Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to do Built'ins Pilot

One of the things that I've learned how to do over the past couple of years in this house is build space-specific built-ins and furniture. It's a skill that I'm finding to be extremely helpful, especially in maximizing the small spaces in our house.

Since I love you guys so much I'm going to show you how to do it. I've tried to pitch the idea of teaching a class about this or writing guest posts about it on other blogs, but to no avail. SO, since I have a blog, I thought I'd just do it here.

Today I'm going to just show you what we've done for Lucie's room so far so you can see that I do actually have some experience with these projects. I'm not going to start by telling you how we did this because it's a big project. It's not a good first project for me to try to explain the process and it's not a good first project for you to attempt.

This was Lucie's space before. When we re-configured her room waay back when, we moved the closet that was in our room and turned it into an alcove in Lucie's room. Here's the finished alcove before we did the built-ins.

We had to measure the area in the alcove and take an inventory of all of the stuff we wanted to corral.

I designed the unit in five pieces. One of the big things to remember when designing built-ins is that the pieces need to fit through doors.

Here are two horrible, very distorted pictures (taken pre-new camera/photography class) that show the pieces going in.

Pieces 1,2,3, & 4 

That's the drawer for her stuffed animals. We have some serious stuffed animal storage issues.

Here is the (almost) finished unit:

You can see all five pieces here. The lower shelves are 18" deep. Unless you're storing tires, shelves should never be more than 18" deep. The upper shelves are 11" deep which is a good size for  books/dishes. If you make shelves too deep, you will lose stuff in the dark, back recesses.

We still have to finish the drawer:

I'll show you how to finish this. The "finishing skills" are transferable.

Here's a close-up of the trim that we used. I'll show you how to do that too...

I've been thinking of adding a little wash of color to the leaves, just to pretty it up a little.

So, would you like me to show you how to make stuff like this?
If I can do it, anyone can, for reals!

See you tomorrow!


  1. Heather, I am very impressed. I'd love to see what you did and learn how to do it, although I may never have time to do it myself. Your daughter's room is lovely and organized now. Nice work!

  2. I'm impressed too Heather! And suprised that you haven't been able to get a guest blog about this. The trim makes it look really built in!

    I've been away from blogs for a few weeks but now I'm back :-)

    Hope you are doing really well, see you soon!

    Love Maria


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