DIY Living Room Storage Hack

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Hi guys! So I’m switching gears today and sharing some pictures of a recent DIY project that Cole and I completed in our little home. I know it’s not my usual post, but I was so excited about how it turned out that I really wanted to share it with you all 🙂 


When Cole and I have a weekend that is completely free of any obligations, we like to take the time to get busy working on the unfinished areas  of our house, because even though we moved in 3 years ago – believe it or not we are still trying to finish furnishing our place. As much as we would have liked to furnish everything right from the get-go, it just wasn’t possible. Furniture is expensive as it is, but furnishing an entire house from scratch…. it’s just straight up bank account draining. To be fair, we didn’t want to just buy cheap pieces for the sake of furnishing the space to call it a day. We wanted to make sure that every piece we brought into our home was good quality and that they were timeless pieces that we would love for a long time.

So this is why it is taking us so long, but I really don’t mind. I love interior decorating and design, so taking each room on as a separate project is really fun for us. We have been trying to keep our focus on the main floor of the house for the moment, being that this is the space that guests will  see when they come over to visit. So after completely re-painting our main floor, laying down new floors and putting in new baseboards and trim we are finally at the decorating and furniture stage, so we wanted to get our living room sorted out because it is the first thing people see when they walk into the house.

Our house was built in 2003 – aka a time when giant, built in dry wall fireplace / wall units were all the rage. Do you know what I’m referring to?  If not – in the picture below, you can get a glimpse of one half of our extra-large and awkward fireplace wall that we has such a hard time figuring out what to do with.

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So in an effort to try and take some of the focus off of this giant fireplace wall, we wanted to add some more aesthetically appealing elements to either side of it, to draw your eye away. The problem with this built-in fireplace walls – apart from just its sheer size – is that it left us super limited in size with what we could do on either side of the mantel because there are apposing walls on each side. We knew that we wanted some closed storage solutions in the living room so that we could tuck away all of our things that we don’t want out in the open – like movies, electronics, board games, extra blankets… etc. However, we had a hard time finding a cabinet that fit the space in between the mantel and the wall that didn’t also stick out too far, and end up just making the space look awkward.

Our first thought was to do some custom built-in storage cabinets to fit the space perfectly…. but then we remembered that we are on a budget that doesn’t exactly allow for custom wall units – so we started hunting for more budget friendly solutions. All I can say is thank the heavens for IKEA – does everyone else here love that place just as much as I do? Cole and I go there so often I sometimes feel like it is my second home. They seriously have such cute pieces that are so darn budget friendly, it just makes me so happy. I mean as long as you don’t mind a little DIY project of putting together your furniture after you buy it – your’re golden.

These little IKEA Besta wall cabinets were the absolute perfect fit for what we wanted. We loved them not only because they were pretty and provided perfect storage for all the things you don’t want your guests to see, but also because they were the perfect height, width and depth for that awkward space. They only stick out about 6 inches from the wall, which lines up perfectly with the built in fire place mantel so that they weren’t sticking out like a sore thumb, but rather they give that look of custom built in’s {without the expensive price tag}. Thanks IKEA!

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So after we had the cabinets sorted out, we really wanted to take advantage of the wall space and display some of our artwork to soften  the space. We opted to do a bit of a gallery wall on either side of the fire place, but instead of hanging the pictures directly from the wall, we used these super slim IKEA picture shelves to lean the photos against the wall instead. Because this was our first attempt at a gallery wall, I loved the idea of using these shelves as opposed to just mounting the photos directly to the wall, because it gave us the freedom to play around with the placement of the pictures and decor pieces without putting a million holes into the wall if we decided we didn’t like where they were.

This was  super easy DIY living room storage and decor solution that when all was said and done, hardly cost us anything. In case you are interested, here is the breakdown of where we got all of the furniture, artwork & decor from for this living room DIY Project…

Cabinet – IKEA Besta White Cabinets x 2 @ $75 ea
Floating Shelves – IKEA Picture Ledge x 4 @ $15 ea
Wind up clock – IKEA
Candles – IKEA
Teal flower pot & flowers – IKEA
White Picture Frames – IKEA
Chrome Lamp & Shade – Urban Barn
Buttons Box – Urban Barn
Glass Candle Holder – Home Sense
Tree bark candle holders – Home Sense
Fabric Picture Frame – Chapters
Art work – mixture of IKEA and personal shots
Cream Lantern – Davison Orchards

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So basically the gist of this post is that I love IKEA. I would be lying if I said that Cole and I’s place isn’t completely decked out with IKEA pieces, because if I had to estimate just how much of our home was furnished from IKEA, I would probably say….. its a solid 50%. Another 40% could probably be attributed to our other favourite, {yet sadly more expensive store}, Urban Barn. The rest of our house is kind of a mish mash of goodies from all of my other favourite places like Pottery Barn, West ElmChapters, and Country Furniture{These places are totally out of my budget, so I try my best to keep my spending at these stores to a minimum / I only allow myself to step foot into them when there is a killer sale on}.

I was so happy to finally get this space dealt with, not only because it meant we finally had a place to store things in the living room, but also because adding the artwork to the blank walls really just warmed up the space and helped to make it feel like a home. It’s so amazing how just adding some simple personal touches can make all of the difference to the overall feel of your space. We are still toying with the idea of adding an additional reclaimed barn wood board to sit on top of the cabinets just to finish them off a bit and tie them into some of our other reclaimed wood furniture pieces. What do you think – do you like this idea?

Thanks for popping in for this little DIY share peeps – I hope you enjoyed the change up 😉

Happy DIY – ing!

KP xoxo

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