Constructing a Built-In Media Center: Part 1, The Plan

How to construct a built-in media center with shiplap and window seats!

Our home was a spec home, meaning that the builder chose the floorplan, elevation and most of the finishings. We were fine with that mostly because our move was very last minute and we needed a home that would be ready in less than two months, but also because picking every single detail of our home at once seems like it would be so daunting. It’s much easier to justify spending money to make big changes to our house when we weren’t responsible for all the decisions in the first place.

I don’t have great before pictures, because I fail to ever plan ahead. However, this is what the living room looked like when we moved in.

How to construct a built-in media center with shiplap and window seats!

BORING. The downside of moving into a brand new home is having to take care of things like landscaping, window treatments, and flat paint that not only covers the walls but the CEILINGS. Ugh. Obviously there were much more important things to take care of before tackling a media center. A few months into owning our home, the living room now looked like this:

How to construct a built-in media center with shiplap and window seats!

A horrible cell-phone photo but we got blinds! And installed a new laminate wood floor! And painted the ceiling WHITE and the walls a nice greige color! As you can see, we had gotten some cabinets from IKEA and I had placed them under the television as I worked out my “vision”. I was inspired by Thrifty Decor Chick and her family room built-in. Love. It. I specifically loved the horizontal paneling and recessed TV. I knew that in our family room I wanted to incorporate some kind of window seat under the two windows that flank the television. In my planning, I came up with the following:

How to construct a built-in media center with shiplap and window seats!

Yes, that is a horrible Sketchbook rendering of what I envisioned for the space. A sketchbook of a nighttime photo no less. Apparently done while watching the Nightly News. Anyway, this sketch convinced me (and my husband) that my plan would look ok in the end. Next up…the build!

How to construct a built-in media center with shiplap and window seats!