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DIY Built Ins Reveal

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My biggest project to date–I have completed it!  I successfully built my own cabinets and bookshelves (or DIY built ins) around my fireplace.  And guess what?  They. Look. Awesome!!  I’m not one to brag about myself but I’m actually very proud of this project.  It’s the culmination of my years of work, learning, and efforts.

Here’s the before (when we were about to move in):

Then I built the mantel last year which you can check out here.

And here’s the finished product!



I mean seriously…these built-ins have just taken this space over the top.  The room feels luxurious and custom and is literally everything I hoped and dreamed it would be someday.  And now nearly every square inch of the main living area is covered in wainscoting haha!  Maybe now I will take the time to work on some other spaces.  It’s hard for me to do that if the main area isn’t just how I want it.

But that being said, I’m so glad I waited to build these until now.  If I’d done them before, I wouldn’t have the experience and knowledge yet and they might have turned out sloppy.  I mean, they aren’t 100% flawless, but they are very close.  I wish I could have had it all professionally painted, and maybe someday I will.  Because you can’t get that smooth as glass finish with a paintbrush like the professionals do.  And after painting for like a century you start to just get sick of it and want the darn thing DONE so you stop noticing all the drips and mistakes.  So the paint job isn’t perfect.  And neither is all of the woodwork, to be honest.  But I did it all myself and the mistakes are really only noticeable to me.

Why did I do this myself?  Well, mostly to save money.  But also because I really hate trying to find a reliable carpenter to come out and do a job exactly the way I want and do it quickly.  And also because I actually enjoy doing this stuff and find a lot of joy in creating something out of nothing.

The money though–I feel like something like this could cost between $3-5,000.  Easily.  And I would definitely charge that much because I did it and it took a month!

Here’s what I spent:  $1080.

That includes every single material I purchased, even paint and sandpaper.  So I think that’s pretty good!

One of my favorite parts of the built-ins is how much more storage they provide.  This house actually was short on basic closet space but now I have a place for stuff like this:

What do you think?  Are you pro-builtins or anti?  Some people love them, some people hate them.  I personally love them!  I have several posts coming on just how I built these and then I’ll link them below.  Get excited!
Be sure to see the other posts in my Built-ins Series:




  1. Heidi!! These turned out amazing!! You get all the heart eyes!!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks Ashley!

  2. Natalie Mitts says:

    These are so amazing! You are seriously so talented. Plus you gave me ideas of how to style my built-ins! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks Natalie!

  3. Wonderful job ! You are amazing !

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thank you!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thank you! And yes, I do like to sit in here. 🙂

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! Are you going to share plans with us? (I built your patio furniture for my son’s family. Thanks!)

    And you’ve done such a beautiful job of filling the shelves leaving a great amount of white space, making the shelves part of the artwork of the room. Great job!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks! I am definitely sharing plans. The first part is coming tomorrow!

  5. They are beautiful and look very well made. It’s so hard to find even free standing shelving of real, solid wood. Great job and thanks for sharing.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thank you so much!

  6. Kathryn Dahn says:

    Lurker here. I think built ins are terrific! My grandfather was a cabinet maker and a stone mason. He built their house and it was loaded with built ins – a place for everything and everything in its place. When they are done right (like yours are – swoon!) they blend seamlessly into the room and make everything look neat.

    You have every right to toot your own horn, they are magnificent! The room looks pulled together, especially with the wainscotting, so much more inviting than the original.

    Well done!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thank you so much! Your grandfather sounds awesome 🙂

  7. Michelle Hansen says:

    Really, really impressive!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks Michelle!

  8. Stunning! Excellent job. Here in VA that’s a 10K job. You are talented!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Wow that makes me feel good–thanks!

  9. Love, love, love your built-ins!! They look amazing! And you did it YOURSELF?! Girl, I am over here writing about chalk painting pumpkins and you are building this awesomeness! 🌟🌟 Great job!! 🌟🌟

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Haha I have chalk painted pumpkins too and they are my FAVE. Thanks!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Holy cow!!! Woman… you should be proud! Absolutely amazing !!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thank you!

  11. Heidi,
    When you painted your builtins, did you paint your shelves separate?
    Have you moved them around yet? I am trying to decide if I want mine adjustable or just fixed. I’m scared of dinging everything when I move them!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I painted them separately just because it’s easier that way. I made mine adjustable which was nice for when I first arranged them but now that they are in, I probably won’t ever move them. The lighting is attached to the shelves so we’d have to completely redo the lighting if we moved the shelves.

  12. I love this! I’m using it as inspiration for our remodel. Do you happen to know the color and brand of the hardwood floors? I really love them too!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      They are laminate actually. It’s Mannington Historic Oak in Ash. Good luck!

  13. Wow it’s beautiful! Can I ask how tall are your ceilings? And how tall are the built ins?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thank you! The ceilings are 9′ tall, so the builtins are similar. They fell about 10″ short but I closed off the space.

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