't like about the unit is the yellowish white color. I would consider painting the whole unit close to the color of the leather sectionals. If you do that the tv will blend in and not command so much attention. Paint the walls a warmer color to blend with the bookcase. Paint the area behind the tv and the inside of the unit all the same color. Another thing that would help is take out the middle shelf on each side and hang a framed print in the space on each side. Take all the bright colored books off the shelf and stack what is left in differing arrangements mixed with accessories. I often also put mini lamps near the pictures to light it up. I'm going to try to attach some images to illustrate. Hope this helps. also I agree with travisinteriors about the items on each side. Bill
1 Like    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:27AM
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emily996
Thank you, Bill. I might try that with some stuff I have around here to get me started. It is the more immediate and easiest option for sure and rearranging the shelves can't hurt even if we end up doing something else. (I have not yet passed any of this by my husband.) The unit is built-in, at least in the sense that it was put there by the builder and it is anchored to the floors and wall. We discussed moving it out completely, but we wouldn't be able to match the current floors so that really only works if we are putting a fireplace.

The kitchen cabinets are the same color and the room is completely open, so is why I was kinda averse to painting the unit. Maybe that would help separate the spaces.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Nancy Walton
I would take out the shelves on either side of the TV and put your speakers in there, then frame some fabric in a coordinating color to whatever you choose for the walls, paint the frames to match the cabinet, and install over the speakers.
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:06PM
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sunshinemama941
I too have a wall o'shelves. I painted the inside a contrasting color. I have zero books on my shelves (took me awhile to wrap my brain around that!), just decorative stuff. I'm very happy with how the unit came out. No tv though. Start by removing everything and adding things one at a time (and rearranging) until you like the look! Houzz has lots of inspiration!
    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:26PM
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