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Living Room Renovation

My favorite renovation I have done to date is our living room. When we moved into our house, this is what our living room looked like. Bland and gray. There was no storage, no fireplace, and no personality. I was determined to change that.

Empty Living Room
Living Room View From The Entry
View of Living Room from the Kitchen

I knew I need to add some character to the room, and I had a lot of ideas on how I could do that. I thought about adding a fun accent wall, doing a built in bench, or a wall of shelves. After a lot of research and Pinteresting, I decided I was going to transform that empty wall into a built in bookcases, shiplap and a fireplace. I am going to spend the next few days walking y'all through the details of each of these, but I am going to give y'all a peak into what we did and how this ended up. Spoiler alert - it looks awesome!


Our house did not have a fireplace, so I was either going to do a DIY built in fireplace or buy an electric fireplace online. I really liked the DIY built-in fireplaces I found on Pinterest. Nesting with Grace (one of my favs) has done one that looks awesome. If I were to do a built-in fireplace in my next home, I would definitely follow the example from Nesting With Grace.

However, for this house I found a great looking fireplace from Wayfair. I made it look built-in with a wood mantle that we placed on top. The fireplace is a bit on the pricey side, but it is worth it. It looks built in and the mantle detail is great. I would highly recommend!


I love built-ins. I think they add so much character to a home, and I want them in every room in my house. However, they can be expensive to build, and they are time consuming. After weeks of researching on how others got the built-in look on a budget, I decided I was going to do an Ikea Billy Hack. We put the Ikea Billy Bookcases on either side of the fireplace and made it look built-in. I will show you all how to do this. It is easier than it looks!


To complete the look, we added a shiplap wall in-between the bookcases and behind the fireplace. This gave the living room a true built-in look with a touch of charm.

Living Room

The completed built in project gave me everything I was looking for in a living room. Character, charm, and functionality. The fireplace works great and even gives off heat if needed for the cold winter months. I am using bookcases to store all my books. It makes the space cozy, but functional at the same time. I am also able to store games, and journals behind the bookcase cabinet doors.

Y'all this is a project you will not regret! It made such a difference in our space, and we get compliments on it all the time. What do you think?

Check back over the next few days as I show you the details for all three of these projects to make this built-in look like you spent several thousands dollars on hiring a contractor to build this.


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