My favorite renovation EVER!

October 02, 2017

It's been six weeks since we moved out of our house, and I've been recapping some of my favorite spaces all in one spot. You can see our kitchen from start to finish here, the family room renovation here and the guest room makeover here. This one is probably my favorite project ever in our house and this post will be super helpful for those of you who are considering trying my DIY built ins. This is the project replicated the most by my readers (at least the one I from you the most) and I LOVE IT. I get emails about this project every week so this will be a good resource for all of us. ;)

I wish I could find the way back photos of this room because they are good stuff. Like I've said a million times -- I wouldn't do the same decor again but I loved it at the time. My style has changed a lot in ten years, as you can tell: 
red and gold dining room

GoodNESS I. loved. that. light. Somebody in Indy is the proud owner now -- I still remember selling it online. Those red seat cushions? Lovingly covered by moi. As you can see, I had a slight obsession with the red and gold combo -- I even painted a shimmer paint over that gold ceiling. I mean, it glittered
red and gold drapes dining room

I later changed to these DIY drapes and I loved that red -- so dramatic!

Then my love of chocolate brown and white together started, as evidenced in our powder room at the time too. Pretty sure it took three coats: 
chocolate brown dining room

One of the hardest projects I've ever done in nearly ten years of blogging? Reupholstering the backs of those chairs. Never...ever again. And I never say never. 

I LOVED how dramatic this room was. I really loved decorating it for Christmas. That DIY centerpiece mirror/tray was one of my most popular projects for years:
dark brown dining room

If I still had a dining room with a fancier vibe I'd still be using that thing!

My love for this space changed a little after we had new floors put in -- the light carpet was horrible to eat on but it did add some contrast the room needed:
dark brown dining room walls

About that time I got wild hair...we hardly ever used this space (one to two times a year, at the max) and it started to really bug me. A whole room we weren't using! So I decided to go for it and rework it into a space we'd really use: 
how to build bookcases

My Dad and I built these bookcases together and already have plans to build them again in the new house. :) I'll link to all of the steps at the bottom of this post! 

I searched for the right lights for this project for months. I finally found what I wanted in the outdoor section of the hardware store. Don't be afraid to consider those!:
affordable bookcase lights

The next phase of the project was comfy chairs -- I waited till I found exactly what I wanted, and in the meantime put our old kitchen table out there: 
bookcases in dining room

This just goes to show you could do something like this in your own dining room and put your table back in. It looks so lovely, right? 
built ins in dining area

Later I found the chairs for a steal on sale and grabbed two of them: 
dining room turned library

I really wanted to do four, but the room wasn't big enough. Two ended up being perfect! 

Later on I finished up the room by adding a beaded chandelier, switching out a bigger rug from another room and simplifying the shelves a bit. I loved how it came together!:
wall of DIY built in bookcases

dining room turned sitting room with built ins

wall of DIY bookcases using kitchen cabinets

I'm SO proud of this project. We did it for a fraction of the price of what we would have been charged by professionals. If I don't cover any of your questions with the links below be sure to let me know in the comments!

Here's a run down of all the how-to posts for the built ins:
And more posts you might find helpful!:
You can shop the items in this room by clicking on the photos below! 

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  1. Thanks for this post today. It made my heavy heart able to beat a bit easier, if only for just a while. You are always an inspiration and share so generously. I am certain your new home is going to be absolutely gorgeous and also have a happy, warm feeling. Bless you.

  2. This is my favorite thing you have ever done (which is saying something, I drool over so many of your projects!) so much so we just finished replicating these built ins in our new dining room and I could not love them more! I'm waiting for the paint to cure a bit and then loading them up, can't wait! Thank you so much for the inspiration, I can't wait to see what you do next 😊

  3. Years ago I knew a clever mom who had installed bookcases in her dining room. She kept her large dining room table (she was a great cook and hostess), but had drawers built on the underside of the table. This provided a homework/study space for her family without losing her large table.

  4. WOW! Stunning renovation! Great job.

  5. I'm going to miss seeing all your projects and that gorgeous doubt I'll love the new one also! Hope your friends are settling in nicely to your old house!!

  6. This is one of my favorites also. If you ever sell that horse, I want him,

  7. Oh my word!!!! I have that same orange light you have in your first picture. When we looked at this house I told my husband that that light has to go.... 2-1/2 years later it's still hanging in my breakfast nook :(

  8. What an awesome idea! I know exactly where I want to build that bookcase, but have been avoiding due to we aren't that handy. Repurposing kitchen cabinets and building shelves? Oh yeah! We can do that. Thanks so much!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!