DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

April 20, 2016

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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We got word that our sectional will be here next Tuesday! That mixed with finishing the built-ins this past weekend has us just about ready to stick a fork in our downstairs family room. It’s hard (for even me!) to believe that the last time we showed you our built-ins downstairs they looked like this:

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

You can catch the tutorial up to that point right here. Since then, we added carpet, cabinets, baseboard, speakers, a tv, shelves and a whole bunch of decor and now it looks like this, all finished!:

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

Let’s rewind, and I’ll take you through the process of getting to this point. Before the carpet was installed, we added baseboards. If you look at the first photo, you’ll see Chris took extra care to make the bottom “shiplap” board taller, so when we added baseboard, it would shorten that bottom board to a width that looked similar to the other boards. Then we added our cabinets in the middle.

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

We actually plucked the Ikea cabinets from our fauxdenza. Since they held mostly toys upstairs, it made sense to bring it downstairs. These particular cabinets are from Ikea’s last Akrum cabinet line, but they have similar cabinets, with flat fronts in the new Sektion line. The built-ins were designed from these cabinets, so I’m not sure why I was so surprised there was just 1/8″ clearing on either side when we put them in place. Chris is just that good and I’m impressed by his skills every time. I upgraded the old hardware with these antiqued brass latches–kind of a splurge, but worth it!

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

We mounted a piece of MDF on top (painted in Clark + Kensington’s Chalk ) to match the cabinets and rest of the built-ins. We originally painted the built-ins the same color as the walls, Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, but while it looked beautiful on the walls, it got too yellow-green with all the shadows in the built-ins, so we course-corrected with Chalk and it’s so much better.

The last step was mounting the wood shelves in place. We got the 1.5″ Douglas Fir boards from a local lumbar yard. (The same place we got the shelves in our kitchen and in our reading room.) We love getting them local because we were able to specify things like thickness, squared edges and it’s usually pretty affordable, too. These cost us $25 per 8 ft length and Chris cut them down to size here at home.

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

We really wanted to keep the boards light in color, and almost kept them raw, but the boards had a bit of a pink undertone to them, so I stained them lightly with Minwax’s Classic Gray stain and the end result was just what I had envisioned.

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

To attach the boards we drilled holes in the shiplap and used two of these brackets on each side.

DIY Shiplap Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

I snapped this photo before we drove a screw through the bottom of each of the brackets to make sure they don’t go anywhere in case, heaven forbid, one of the girls attempts to climb these suckers, but they’re pretty sturdy before that step too.

And then it was time to load them up! These are strictly decorative shelves–meaning, they were never intended for books. And decorative they are. I ordered most of the stuff from my go-to, Wayfair, but everything is linked below.

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

The bottom compartments were specified for an amp and subwoofer, so I deconstructed baskets (I picked up at Ross for $12 each) trying to disguise those a little bit. The amp on the left, I had to cut out the back so the shorter wires could still feed to the power sources Chris added directly to the built-ins.  The subwoofer on the right, I had to cut out the bottom because apparently a subwoofer needs to sit directly on a solid surface. I’m learning so much! Chris is working on a post right now detailing all of his electronic choices for the room because I honestly didn’t even know we needed anything but a television–and even that he made a pros and cons list before deciding on this Vizio one. Like I said, that post is coming!

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

DIY Shiplapped Built-Ins: Finished and Styled!

I definitely have a color scheme throughout the house, so it probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the decor is a mix of natural elements, neutrals, textural elements, greens, blues, gold and modern blacks. It’s my formula. Here’s how you can get the same look.

1. Dwell Studio Black Pyramids  2. Kai Samuels Davis “The Beginning” 3. Black and Copper Figurine-Wayfair 4. Nubby Vase 5. Small vases-Wayfair 6. Cement vase with lid-Target 7. Kai Samuels Davis “After The Storm” 8. Shallow Baskets-Wayfair 9. Faux banana leaf plant-Target 10. Glass box-Wayfair 11. White Urchin– Wayfair 12. Brass Geometric Object-Target 13. Faux succulent

With the built-ins officially done, we’re turning our attention to fine-tuning the rest of this room before we stick a fork in it. Art and furnishings are on their way. And I just realized I haven’t even began to think about window treatments–too much time staring at these built-ins I guess.

Catch the first post about the built-ins right here and all the family room posts here.

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What do you think?

  1. marisa silva says:

    We are planning on using the same method to do our open shelving..Just wondering if the brackets are really strong enough? What tool did you use to make a hole for the pin side?

  2. samantha says:

    Hi! New reader here, weird question–was the basement finished in 2014? I started reading your posts on renovations from the beginning (big fan!) and a post from 2014 has pictures of the completed basement with the built-ins, carpet, and the engineer prints. Just curious about the timeline! xoxo thanks!

  3. Ellyse says:

    Hi! Could you please tell me the depth of the cabinetry and bookshelves? Thank you so much!! This is stunning!

  4. Ashley says:

    What sheen did you use for the paint on the built ins?

  5. Larissa says:

    Hi, could you please let me know the size of your tv and the overall size of the cabinet? I am struggling to find a proportion to mine. Thank you

  6. josh says:

    how long did this project take start to finish?

  7. Dave says:

    love this room! How high did you install the boxes for the TV, and how far back is the couch?

  8. Heidi says:

    I love your shiplap / plank wall! We’re finishing our basement and I’m stilling some of your ideas. What finish are the BM Simply White walls? I’m guessing eggshell…

  9. Heather says:

    How deep are your shelves?

  10. Courtney clark says:

    I have tongue and groove that I am looking into staining that are pretty much what you describe as the “pink” tinge. I have done some test strips and can’t seem to get it as light as you did yours! How did you go about achieving this color?!?

    • Chris says:

      Hi Courtney! To clarify, the tongue and groove is for shelves? Is that why you’re staining it? Or did you mean painting? We painted our “ship lap” with a good primer first, then a couple coats of the paint and that worked great. If you’re actually staining, that’s a tougher question. It all depends on the type of wood the shelves are and the kind of stain you’re using.

      Also, as a side note, sometimes when you do a test on a board, if you only paint one little part and it’s still surrounded by the original color, your mind has a hard time seeing what the actual color is. It takes all color in context, including what surrounds it, so having a piece that you paint/stain entirely can help.

      • Courtney says:

        Hi Chris! Sorry I didn’t explain well… I have tongue and groove that I am looking into staining to look just like your shelving. I have done test strips on my tongue and groove but I believe it is my technique that is making the stain too dark (I’m using the same minwax stain as you) but I am definitely an amateur at staining. I wasn’t sure if there was a special technique or any special brushes you use to get the stain to apply so light?

        Thanks so much!

      • Chris says:

        Do you know what kind of wood the boards are?

  11. Ashley levey says:

    Love this and hoping to build a similar one on a slighlty shorter wall! What size is your TV?

  12. Sarah B. says:

    I’ve never seen anyone address how to do outer corners when they’re DIYing planked walls. You have a great close up shot of a corner and it looks like the two planks are mitered? And then how do you create a seamless, smooth look that makes it seem like it’s one long plank wrapping around the corner? Filler and then sanding? Thanks!

  13. Holly Taylor says:

    Just wondering how you like the brass latches that you used? We did a similar project and love the latches you used. I’m just curious if opening/closing has been a problem–like with kids, if you like the quality and feel of them, if you would do anything different. I’ve been eyeing them on the same website where you got yours and just wanted your opinion before I take the plunge.

  14. E B says:

    Can I ask how high you hung your cabinets and how you decided what the appropriate height was?

  15. Susan says:

    Beautiful! You’re creation is the inspiration for our living room – flat screen above mantle (ugh! said I’d never put it there but, it’s growing on me) with built-ins on either side… Love the sub woofer in basket idea :) But, where did you hide the cable/DVR box and DVD box and any other TV component/boxes??

    • Julia says:

      We ran a cable line right behind the television and we’ve switched over to completely digital so no need for a DVD player. Also, might be hard to believe but we’ve never had DVR. Haha.

  16. Monika says:

    Gah! I love this! Where do I begin? Just…everything is so aligned, thought out, executed to perfection. Yes, the little things make it spectacular. I’m vacillating between envious and giddy, jealous and awed. Nicely done! Really nicely done!

  17. Michael says:

    Looks fantastic! Job well done to both of you. Is there any concern of the faux shiplap warping over time due to humidity and temperature change in the basement? I’ve seen people glue the plywood down in addition to nailing for this very reason.

  18. Brenda says:

    I never knew you could stash speakers and such in baskets…makes sense that the sound would still come out. I will be stealing that because I hate looking at them! P.S. The anal part of me just loves how you lined up the top of each shelf with a ‘seam’ on the shiplap.

  19. Lisa says:

    So pretty!

  20. Jenn Freeman says:

    I am absolutely loving this!!!!

  21. Kelly says:

    I was thinking, how on earth did they get those floating shelves? but it looked so simple once you showed how! haha. thanks for the pics, love the space!

  22. Kristen says:

    You guys did such a great job with these built ins! They look awesome and I’m sure your family is going to enjoy this space for years to come!

  23. Kelly says:

    The links to the Kai Samuels Davis print aren’t working. His blurred portraits are stunning, I’ve been eyeing them for so long!

    • Julia says:

      Gah! Someone else said the same thing, but I’ve had several people test it with no problem. So sorry. Just wondering, did you try the text links below or just clicking on the picture?

      • Britt says:

        At least on my end, it takes you to the etsy page, but it’s just not the accurate link as it gives you the “oops! what you’re looking for is not here” kind of screen. Both links, photo and word link.

      • Julia says:

        Thank you, Britt. Can I ask one more question–Are you on mobile or desktop? Just trying to troubleshoot this for you and the future.

      • Britt says:

        I’m on a desktop using Chrome. PS. LOVE the shelves

      • Kelly says:

        I am on a different computer today and they work! Maybe it was just my husbands laptop (he has a mac)?

      • Kelly says:

        And PS… What Britt said!

  24. Tanae says:

    Love it! I’m never tired of modern paneling. I’m local-ish, can you share the name of the lumberyard?

  25. Rayna says:

    I am still trying to mentally digest “decoration only” shelves… not in critical way, just in a “you spent all that time and money building this stuff and it’s only going to hold art?!?!” kind of way. I guess my brain is coming from a house of 6 kids with video games and dvds and books… well… more stuff and less art. I’m wondering why the ultimate decision for shelving and not just organized photo hanging on the walls like you are so good at?

    Or maybe I had more of an emotional attachment to the National Geographics on the shelves in the other house than I even knew…

    • Julia says:

      Haha, the other half of the room is dedicated to all things kids so we were happy to fill these shelves with things that, well, make us happy. The center cabinets are dedicated to dads and electronics (although we’re moving more to a digital library now, too). There’s a cabinet at the bottom of the stairs filled to the brim with games and we have a family gallery wall in the stairwell.

  26. Shawna says:

    LOVE this space and can’t wait to see the pulled back and ‘completed’ room – so fresh and cozy and all the words :-) I especially love the wood shelves, they add just the right touch of warmth and texture – I could even see using that same material across the top of the cabinets (the former fauxdenza units). I love the artwork you include in your spaces – yours personally is a real favorite of mine for sure – I love all your pieces! I noticed the link doesn’t seem to be working for #2, just a head’s up – I love it all!! :-)

  27. Beautiful! I thought I was super over ship-lap, but I’ve got to say this is really modern and balanced and lovely. I would have a hard time watching the TV, I’d be so distracted by the pretty things around it!

  28. Elizabeth Pay says:

    These turned out so beautiful. Would you mind sharing a break down of the measurements? How wide are the shelves?

  29. Rebecca says:

    They are completely amazing. I love them!

  30. Linda says:

    Love it all! I need a panned out photo or video of the entire room to really get a sense of the space. Is that possible?

  31. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! This wall has made this room so much brighter. You guys always amaze me with your awesome diy skills and ability to make your whole home flow nicely! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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