Big Box Built-ins

We got the best of both worlds recently when I discovered that one configuration of Ikea’s Billy bookcase fits exactly in the space flanking the fireplace in our family room.

I’ve wanted to add some more white to the room so that the dark grey couch, and dark brown walls didn’t take over the whole room making it feel heavy, dark and dreary.

A friend was recently stopping by Ikea (about an hours drive away) and asked if we wanted anything so we took advantage of the free pick up!

Here’s how the room looked before Billy (with Billy boxes ready to be unpacked):

And after:

You may notice that our “shtart the car” chairs are absent. We moved them out of the room to accommodate friends in our basement for the Super Bowl and they haven’t moved back. In the meantime we’ve found another chair that we think will look better in the space and we’re just saving our pennies so we can pick up a pair.

I tried putting them together on my own, but alas, it was a two person job. Ahem… two and a half.

Are you kidding me with these directions?

I can’t make sense of any of it!

You can also see that Harrison had his own tools out to help with the job.

The bookcases are affixed to the wall so that they won’t topple on tiny people or clumsy homeowners. Safety first! And I opted for doors so that we can stash away toys, and books and other need-them-nearby-but-would-like-them-out-of-sight items.

I’m happy to report that my measuring skills did not fail me. They fit like a glove!

Of course they are taller than the chair rail that goes around the room, but for a big-box store solution I think they’re pretty great. You can’t get everything all the time.

I’m chipping away at the family room checklist:

  • Source and buy new couch.
  • Wait 8-10 weeks for delivery
  • Purchase new or “rediscover” secondhand arm chairs for more seating in the room
  • Paint
  • Find shelving units or display storage for either side of the fireplace
  • Get a media storage unit for tv, speakers and receiver to replace the old coffee table that we are currently using to hold up our tv — yup we’re using a glass coffee table and the receiver and speakers are on the floor
  • DIY a coffee table
  • New ceiling fixtures
  • Change the look of the fireplace without painting it. (I’ve got something up my sleeve)
  • Art for the room. DIY?
  • Window treatments
  • Accessories – cushions, throws, baskets, objets d’art etc.
  • Find some side tables and maybe ottomans for the club chairs
  • Add a rug to define the space (I’m not sure if I like the rug on carpet idea, so it’s just a thought right now)

Not too shabby! I crossed off “Accessories” since I added those FTM (free to me) pillows, but I’ll keep adding and layering. I haven’t un-crossed off finding more seating for the room, because technically we have bought some, they’ve just moved, and I know what we’re going to put there to replace them once we save our pennies.

What have you guys been up to? Anyone else ever find a perfect fit for something and avoid going custom? Gotta love the savings there!


2 thoughts on “Big Box Built-ins

  1. Pingback: Around the family room « to london with love

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