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Built-In Storage Takes Center Stage in Family Room Makeover

The built-in wall of storage is almost done, but the devil’s in the details.

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Image: Remodelaholic

Remodelaholics Cassity and Justin Kmetzsch added a floor-to-ceiling storage built-in — sponsored by HouseLogic — to their multi-purpose family room. 

In our last family room makeover installment, we went from demo to almost done pretty quickly. But there’s still a lot to do. First things first — Justin got to work building the doors.

The door is a basic tongue-and-groove shaker-style panel. We rounded the edges of the door “seams” to match the detail we have on the cabinet face frame. This also solved another problem: We don’t have a large belt sanding machine, which a professional cabinet-making shop would use to smooth the doors.

Rounding door seams

This is getting really exciting. Dry fitting the doors together:  

Dry fitting doors together

Dry fitting doors together 2

Once Justin built the doors, I painted while he studied for his landscape architecture licensure tests — another part of our crazy schedule. I know! What were we thinking?

Painting doors

Killer deal on hinges and latches

I got a deal on the cabinet hinges and knobs by going directly through a seller I found on eBay. The hinges were 36 cents each. I might have paid about $3 for a pair otherwise.

The knobs also were also a killer deal at about $1.25 each. We had budgeted about $15 apiece for knobs since that’s what we were seeing online.

Other bloggers said eBay is the place to look, so that’s what we did. Hurrah for the blogosphere. 

Affordable hinges

Building a sturdy hearth

Next, we tackled the faux hearth. We installed it last so we could just use the space we had left.

We saved money with salvaged building materials by re-using the 2x4s that we removed from the project demo. We made sure it was framed to be very sturdy, since it’s already become a fun place for my daughter to jump onto and off of. See the structure:

Hearth structure

Hearth structure

Here’s the state of the wall so far:

State of the wall

Justin built the doors in batches of like sizes to check them against each other and get into a cutting groove. Below, Justin is fitting all the upper doors:

Fitting upper doors

Repurposing flooring as countertop

We had redone our downstairs floors in an earlier project, so we used the very last of our hardwood flooring — literally the last single square foot — as the countertop for our window seat and hearth. The reclaimed wood looks great and adds unity to the house. Below you can see it all stacked up, waiting to be used. (Oh, and I painted the wall.)

Stack of reclaimed wood

Before adding the countertops, we fitted the countertop edge pieces in place. We used rounded 2x4s, rather than buying oak rail, for instance, which could have easily been about $50. The 2x4s were a few dollars. We pre-stained and sealed the edges before installing (since the cabinets were already painted).  To install the edges, we glued heavily and nailed sparingly to limit patching.

Fitting countertop pieces

For visual interest, we added the flooring to the cabinets. Before and during:

Adding flooring to cabinets

Once all the flooring edge pieces were in place, Justin cut the rest of the floor boards to fit the surfaces of the hearth and window seat:

Window seat

Touch ups!

We added vertical supports to the faux mantle to finish the look and gave it all a fresh coat of paint:

Vertical supports

This iron is just a power tool at the moment. We ironed on the melamine edge bands, which come with glue, onto the melamine shelves. We’ve been so busy that no clothes have been ironed for a while.

Iron

See the big reveal, complete with decor.

What tips do you have for storage projects?

cassitykmetzsch Cassity Kmetzsch

, an interior designer, and her husband Justin Kmetzsch, a landscape architect, are Remodelaholics. They’ve remodeled two houses so far and are working to make their “dated house a comfy home for our family.”

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