Renovations, The Buffalo BurrowDIY Built-in China Cabinets at the Burrow February 18, 2020 This is a sponsored post by Lowe’s. All opinions are 100% my own. I am SO excited for today’s post, friends! The focal wall in the dining room has left me giddy since we nailed down the design. The centered mantel and then the two built-in china cabinets flanking each side brings such old-house character in my book! Here’s a look at the transformation of this focal wall so far! Now, let’s talk about how we did it. We wanted to create these on a major budget, so we knew some DIY would be involved. I envisioned a base cabinet with doors and then shelves above. Step 1: Install the Base Cabinet – We started by searching for stock cabinets we could use as the base to save us from building that piece ourselves. We searched for stock options before we built the bump-out so that we didn’t need custom dimensions. 30″ is a very common cabinet width and that left us 6′ in the center for the mantel. We didn’t have the mantel yet, but we’d seen a lot of vintage mantels over the years that were less than 6′, so we were confident we could find it. Thank goodness we did! This room is not huge at 10 x 12′, so we didn’t want to take up too much depth with this cabinet wall. In measuring the space, we felt like we could go about 15″ deep and still preserve enough space for the table and chairs. That ruled out stock base cabinets that are 24″ deep. So, we turned to upper cabinets that are 12″ deep. Knowing we were going to paint them to match the walls, we knew we could save money by getting an unfinished wood option. We found this stock cabinet and the dimensions were perfect! It’s 12″ deep and 30″ wide. The only downside was that it was also only 30″ tall, just like a standard upper cabinet height. We wanted 36″ tall for a standard counter height. We built a frame on the wall to bring them out an extra few inches and to raise them to counter height. Then, we screwed the cabinets into those boards and we had base cabinets! So quick and easy and at just $80 each, it was a huge saver. Step 2: Install the “Counter top” I wanted these to feel like custom wood furniture pieces, so we went with a pine shelving board. Chris routed the edge to round it and sanded it, so it looks really finished. It will be painted just like the rest of the built-ins. You could go a lot of different ways with these counter tops. You could install butcher block. You could install stone if you budget allowed. Our budget for this area did not, but I also wanted the feel of a piece of furniture or custom old built-in that would’ve had a wood top. This isn’t a spot that I need the durability of stone either, so it was an easy choice! Step 3: Build the Shelf Sides Once the counter top was installed, it was time to build the upper cabinets. We started by building the two sides that would support the shelves. These are also pine shelving boards. We cut each to the height we needed (counter to ceiling). Then, we routed lines at the top and bottom where we wanted the top and bottom shelf. These are 3/4″ since that’s the depth of our shelf boards. I knew I wanted the bottom shelf to be taller off the counter top than the other shelves, so that’s why the bottom line is further from the end. The top shelf line is placed where our header will come down to once the shelves are trimmed in. You want this header board to be tall enough for your crown molding (but more on this to come below). This top shelf actually serves as the “ceiling” of the cabinet. We hammered our top and bottom shelves into these router lines. Then we secured them with nails from the outside. These top and bottom boards are stationary to give the built-ins more structural integrity. The router line helps with that as well. These are solid! Our three middle shelves can be adjustable, so we used a peg board to line up and drill even holes. Then, we got 1/4″ shelf brackets from Lowe’s to hang shelves in the holes. We attached the frames with the two shelves into the wall and then you can add and adjust the three middle shelves later. Step 4: Trim in the Shelves First, we installed the header up top that the crown will attach to with a finish nailer. We made the header board tall enough to accommodate our crown molding and then have enough flat board left to match the side trim pieces. You also want to make sure that your header is wide enough to go wall-to-wall, since it’s the finished front. The side trim boards are the same finger-jointed pine we used on the board and batten. We used a finish nailer to nail it into the edge of the shelf sides and it runs counter to header. Step 5: Wrap Header with Crown Molding The last thing we did was to wrap the header board with crown molding, so these officially look built-in! Once these cabinets were in, you can see how we extended the board and batten around so that it all looks built-in together. In some spots, like here around the fireplace, that was just the top header and shelf boards. But, I love that the board and batten lines continue all the way around the room and are going to make the paint really make sense! Everything board and batten down will be Agreeable Gray, as will the mantel and the built-ins floor to ceiling. And I love that leaves this patch of wall above the mantel where my floral wallpaper can go! Can you picture it, friends? I obviously love the look of this space and the character it provides. But I’m also thrilled with the added storage and function. Two closed storage cabinets on the base! They came with one shelf, but we’re going to add a second one and fill these babies with baskets. And then the counter tops plus four shelves! While I’m planning to display a lot of my pretty dishes and things in here, I’m really scrutinizing everything that gets a spot. Well, I’m doing that throughout the entire house! Nothing gets a place that doesn’t get used. So expect a lot of pretty dishes and glasses here (that we 100% use), but also baskets and some other storage items. This room is going to work really hard for us! It’s a dining room, but it’s also going to be our homeschool hub starting next fall, so I’m excited to really capitalize on this storage for art supplies, books, and other things we need handy! I’m going to post a video tour of this space where I talk you through it all and show a lot of details later today on IGTV, so stay tuned!