DIY BUILTIN BOOKCASES and a HOME ENTERTAINMENT CENTER MAKEOVER

This is one of my husband and I’s favorite DIY home renovation projects to date. It’s a beautiful built-in home entertainment center using Billy Bookcases from IKEA–also known in the DIY world as an IKEA HACK. This project was completed in our Colorado home before me moved to St. George, Utah. We added an electric fireplace, beautiful rock wall, and mounted our television in the center. The total cost for this project was around $1,700–a small price to pay for the amazing transformation.

For this project, we used billy bookcases from IKEA, added recessed lighting, and used a beautiful quartz rock tile. We also mounted our television onto the built-ins as well as installing an electric fireplace. My husband also built a “hollowed out wood beam mantle” that he stained and attached to the center of the entertainment center. It gave the built-ins the most beautiful contrast. Believe it or not, this project only took a total for 4 days for my husband to complete–pretty impressive if you ask me!

THE NARROW LIVING ROOM WITH A CORNER FIREPLACE

This is the before shot. We had a vary narrow walk way between our two sofas, and the corner fireplace limited our ability to rearrange the furniture around the tv. Let’s just say it was cramped and awkward.

IKEA HACKS

In our former life (and present), my husband and I have always been huge IKEA fans, not because we necessarily love the style of IKEA, but because IKEA has the best stuff for doing a HACK.   Some of our most beautiful home projects are IKEA HACKS.   

The ugly corner unit that took up so much space. We had left over wood flooring from our flooring project, and so when we ripped out the corner fireplace unit, and my husband weaved in new flooring from the leftovers we had.

What is an IKEA HACK you ask? 

Definition:   Take something that you purchase from IKEA (that’s cheap), and jazz it up to make it look expensive (using new moldings, hardware, or wood trims).      

Ripping out the corner fireplace. We had no idea what we were doing, but we figured it out, and that’s kinda our style.

MY FORMER LIFE 

This is the home we lived in when we lived in Colorado. We now live in the greater St. George, Utah area.  I wish I had more photos of all our DIY projects that we worked on in this house, but I wasn’t blogging as regularly then (mostly because I was always working on a house project), and so I didn’t document and share the process, but I want to show all the ways that we have modified and update our home to make it beautiful.   This is one of those projects.

Building The Center Section to mount the television and to hold the electric fireplace

A BUILT IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

This is one of our favorite IKEA hacks to date.   We had a very small, narrow living room in our Colorado home because our corner fire place took up so much space, and the space was always cramped.  SOOOOOOOO, my husband and I decided to get rid of our bulky corner fireplace, and replace it with a grand built-in and an eclectic fireplace.  Now, I normally wouldn’t recommend exchanging a gas fireplace for an electric, however, because of the narrow size of the living room and the narrow size of our budget, removing the corner, gas fireplace actually expanded our living room space without breaking the budget. Adding that extra space in our tiny living room changed everything for the better!

Adding IKEA Billy Bookcases on each side

EXTENDING THE HEIGHT OF THE CABINETS

We used the billy bookcase from IKEA and added IKEA shelving extensions that made the bookcases (without the crown moulding) stand at 9 feet hight. The photos are deceiving, because these built-in bookcases were actually quite tall (which is hard to see in these photos).   My husband then built out a center section which we tiled stone onto and built a frame to set in the electric fireplace (which just plugged into an outlet in the wall).    We mounted our television to the center section (and if you choose to do this, make sure you leave a place to run your television wires behind the wall–you don’t want visible cables hanging down).   

Attching the Crown molding to the billy book cases.

CROWN MOULDING 

To IKEA HACK the bookcases, we added moldings and trims around the base of the book cases, and my husband built a beautiful crown molding to attach to the top.   Adding this built-in living room entertainment space added so much value to our home.   It was a beautiful feature in our living room, and it gave us the badly needed extra space we were after.   

a close up of the crown moulding and the rock
We used a special sheet rock to tile the stone on, and the cut out is for the electric fireplace. Notice how we “city-scaped” the built-in bookcases with the center section, so that the center section is inset. This gives the cabinetry more dimension.
The stone we selected for the center fireplace
Tiling the front of the electric fireplace with stone, also notice the recessed lighting, and faux wood beam mantle that my husband built.
we used a tilted tv mount and ran wiring behind the stone. This built-in bookcase, with the beautiful quartz rock, subway tile really made a statement when you walked in our living room.
You can see how small the living room is in this area, before with the corner fireplace, we only had a narrow strip to walk through. Removing the corner fire place freed up a lot of area in the room
These bookcases, with the crown moulding, were over 9ft tall. The center section of the built-in was around 10 feet tall. This added a grand feel to our tiny living room.

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