DIY Family Room Cut-Out Makeover

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One of the features my husband and I really disliked about our home when we first walked in was the awkward family room wall cut out.  If you live in a California track home that was built-in the last twenty years, there is a good chance you have some kind of cut out in your living room.

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Let me just start by saying, a wall cut out can either make or break a living room or family room in a home.  Some are built with the perfect height, size and storage for a TV and placed strategically in the living room to make it a great focal point.  In our house…..not so much!

The first problem was that the existing cut out was not going to fit our TV and second, it was kind of an awkward space next to our fireplace and mantel.  We decided that a great fix would be to fill in the entire cut-out and have a stock cabinet built-in the space for our TV accessories to be hidden.  We’d then hang our TV above the mantel to make the main focal point in the living room.

{For more on our fireplace makeover with stacked stone click here.}

Here is what we were dealing with when we first moved in.

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This picture was taken in November 2012 when we were doing a walk through of the home.  The cut out was such a weird shape, the mirror over the fireplace looked like it had been there since the 1980′s and the fireplace is a whole other project.

We decided to get a stock cabinet from Lowe’s (as we did in our laundry room and bar area) and have it built into the wall with framing and drywall.  I planned on staining the cabinet an espresso color with the “sock and glove” method and General Finishes stain as I had done in the kitchen.  My husband also pre-wired all of the electrical from above the fireplace to the new cabinet.  That way the television could be hung without any wires showing the DVD or cable box in the cabinet.

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We called a local handy man who knew how to do drywall a lot more than my husband and I did.  We didn’t really want to risk really screwing the wall up and having to tear it down and start over.  So yes, this wasn’t a complete DIY project, but close enough!

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The handy man framed the cabinet in (which is covered in the picture above) and then sprayed and textured the wall in.  It was a very cold winter day (for California) when he came so it took quite a while to completely dry and allow us to move on with the project.

Once the drywall was completely dry, we removed all of the covering and I started staining the cabinets right away.  You can see the doors and drawers laid out on the carpet that were also being stained.  We purposely waited to replace the family room’s carpet until after this project was done because we knew it would be messy!

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Next, my husband hung the TV and I continued staining.

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Once I completed the “sock and glove” method of staining, my husband was able to put on the cabinet hardware.

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I then got two floating shelves which came stained and distressed (score! less work for me) and we hung them on the new wall above the built-in cabinet.

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Floating Shelves {Hobby Lobby}  Picture Frame {Marshall’s}  Brown Candle {Marshall’s}  Blue Glass bottle {Marshall’s}  Small Brownish Picture Frame {Target}  Large Picture Frame with Burlap Blow {Marshall’s}  Glass vase, burlap and faux flower {I already had }  Monogram Wooden “G” {Hobby Lobby}
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 I just love these wooden monogram letters from Hobby Lobby.  They are less than $5 and make such a statement.  I have one in my son’s room as well.

My son always seems to catch on what I’m taking pictures of and decides to “play” right in front of the camera (aka photo bomb the picture) :)

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Please feel free to comment and let me know if you have any questions!

xo Marci

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  1. John Cassady says:

    Can you share the name of your drywall guy in CA?

  2. Ashleys says:

    I’m also looking for a drywall guy I love in southern ca and have the same problem!

  3. Can you explain the process of hanging the TV and where you put the wires to keep them from showing?

    We are moving into a house with the same thing (being the TV cut out area is too small) and I would like to figure this out before we actually move in!

    • Hi Lindsay, my husband installed and electrical outlet behind the TV and hung the TV with a wall mount (I believe it was from Costco) We then had the DVD and cable box in the cabinet near the TV. Let me know if you have any other questions! :) Good luck!

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