interiors & styling

Custom Built-In Update

fireplace-before Here’s a little reno update for you guys. The above image is the BEFORE shot. Getting rid of the outdated 60’s fireplace was a must. You might remember it from the flooring post? Luckily it looks a lot different now than it did then. Emmett has been working on the custom built-in slowly, but surely. We’re waiting on the black marble to arrive, then he can finish the fireplace, mantle, and I can finally paint (hallelujah!). Click through to see our progress on this specific project so far… 

fireplace-demo The first step was obviously demo. The limestone was no easy feat because it was original to the home and very heavy. We (meaning Emmett) took it all the way down to the studs and exposed fireplace brick.

fireplace-brick-exposed After demo had been completed, I was able to tackle the fun part of the process… dreaming up what would replace the original fireplace.

custom-built-in-rendering I created a digital rendering for Emmett to use as a guideline. We did a lot of meticulous measuring to make sure the diagram was to scale, and also to make sure everything was super functional. I knew I wanted tall and deep shelves to fit irregular sized books and objects. One of his “musts” was surround sound. You can read about our compromise here. To keep the entertainment, media, and speakers hidden, together we designed closed cabinetry. To allow the media to breathe properly and prevent overheating, we settled on perforated inset cabinet panels. You’ll see all of this later, but these were the type of solutions we fleshed out in the rendering.

Next, Emmet began to work from my diagram to begin framing out the project.

framing-out-new-fireplace This was also the point in which he rewired and updated electrical. We love having outlets inside cabinetry, so that things can charge without being seen. We also added a handful of electrical boxes into the shelves, for our sonos speakers and pet cam. This step always looks scary and crazy because the studs are exposed and wires are running in every direction. I typically try to avoid the space when it’s like this, simply because it stresses me out.

wiring-electrical-and-surround-sound After that was taken care of, I sort of slacked in the photography department. Emmett continued to build from the rendering, but I failed to take photos. You can probably imagine how it got to this point though… a little drywall makes a huge difference!

custom-built-in-progress Obviously it’s still in progress, but this is what it looks like today. We’re waiting on our marble to arrive, which will surround the fireplace. He’ll also add a nice mantle and finish trimming everything out. After that, it will be my job to sand, prime, and paint the built-in. The mesh door panels will also need sprayed.

entertainment-unit-diy We’re currently using the cabinet to store tools, since this room is under construction. Note the outlet inside the cabinet… super functional!

built-in-media-cabinet-process Here’s a little glance at a color coded printout of my rendering. Obviously he’s been working from this from day one, so it’s a little dirty looking, but hey- that’s the story of renovating.

custom-built-in-rendering I’m eager to see this completely finished. Not only is it going to provide a TON of storage and functionality for our living room, but it’s going to add an updated stylistic element that is FAR better than the original limestone fireplace.

custom-shelves-in-progress What do you guys think? Emmett and I both feel as though our renovation is creeping along (probably because we’re living amongst the mess), but after looking at process photos, it makes us feel a little better knowing where we started.

21 Comments

  • Reply
    Margo
    January 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    It’s looking amazing Sarah! You guys have awesome skills 🔨 I love your blog – will be using it as a reference to those awesome build-ins I’m trying to convince my husband to ad on to your living room. Have you chosen a color for the room yet? I’m dying to know , I saw you are using ShW so I’m even more curious what you pick 😀

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 9, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks so much, Margo! I’m definitely lucky he knows how to do these crazy things. Good luck convincing your husband! I have selected paint colors. I’m sharing my paint color predictions for 2017 later this week… check back for that! xo

  • Reply
    Ann Heltzel
    January 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Looking good Sarah and Emmett! Emmett you are doing fantastic work! Are you staining or painting the wood?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 9, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you, Ann!! I will be painting the wood. I’m thinking two different colors. xo

  • Reply
    Georgia
    January 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Wow! It looks awesome! You must be so excited about the progress. I’m excited to see what it will be when it’s all done! I love that even in the midst of the reno, you beautify the space with plants. Love that plant/planter on the hearth.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 9, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Thank you! I feel like things are progressing so slowly this time around. It’s funny… that plant has been so unhappy here in Utah, and I stuck it in the fireplace to get it out of the way, and now it’s thriving. I guess that’s the lucky spot. Ha! xo

  • Reply
    MT
    January 9, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Loving your blog! The progress looks awesome.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see this painted and finished. xo

  • Reply
    Holly
    January 9, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Looks amazing! The mesh screens are so good.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 9, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks, lady! Excited to paint them. xo

  • Reply
    Carrie W
    January 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Hi – love this, looks great! Where did you get the mesh screens / mesh panels? Looking for something similar for our media room. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you, Carrie! You can find the mesh at any big box retailer, like Lowes or Home Depot. They have all different styles. xo

  • Reply
    Caroline
    January 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    So pretty! Where did you find those mesh screens they’re gorgeous!?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Thank you, Caroline! You can find the mesh at any big box retailer, like Lowes or Home Depot. xo

  • Reply
    Ardith
    January 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    It’s impressive, Sarah and Emmett, and sure to be gorgeous when it’s done. Two great minds working together. Cheers, Ardith

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 10, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you very much, Ardith! I hope your year is off to a great start! xo

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I love the look of the built-ins so far! Can’t wait to see what they look like when finished.

    I have a bit of a random question for you. In the first picture, you have your fiddle leaf fig tree in a woven basket. Is that a basket specifically made as a planter? Or do you just use it as such? I ask because I just got a fiddle leaf fig myself and love the look of the basket but for practical watering reasons, can’t figure out how it would work with a regular basket. Thanks for any advice you can offer!

  • Reply
    Kacey
    February 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Holy smokes, lady! Amazing job!!!

  • Reply
    Kacey
    February 12, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Holy smokes, lady! Looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      February 13, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Thanks so much, Kacey!! xo

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