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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Using TV Consoles and Floating Shelves as "Built-ins" for Living Room Decor

When I was looking for inspiration for our quick and easy fireplace update, I told you I kept getting lost looking at pretty fireplaces with stone surrounds and built-in shelving. Re-constructing the whole thing was out of the equation (and budget) right now which is why we opted for peel and stick "marble," but I still wanted to create a focal wall that could house our TV along with display all our family photos. I didn't realize it until after we unpacked, but our old house had a lot of nook and cranny style shelving and this house had none. We had a lot of picture frames and decor without anywhere to put them! Before we dive in, a reminder on our "before"...

yellow living room
Listing Photo

I decided to try and create the look of built-ins without actually building anything in. I measured the amount of space between the edge of the fireplace and the wall and started shopping for cabinets, TV consoles, dressers, you name it that would fit as close as possible in the space. That was actually more challenging than I thought it'd be. I not only wanted a certain length, but I didn't want them to stick out too far beyond or behind the fireplace hearth. I wanted them to feel as close a possible to being "made for" that space. After a lot of online and in-person shopping (and measuring) I found this set on Wayfair that fit almost perfectly, and it had plenty of storage potential once I found some baskets to fit. (Though if I'm being honest, I'm still not sure I love the look of the white baskets... but do love the function of having playing cards in one, headphones in the other, etc.) The doors slide hiding all the electronics and charging devices for the kids. Assembling two of these took a few hours.

White Farmhouse TV Console with Floating Shelf Built-ins

I would have loved to put my TV up above the fireplace to give the room perfect symmetry (yes, I am that OCD) but A) our TV is pretty old and clunky and B) I worry that it'll be too high to comfortably watch it. So I decided to keep it on the console. Plus: cords. Also another thing I didn't want to tackle by trying to mount it above the fireplace. I found 4' floating shelves at Lowes and installed them allowing enough room above the TV on the left, to add a second self on the right side of the room.

White Farmhouse TV Console with Floating Shelf Built-ins

After I got a lot of the frames up on the shelves, it took me a while to figure out how to balance all the "clutter" (I use that term loosely) on the sides with what was above the fireplace. I found myself editing and rearranging almost daily for weeks and finally decided we needed something big and not too busy above the mantle. I found this print at Smallwoods, which has the lyrics to Forever Young by Bob Dylan on it. I'm sorry to admit I only knew the version that played during the opening credits of Parenthood. Regardless, I thought it was such a great message to display alongside all the little baby pics I plan to keep up a long time!

White fireplace with marble look surround and mantle decorations

I'm sure I'm not done editing in here, but for the time being, I've got my cutie baby kids back up on display and have a little more focus to the room. The prior owners had their couch against the windows and TV console on the opposite wall, but I think our current layout allows for both fireplace and TV enjoyment, without blocking the view of the backyard.

Like the dining room project, I also installed a curtain rod and hung curtains to give the room a more finished look... even though we plan to finish off the trim painting soon. The curtain rod is a pipe style that wraps the curtains around the edge and we got some pretty white texture curtains.

White Farmhouse TV Console with Floating Shelf Built-ins

And because I just love these and have to share them, we put the kids' silhouettes above the couch in here (they used to be in our kitchen). I found a great shop on Etsy who made these from a submitted iPhone photoh a couple years ago.

The room is definitely starting to feel a little more "us" now that we've got our decorations and photos up. I like how my various shades of white are starting to mix up a bit so that even though we're working with a neutral color palette, the room feels like it has a little more depth to it. I covered up.a couple of our greige pillows with the plaid to get some of the lightness onto the couches too.

Need a Fix-up? Here’s what we used:

Shop-able Furniture and Decor:

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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