Built-ins installed

wi-sailorgirlFebruary 21, 2011

Awhile ago I asked for some opinions on my design for the built-ins in our bedroom and people here were very helpful. I haven't had a lot of time to hang out here (I'm bound and determined to finish up the projects in this house before gardening season comes around), but I wanted to stop in to show you how they look now.

Obviously they need to be painted (which I'll do as soon as I finish the stairs). I probably made the dresser portion a little too high, but I think it's OK. And the window seat looks shrimpy but I'll put a 4-inch cushion on it like I did in my kitchen so it should end up about 21 inches high and quite comfy. The bookshelf type thing over the top of the window was a last-minute add on because I felt we needed something to bridge the gap between the two sides of the built-in. It's very high and I won't be able to reach it without a step ladder so not the most functional thing in the world, but more storage is always good in a small house, right?

I'm pretty excited about it. And the drawers are all full extension so you can actually get to those last 3 inches in the back of the drawer! It's the first decent "dresser" I've had since I was a little kid.

But this is what I have to finish before I'm allowing myself to work on the built-ins: the staircase from hell.

Some previous owner painted over the dark stained and polyurethaned risers, but failed to sand or prime first so they've been a mess since we moved in and I finally decided to make it right once and for all. Not fun. It's going to make painting those built-ins downright fun!

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They are really wonderful. I think the dresser being a little higher is just fine. The three drawers on each side is perfect. This all is so so pretty.

My heart breaks for you having to work on those stairs. The gold mine at the top hopefully will give you hope and strength.

I have seen several wonderful mosaic stair tread fronts.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 1:50AM
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Oh, wow! The built ins are gorgeous! I can't wait to see the room all finished up. I'd LOVE to have storage like that! Good luck with the stairs. It'll be well worth the effort.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 7:59AM
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Those are great-looking.....you say that you built them yourself? Stock lumber and something the average Jane could do, or are you a master cabinet-maker?

You're certainly adding value onto your home, one way or another. Thanks for posting them and Now I Want Some!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:01AM
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OMG, your cabs bring that awkward shaped wall right into functional use ! And they are so beautiful. I'd be tempted to put a clear coat on the wood, because it is such a pretty shade itself. But, whatever you do, the result will be breathtaking.

I cannot see how much is left at the top of the unit, but if you have a big round disk, like a copper tray, or a painted round tray that is huge enough to place there, think about putting it where that vertical divider is for your top bookshelf area. Then you might be able to leave it blank otherwise. Or, some storage boxes that are same color as your walls in general, so they sort of disappear and leave center stage to that round disk/tray. If you love Pennsylvania Dutch design, which I think your blue door cover suggests you might, a colorful tray with hearts and flowers on it would look good.

Anyway, I am putting your wall unit in my clippings. Great job.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 9:54AM
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Thanks for the nice comments and suggestions, all.

Sorry to mislead ... I didn't build them, but I did design them. A friend's husband is a cabinetmaker and he made our banquette in the kitchen as well as this. I don't think he charges enough (this whole unit cost me less than the vanity and linen cabinet in the bathroom, which was made by someone else), but I'm certainly not going to argue with him!

It will have to be painted. The maple is paint grade (although that doesn't mean you can't clearcoat it) but some of the material is MDF. I think I'm going to paint the backs of the open shelves by the window a light blue color.

I'm just so thrilled with the storage. I mean, I honestly don't know what we're going to fill all that with. I mean, I'm sure we will, but right now I don't know what is going where and that's an awesome problem to have. We also managed to get a small walk-in closet (5x6) in the renovation so we have that to. My husband and I will actually be able to keep our clothes in the same room!

I'm going to leave the two triangle shaped openings open for the time being but the cabinet maker said he could put panels or doors on them if we wanted them. I think they sort of balance things out by being open so we'll try that for awhile.

I'm excited to start finishing it, which is why I'm forcing myself to deal with that staircase first.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 11:10AM
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They turned out great and the addition over the window is perfect. I think taller dressers are a lot more useful than shorter ones and it looks fine.

What a job those stairs are. Bet you just want to throttle those PO's. lol

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 11:39AM
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Oooh, that looks wonderful! What great storage!

Those stairs--believe it or not, they look fantastic next to the stairs I have been staring at (har, har) for several years. Honestly, I don't even know what to do with them, as they've been painted over and over--horrific colors, and they are absolutely beat.

I will enjoy watching your steps transform for the time being. ;^)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 10:47PM
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I know mosaic is not for many. I love this design she did. A more simple design can be done with tiles from home depot or lowes or?? That could tie in with the style of your house. Why I linked to this staircase is because she gives directions on how she did it.

It might not save you time but time spent sure would be more enjoyable then sanding.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stair Risers

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 11:31PM
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I love it Chris! A real work of art there. Can you imagine how much planning was involved to make it look right?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:00PM
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Yes Marti I certainly can. And such a great idea for her to put it all on plexi glass to be able to take with her. It would look lovely in a long hallway or?? I know this look is not for many. I would do it in a heart beat. I am working on our master bath back splash right not to go with the counter. A fun fix to cover up ugly.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:50PM
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I saw a couple of stair risers which had numbers on them.
First riser had "1" and so on up the stairs. It could be done in a mosaic, don't see why not.

And I know you have your work cut out for you with those stairs, but you will turn it into a show piece. You execute your projects beautifully.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:19PM
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Oh, that storage is going to be wonderful...and I love your window seat! :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 2:15PM
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What a wonderful, useful storage space. I also love your wall color. What is it? Love that window seat and all that storage.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:57PM
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You did a wonderful job designing the built ins. They fit the space perfectly. I can't wait to see what it looks like finished.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Shelayne sez: "Those stairs--believe it or not, they look fantastic next to the stairs I have been staring at (har, har) for several years. Honestly, I don't even know what to do with them, as they've been painted over and over--horrific colors, and they are absolutely beat. "

I noticed in the Holmes Magazine issue an ad for some soy based paint stripper, and it was very mild. Not so violent as the usual stuff. I'll go get my issue and find it again to give you the name.

I think if the stairs really are multiple layers of OLD paint, you'd do better to remove that and see what you find. Hopefully it will be worth your while. However, I can think of nothing more uncomfortable than trying to perch on a narrow old step while twisting sideways to scrape away the softened paint. Just how many steps do you have in those stairs?

Hold on.......
It's called SOY*GEL ....professional paint and urethane remover. Works on lead-based paint, varnishes and urethanes. Trim, molding, brick, furniture, metal, wood floors.

Soy*Gel is a consumer friendly paint, varnish, and urethane remover. The low evaporation rate of Soy*Gel and its gel formulation make it possible to remove several layers of paint in one application. During the removal of lead based paint, it becomes encapsulated in the gel, preventing air born lead particles, allowing for safe and easy disposal. Soy*Gel contains no methylene chloride, is not an alkaline based stripper and cleans up easily with water. Unlike traditional paint strippers Soy*Gel lets you work without the odor. Indoors or outdoors, you can be guaranteed a safe restoration process with Soy*Gel. Made from 100% American Grown Soybeans. Works on horizontal and vertical surfaces.
Made by Franmar Chemical. Available in quart, gallon, 2.5 gallon, and 5 gallon sizes. 100% biodegradable.

All the above is quoted from their full page ad on p.107 of the Feb 2011 issue of Holmes Magazine. Their website I give below. I do not work for them, nor benefit in any way. However, if this stuff works it can solve a lot of old house problems.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soy*Gel

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:03PM
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Sorry for leaving you guys hanging! I got out of town for a few days. It was SO needed. I didn't realized how stressed I was about house stuff and various other life-related issues until I got away a little bit.

Anyway, CCin Texas, the wall color is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. I have it in our kitchen too and I like it just as much there. The trim color is BM Mascarpone and that's what I'll be painting the built-ins too.

So the mini vacation was nice but now it's back to the stairs! Argh.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:17PM
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A mini vacation sounds nice. We're trying to plan one right now. Dh is in dire need of a break. How are you coming on the stairs?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:21PM
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I've been looking at the BM Mascarpone in the PB catalog. It is one of their pallette colors. I really like it. Also the grays.

I have a few plants hanging over the kitchen sink, nice green stuff. Tonight I sat the bottle of dish detergent close by, and it was a soft milky lavender. Oh wow, POP. It reminded me that as a child I loved to paint with green and lavender, and then the dark blue/green color. Fresh.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:14PM
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