Our New Home: Living Room Progress and New Built-Ins

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Living room Ikea "built-ins"

I haven’t shown you many pictures of our new living room yet, because I haven’t been happy with how it looks.  That’s kind of a bummer, since this is the room that we use the most, with the exception of the kitchen.

But, after our trip to Atlanta last weekend for the Haven Conference (read about that here), and an emergency trip to IKEA, I feel like I’m making enough progress to be able to show you a few pictures.  I also have a few design questions, so please hang around and give me your input!

This was the un-blogworthy TV wall before (hanging head in shame):

Living Room Before

It was just too bare, and we missed the awesome built-ins we had in our Nashville house (you can see that living room here or the home tour here).  All of our boxes of books are sitting in the garage, and that’s tough for us, because we are crazy bookworms in this family!

We “hacked” an IKEA Billy bookshelf in the master bathroom of our old house, and we figured we’d do something similar here to create an entertainment center/faux built ins.  Since we’ll move again next summer–and no, we don’t know where yet–it couldn’t be fixed to the wall, and the pieces couldn’t be attached to each other.  I wound up buying two Billys (the 11″ deep shelves) and a Borgsjo TV unit.  My sweet husband put them all together yesterday after church, which is the best kind of DIY–you sit on the couch and watch someone else do the work!

We haven’t put the crown molding or the rest of the trim on the bookshelves yet, but here’s the during:

Living room "entertainment center" built ins

We’ll paint the trim to match the Billys and attach it to the top using my nail gun and some glue.  I’ll also probably paint the TV cabinet as it’s a slightly different white finish than the bookcases.


Someone always asks, so I’ll tell you now that I made the monogrammed pillow.

I had to put a few things on the shelves just to see how it would look, but the staging is just stuff I threw up there for fun and definitely isn’t done!

I also found a few pillows at IKEA–the black and white ones–aren’t they cute?

Pillows from IKEA

We had friends over for drinks last night, and my husband was saying, “I looked at this room and told Christy that if we needed ONE thing at IKEA, it was more pillows–we never have enough of those!”  He was–obviously–being sarcastic, but I think he’s actually right!  You can’t even see all the pillows on the couch in these pictures!

So, here’s my latest (self-induced) design challenge, and I welcome your input.  Currently, I have the blue-gray curtain panels on my walls, but I almost think that black and white would work better.  But, I have the stained glass window from the church in which my parents were married on the wall above the fireplace, and obviously those colors all work together.  So, blue curtains or black?


I’ll post again when we get the moulding finished and I style the shelves for “real.”

UPDATE:  As promised, here are the other posts on this room update:

Living Room–The Reveal

Garden Stool

Couch and Pillows

Black Velvet Chair

Gold Vase

Tutorial on Built-ins (part 2)

Thanks for stopping by-



  1. I say black and white! It will go well with everything–this duo blends all the colors together in a room. You cannot go wrong with this choice. However, I do like what you have going on too. Good luck!

  2. I think black curtains would look great!

  3. black and white and a little brown – beautifull 🙂

  4. Black and white goes with everything! The cowhide rug would look great too. I’ve got to check out the monogram ~ love it! When you finish, would you please come & help me with a bookcase or two? 🙂


  5. I love the drama that a black and white geo print brings, I think it would pull all the little black accents around the room together, like the fireplace, picture frame, gorgeous stained glass and pillow.The blue is pretty lending itself to a more airy feel, but I say bring on the drama!

  6. Love this post, girl! I have such a hard time showing unfinished stages. You make the evolution of decorating exciting to watch – can’t wait for the finished project! It’s so difficult making things from the last home fit into the uniqueness of a new home, but you’re doing it effortlessly! Love the black and white choice, but I’m on a little spree of B&W myself right now. Also, my hubby recently told me I have a secret addiction to throw pillows and needs to get me help soon, lol. Nice to know, I’m not alone. 🙂

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one with a throw pillow problem. And I know it’s hard, but yes, you have to start showing the unfinished stages, because after all, it’s a REAL house and most of the time it’s unfinished / a work in progress, right?! 🙂

  7. Oh I think the black and white would look great…When I was in France, I fell in love with the “black and white” hotel room we stayed in….it gave me great inspiration to change thing about in one of my room….such a classic color scheme…love that monogrammed pillow…and what is with guys and pillows!!??….

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