Built-In Bookcases and TV Unit

I need your help!

I just love built in bookcases, but then I love books! I have a huge library, which currently has nowhere to live.

Now, you know there’s a story coming …

A few months ago, a Trustpower representative came to the door – he was, of course, selling cheaper power, internet and television services. I left Andy alone with him while I was working and he signed up, which I was happy about.  Cheaper power is always good!

Here’s the catch.

As part of their new customer program they were giving away a giant television.  You may remember that we have a very small house and our lounge is no exception.  We had it all nicely laid out with our bookcases flanking our television on one wall (the only wall in our lounge).

And then this happened!

It doesn’t’ quite fit – actually the annoying part is that, we can almost fit the TV if we got a new cabinet to sit it on – but not quite. It’s only 3cm too wide.

But, 3cm is 3cm and no matter what we do the book shelves and the TV are not going to fit.

As a side note, it was always my intention to paint those Ikea Billy Bookcases.

The bookshelves have now found a new home as much needed shelving in the bead room.

Now, we are left with our books stored away in plastic boxes in the basement and a TV that looks ridiculous sitting over a small cabinet.

This is where I need your help.

I have to decide what to do with the space and find a creative way to house the TV.  I’ve got some ideas but, I’d rather not custom build, although at this stage it seems unlikely that I will find a pre-built solution.

I’ve been collecting ideas for built-ins for years and if you want to check those out here’s a link to my Pinterest board for Built in TV Cabinets and Bookshelves.

So, I’m going to show you some pictures of what I’m thinking, and I need your opinion. I’ll tell you what I like and why, and maybe you can chime in your comments at the end.

How does that sound?

White and Grey Shelves

In this picture about creative ways to decorate around your tv, they show this lovely unit.

What I like about this one is that it has additional storage above the TV. We are pretty short on storage in our house so added storage would be a bonus.  Obviously, it couldn’t be this wide in my home but if I had only one shelving unit on either side, that might work.  I also like the grey behind the shelves, although my shelves are usually filled with books so there may be no point in painting them.

Dark Blue and White Unit

In this post by Crystel Montenegro, she actually gives instructions on how to build this beauty. I like that.

I really like that this one steps out in the middle section.  I like that it has closed storage at the bottom as I have things that would be better tucked away inside a cupboard.

I’m not sure about the blue behind the television but love it in the shelves. This one appears to be built in to the wall – ours could go right to the wall on one side but the other side has no wall.

Navy Blue Bookcase

I am in love with this image from The Inspired Room. While it doesn’t actually house a TV, that could be changed. Maybe it’s the colour I like, although that would be way too dark for my house. I like that some of the bottom shelves are closed in and some aren’t.

Or, maybe it’s just the dog that I love.

Built in Cubbies

What about this one from The DIY Playbook?

It’s quite simple – there’s no bump-out in the middle and there’s closed in cupboards on the bottom.  The shelves are in square cubbies - I'm not sure how I feel about that - as I'm wanting to store mainly books, would this take up too much space?

I like that it has shelves above the TV, and the crown molding. We have cathedral ceilings, so a bookcase made in this design wouldn’t go all the way to the ceiling.

A Photo Wall to Conceal the TV

There is another option – we could just cover the TV the way that Sarah Richardson did in this room and put bookcases on either side.

I love this image - I've been trying to figure out a way we could have a fire in our house but it's a matter of room and budget. You never know.

So, what do you think?

They are all fairly similar, but the devil is in the details, right?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

October 14, 2020