Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A recent project

I recently finished helping design and install a custom built-in for a friend's family room and thought I would share it with all of you. My friend Bob has a beautiful house with an oddly shaped, small family room. The goal here was to help house an extensive book collection and a tv with all of the media equipment and make some sense of the awkward space.
After carefully measuring the room and wall in question, I hit the paper (well, my computer) and started to play with what this might look like.  As the room is tight I wanted to minimize the floorspace taken up by the piece but still house the deep 20" sound equipment (dvd player, cable box, sound system, etc.).
Luckily I was able to disguise the existing niche (formerly an unused opening into the dining room) and run  speaker wire and electrical cords through it with a false beadboard front that matches details found elsewhere in the room. The bracket for the tv was then mounted to this front.  The lower 4 shelves on the right hand side were able to be deep enough to house the equipment while the rest of the built-in appears to be a standard 11" bookshelf. I think the drawing above helps explain what I came up with. I didn't put any doors on the lower half so that these shelves could be their full depth.  Plus one could use remotes on the equipment without having to constantly open and close doors to access them.
Finding a good contractor to build the piece was the next step. After pricing the drawing through a few talented finish carpenters, I went with Jozsa Woodworks out of Woodbridge, VA who I know through my work. They were a joy to deal with!
The day of installation was exciting. The crew of 3 plus an electrician showed up right on time (impressive and something you don't always find in this line of work) and began to make sure the pre-built pieces fit exactly and prep the wall for installation.  They spent hours making sure that the piece fit in perfectly and their attention to detail was astounding. I could go on and on, can you tell I was impressed?!
After installation the piece looked great but they would be back in a few days to finish off the last little pieces, fill and paint dents, etc.  The large black square is the tv mounting bracket.  I would have preferred a contrasting back to the shelves but as Bob's house is currently on the market I decided to leave the accent color to any possible buyer. The entire piece was painted the same white as the trim found throughout the room.
Once everything was in place (with the exception of the tv on the bracket which just is left on the shelf for now) you would never know the hidden niche exists but I used it to our best advantage; It looks like a typical built-in bookshelf. The piece really makes the room feel much bigger and is a beautiful focal point for the tv and all of Bob's books and objects. Who knew such a small thing could make such a difference to the feeling of a room!
Please excuse the bad photos from my iphone!