Built-ins Be Gone

The two 70’s inspired built-ins our house came with are something I’ve only referenced up till now in passing…but they are (well, were) so craptastic that they deserve their whole own post!

Lets start with the upstairs built in..

Please excuse this before picture, it was a shot I took of my TV while it was playing the episode of “Hidden Potential” on HGTV that featured our house as one of the (losing) three proposed houses for a young couple right around the time we bought it. I somehow neglected to take my own before picture of this area, probably because I didn’t want to dwell on the ugliness.

This picture only really shows part of what’s going on here, but you get the idea. They used it as a “linen closet” bit really it had this huge footprint and only a small part of it actually had space to put things:

Upstairs Hall Built-in Before Demolition

Upstairs Built in Before

We tore down the whole thing, which necessitated building the wall up behind it as well as the floor. Luckily, they had used old floor planks to construct part of its frame so we were able to use those to patch the floor somewhat. Happily, in the process of tearing it down, we discovered that the back right corner of it was actually the house’s old brick chimney!

We decided to leave it exposed and we trimmed it with molding (excuse the moving boxes!):

Upstairs Hall Built-in After

Upstairs hall built-in after

Damn, I wish I had gotten more of the chimney in that shot .. but you get the basic idea. No built-in, wall, chimney.

Moving on to downstairs and ugly built-in #2…(I actually have before, during AND after for this one!)

Downstairs Built in with seller’s stuff on it (Guess he surfed the net standing up? And yes, that is yellow tile on top)

downstairs built-in with seller's stuff

Another view, without Seller’s stuff. You can also see the ugly carpet that covered the stairs..

Another view of built in

After Demolition..

After Demolition

All patched up!

After shot of Built in

It’s was probably the least likely to get noticed but most labor intensive projects we took on… between tearing down the built ins and tearing up the carpet on the stairs, we had to patch up three walls, replace a ton of floor boards, install the baseboards, put in new stair wood, contruct stair landings.. and there’s still quite a bit left to be done.

For the downstairs built in, we still have to put in a railing, paint the risers and lay down a runner so our poor dog doesn’t keep falling down the stairs.

For the upstairs built in we needed to buy an armoire or dresser or some piece of furniture to go where the built in was to act as a linen closet…. (More on that tomorrow!)

10 Responses to “Built-ins Be Gone”

  1. Both look much much better! The computer station you removed looked like it was really awkward to use a computer at for any length of time.

  2. Thanks,
    I agree, and why would you want a computer in the middle of your living room?? So bizarre!

  3. Goodness! Nice job! Those 70s built-ins and add-ons are bloody revolting sometimes. The house I work in (my friend Reggie’s house) is an amazing federal+ victorian home that needs a TON of work and is constantly being worked on, but when they got it, the last owners had rined a federal-style attic with 70s home depot built ins and the awesome stone facade was completely covered in siding! It is unbelievable what some people will do to ruin a perfectly stunning house…

  4. Sarah,
    I just checked out the Howard Hall site.. wow, what an amazing project!! Its under two hours from us, maybe we’ll come pay a visit sometime, I’m sure we could learn a thing or two (or hundreds) from you and the crew.

    I particularly felt your pain about the tar and the floor scraping. Its something I’ve posted about ad nauseum because it was such a painful process!

    Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. heads up:::


    linen storage!?!?!?

  6. If you go to Howard Hall…drive like 5 miles more and you’re at my bat cave. :)

  7. Iloveupstate, you’re killing me with that curio! Its so adorable. Unfortunately I already bought a much less cute one last night…

    But even though I far prefer the ones with queen anne legs like the one you sent me, Jeff convinced me because the floor is so uneven underneath we need no legs so we can prop it up on one side less noticeably :(

  8. […] yesterday I posted about tearing down the upstairs hall built in and how that necessitated buying an armoire to keep our linens and extra bath products […]

  9. It really makes the stairs come to life. I want to walk up them now! Those two bottom steps are very quaint.

  10. Looks great without the built-ins…what a difference! That is so neat that your house was on HGTV. :)

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