DIY Built-Ins | TV Nook to Stylish Shelves

If anyone buys a house built in the 90’s to early 2000’s this is a common problem. Here, we show you our solution.

NOTE: This blog has switched domains. As of January 19th, 2015 this site should now be accessed via This specific post can be viewed here. Please redirect your visit to the new site for the latest in comments and responses on this behr deckover product.

We haven’t really shown hardly any house projects on this site yet. The lack of posts and my continuous babbling about being busy with work probably gives you an idea of why we haven’t kept up with house projects like I planned on when starting this blog. However, today we take the time to highlight at least one small project that we have done.

So we bought our house 3 years ago. Built in 2001, it had a TV nook built for an old, boxy CRT television. Due to our age, we have never owned a CRT television ourselves (we grew up with them of course, but by the time we owned our first TV, it was a flat panel). Needless to say the widescreen flat panel did not fit in the spot made for the square CRT TV. Additionally, I am not a fan of TVs being located so high or located over a fireplace. It was also just the completely wrong wall for the TV based on the shape and size of our living room. In summary? There was no way the TV was going on the wall the builder intended it to.

So, we wall-mounted our flat panel on a different wall and were left with a big, unattractive hole over our fireplace which just so happened to be the the focal point of the room. Catherine’s dad suggested shelves and we just ran with the idea. Here’s how the wall looked before we did anything with it:

TV Nook

TV Nook

Not exactly inspiring is it?

Many people recommend covering these with artwork or mirrors or drywalling over them. While that does “solve” the problem, I think there is a lot of potential that you can take advantage of with these alcoves. We decided to make a big statement by utilizing the built-in shelving.

-We wanted the shelves to be removable so that we could easily re-paint or re-wallpaper the area in the future if we change the decor in the living room. Because of this, we built “cleats” for the shelves to sit on and just cut boards to rest on the cleat such that they slide out easily. We chose cheap, paint-grade wood and primed and painted it white

-After installing the cleats and cutting the boards, we cut some trim pieces to attach to the front of the boards to give them a little more “finished” look than just the 1/2″ board.

-Additionally, we trimmed out the opening using wooden trim on the sides. For the arch, we utilize “flex” trim from Home Depot. It saved us a lot of time and headaches instead of trying to make or buy a true custom piece. A custom piece wasn’t a good option either due to the radius not being the exact same across

-We also wanted the wallpaper to be easily removable or changeable in the future. For the wallpaper, we cut foamboard (bought at Micahels) into 3 pieces (one for each shelving section) and adhered the wallpaper directly to the foamboard pieces. In order for the pattern to line up, we rolled the wallpaper out over the 3 cut foamboard pieces (taped together temporarily) to cut the wallpaper into 3 pieces before adhering the wallpaper to each individual pieces. These foamboard pieces were cut such that they slid snugly into the back of the nook and stayed in place well. With their seams(where the foamboard pieces meet) being hidden by the thickness of the shelving boards themselves you honestly cannot tell the back isn’t wallpaper directly on the wall. And if we want to change it later, it will be super easy to adhere new wallpaper or just rip it out completely!

-Finally, we painted everything else white except for the wallpaper in the back

We might still change the red wall color. Not 100% certain on the wall color yet, but it looks SO much better overall to us in the room with the new shelving. What do you think?

tv nook to built ins

tv nook to built ins

This is just the first project of many we hope to start unveiling this fall. Hopefully we can keep our word on that!

4 responses to “DIY Built-Ins | TV Nook to Stylish Shelves

  1. Pingback: Living Room Makeover| Introduction | The Color & Shape·

  2. Pingback: Living Room Makeover Followup – Sourcing | The Color & Shape·

  3. I know this is an old post.. but I just ran across it…this solution looks truly great..stylish…not like a ‘what-the-heck-are-we-gonna-do-with-this?’ I also don’t like the flat screen over the fireplace…thanks for the idea.. clever with the wallpaper solution,too..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s