First, we had to map out the room in order in order figure out the layout. We centered the fireplace and worked out from there. J is particular so he spent a lot of time trying to figure out the optimal mantel and cabinet size. Ultimately he decided that the fireplace would be centered and there would be approximately 10″ of tile to each side and above and below. The mantel would be approx 1 foot wide for each leg, then the rest would be cabinets.
He then started to build the walls. One thing that helped J here was his experience with Young Life. For many years he would go to Mexico and help build houses for families. They would basically build a small house for a family over a 3-4 day weekend. He learned some basic framing (although its definitely not the prettiest of framing jobs) and it came in handy. Essentially he built 3 walls outside and we brought them in and secured them to the ceiling joists, back wall, each other, and the base.
|Bray is a ‘big helper’ with any project he can be by:)|
Next, once the walls were up and secure, J built out a cubby for the fireplace to slip into. J built the opening per the instructions that came with the fireplace.
During the drywall step we had a plumber come run the gas line and an electrician add the switch and wiring for the sconces.
Now that the drywall was finished it was time to build the cabinets. J used the same process as we used with our DIY built ins. He made a simple base, attached it to the floor and wall, made a box for the cabinet that will house flush mount doors and added face trim (see our built ins post for directions). As you can imagine, our hardwood floors got quite scuffed during this process. I was not happy to say the least. Fortunately, as soon as everything is built, our floors are going to go through a floor sanding process and get rid of all the dents that have been made. They’ll be treated with a varnish after just to bring the colour back to life and that’s all they need.
J used a few trim pieces to cover up the seams between the cabinets and walls. We added crown molding to the top of the bookshelves and mantel wall. This helped tie the cabinets and fireplace in to the room and make it look built in. Overall we really love the way that this wall looks like it has been there forever.
Come back next week and I will have a post that shows how we made our mantel from scratch, added tile and completed our built in fireplace.