Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Living Room: Built-In Shelves

When we first came to view the house we now live in, one end of the living room looked like this 
(July 2010.)
Once we had bought it and were making the occasional visit while planning permission was being applied for, it looked like this (August 2010.) It's the wall to the right that this post is primarily about.
Then the builders arrived and starting knocking walls down (April 2011.)
They even went so far as to knock the entire back of the house off. Scary times (May 2011.)
Then they started building it back on again, slightly further out. The wall straight in front is the wall we're interested in (June 2011.)

Then it was plastered (August 2011.)
Then painted (September 2011.)

And then we moved in and created a mess; and we came to realise that we needed some storage, and we also needed to somehow break up that huge expense of wall.
Then we went on holiday and while we were away the flooring men discovered that our dishwasher had been leaking and that a large area of our wooden floor was ruined (November 2012.)
We had to wait three months for the concrete underneath to completely dry before new flooring could be put down (February 2013.)
And when it was laid, we asked the flooring chaps to leave a gap all along the wall.

Because we had a plan, that involved having one of these built (March 2013.)

And plastered.

And then the electrician added a couple of extra sockets (I forgot to take a specific photo, but you can just about see them to the left of DC.)
Then we started playing with colour 
(Vert de Terre by Farrow and Ball, the same colour as the wall in the dining room.)
And then, all of a sudden the carpenter arrived with some big units he'd built off-site and they just slotted right on into the alcoves that the faux-chimney breast had created (April 2013.)

And bish, bash, bosh, he started whacking up shelves on the same day.

And cutting handy little cable holes in the lovely worktops.
And by the end of day two we had this - ta daaaah.

And note, the new TV to boot! Poor old DC cried when the old TV left the building (it went to a new home via the wonder that is Freecycle); hubby and our next door neighbour also nearly cried when they had to heft its weight and bulk out to the car.
And then we (but mainly hubby) had to paint the cupboards and shelves. 
What joy.
And do a bit of rewiring to get the lamp to work via the handy cable hole.

And then it was time to start filling those lovely shelves with lots of lovely books, photos and general stuff and nonsense. The cupboards are full to bursting with DC's toys and games. So nice to be able to shut the doors on (most of) them.
And two last little things (for now) - an electric faux-woodburner; for the princely sum of £15 from the bootilicous eBay. And a lovely slab of Cornish slate for it to sit on; also from eBay and a fraction of the cost quoted by a local (and notoriously pricey) firm.
We have the oak slab that will form the mantle, but we're waiting on the carpenter to come along and fix it up for us; it weighs a ton and neither of us is confident to fit it without him. Then it's just a case of deciding what should go on the chimney breast above the mantle - painting, mirror, nothing at all?

And so, this is what the room looks like as of today.

Quite a change from here
and here.


  1. Wow Justine it looks fabulous, all cosy and homely! I love the shade of green you've used too & I'm envious of all that storage.

    1. Thank you! The storage is fantastic, although DC still manages to have a half-hundredweight of toys cluttering up the room.

  2. It looks great and I love the green too.

  3. Love built-in bookshelves, wish we had some. I've sworn that the next house we have (and knowing us there will be another one) I'll take the dining room, which we NEVER use and turn it into a library with built in shelves.


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