How to close in a 90's TV Cubby

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Throwing it back with one of my all time favorite projects we did at our last house. Remember how I once said that popcorn ceilings are the mullet of my new home? Well, 90s TV cubbies were the mullet of my last house. They're just one of those things that had it's time in the sun, but quickly became outdated and an eyesore.

We had 2 of these TV cubbies in our last house,  and I always hated how cavernous they felt. We couldn't get a big TV in there because it was not a wide enough opening,  they were so deep that we would lose things back there, and it made our TV look super small , since the cut-out was square, not rectangular. It really was a stupid feature.

I realize these are first world problems, and "our flat screen TV looks too small above our gas fireplace" is probably the world's most privileged sentence, and that's exactly why we never had the motivation to do anything about it. That is, until my husband got a little bonus at work, and he decided it was "TREAT-YOSELF-two-thousand-EIIIIGHteen!" and bought a new TV. Since the new, bigger TV wouldn't fit in the cubby opening, I seized the opportunity to have a reason to spend the money to change it!

I knew this project would require drywall skills, and since there's nothing about that I want to DIY, I called my go-to handyman to come over and make a plan to close it in. We needed to have structural support for the TV mount to attach to something, so we made a plan to mount a 2x4 down the center of the opening, and then drywall around it. I wish I had taken some more "in action" photos, but I wasn't documenting it super well back then.

This was after he put in the 2x4 mount for the TV, closed in the drywall, and then laid the board and batten pieces around it to frame it out. We decided to line it up with the end pieces of the fireplace mantle, so it would look like one big fireplace.

My handyman knows that I like to get my hands dirty, so while he did all the cutting and measuring, I caulked, primed, and painted the rest. I really wanted this to be more of a design feature, instead of just the wall, so I decided to paint it white and make it look like part of the fireplace! Then, I decided to add a board and batten style design element around it that I felt would really set off the whole thing and make it the anchor of the room.

We still had some hanging cords once we were done mounting the TV, and after all the work painting and getting everything bright white, the black electrical cords were irking me. So, I went on Amazon and found this easy cord cover, which blended in super well and hid all our cords!

 This was such an easy, and relatively inexpensive project. The drywall work cost a few hundred dollars, and we already had the paint and primer, so it was an easy afternoon of work to really transform our living room! I absolutely love how it came out and am sad to have left it since we only got to enjoy it for a few months before we moved. Oh well! I plan to do something similar above our fireplace in the new house, even if we don't put the TV above it again!

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