goodbye built-in!

Our first big project was the living room. We knew we had to do something about the orangey panelled walls and the built-in bookcase/shelving/desk/cabinets had to go.

Let’s take another look to remember how it looked.


We debated for awhile what to do with this, realizing that there wouldn’t be any carpet underneath the desk. We could always paint it and hope that, painted, it would look more updated. And…find a piece of furniture that fit in that space next to the desk (where her tv armoire is). Or, perhaps we could rip it out and find something to cover up the places where the carpet was missing. The carpet was only 2 years old, after all!


But, in the end, we decided the best option was just to do it all at once. The carpet wasn’t even all that nice, and we knew we would always be annoyed by trying to work around such an unsightly creative built in.

And, so the process begins.


After discovering an overabundance of nails. Seriously, there were 1 1/2 foot long boards secured with 20+ nails. Also, note the button attached inside the open shelving. That was installed so that the couple who originally lived here could communicate – when he was outside in his workshop, she could ring the bell and tell him to come in for dinner. 🙂


David came over to help after awhile. And, we discovered that this built in was, in fact, part of the original structure. Note how there is no stain on the paneling behind the desk.


And, by the end of the day, it looked like this


See the last bit of ruffle where the soffit is? It extends behind the paneling. And as we removed the desk it became clear that the ceiling texture does not extend underneath the paneling. So, that had to stay.


But after lengthy discussions, brainstorming, a trip to Home Depot, and some creative work with a drill and a jig saw, the ruffles were finally gone!


Time for some paint. And another post. Check back for the next step.


5 thoughts on “goodbye built-in!

  1. Wow the trim went into the wall?!? Crazy! Love the bell to call him from the workshop. I might really need one of those!

      • No. The wiring is buried with the ruffles. It wasn’t working anyway, so we ripped it out with the shelving. Which was kinda good because it was strung through an open hole in the wall to the garage. So, we patched up the holes and will have to go with the old fashioned method of yelling out the door at each other.

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