Home Tour: Built-In Living Room Shelves

It has been a dream of mine to have built-in shelves in our living room. See this post where I explain a little bit more about them. Although it took a little longer than expected to get this project completed (doesn't it always??) as well as a few unexpected roadblocks... we're supper happy with the final results!

The whole process was quite an ordeal and really made me question if I'm cut out for any future home renovations, haha. My dad came over one weekend and helped to remove all of the trim on the wall, the existing mantle and all the tile around the fireplace. We even installed new tile on the hearth. When the shelves arrived and were installed they were just so beautiful, I was starting to re-think painting them white (which was the original plan). We explored some wood stains and moved forward with the plan of staining them a dark chestnut. Well, I got about 1/3 of the way through staining and it looked absolutely horrible! The stain wasn't soaking into the wood evenly, it was pooling up in some areas and soaking deep into others. It looked like a mess. I let it sit for a day, gathered my thoughts and eventually scrapped the whole idea of staining. I went down to the hardware store, picked up a gallon of white paint and painted THREE coats on the shelves. We now have the white shelves that we originally wanted, haha.

Truth be told, I think they look amazing and I'm very happy with the end results.

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

**Update: This project was also featured on Apartment Therapy!! **


  1. I love the final look! I'm also a bit envious of how put together everything looks on the shelves. That is something I have yet to master.

  2. They came out so great Holly, I love them! And I really like the way you styled them...we actually have one of the same cameras you have on our mantle too! Congrats on being featured on Apartment Therapy, that's a big deal!

  3. ah! stunning shelving! i adore the white and you decorated it so well! :) congrats on the feature :D
    ladies in navy

  4. Oh, wow, those are gorgeous!!! Excellent carpentry! =) I dream of building something around our plain drywall fireplace mantel and would love something like that. And I thought about building something built-in in the nook next to the fireplace… but settled for IKEA floating shelves instead for now! Can kind of see them http://instagram.com/p/gtDb0vlZY7/ and here http://instagram.com/p/jIcHejlZd1/. Wonder if built-ins connected to our fireplace would work!

  5. I think this is my first visit to your blog. I love your design/layout. I just love the old cameras you used to decorate with- too cute.


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