Kim’s coastal bedroom | installing the built-ins

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Room Makeovers


The room makeover for my mom and dad is finally nearing completion!  I am planning to photograph the finished room later this week.

We finally got over the biggest hurdle in the room, the built-ins.


I have assisted Jeff with building cabinets and shelves and I felt like it was something my dad and I could tackle, even though it was a bit ambitious.

I drew up the design and, over several weeks, many of us worked together on the building, finishing and finally the installation.



It was a huge learning process for my dad and I, but we are so pleased with how they turned out.

They’ve been sitting in five pieces in my parent’s garage, each waiting their turn to be painted and finished.  Now, you know I like to use milk paint for just about everything, but we opted for primer and latex in order to keep these looking consistent with the trim in the rest of the house.  It just made sense in this case.

The cabinet tops are made out of cherry and those were the only pieces we had worked on by a professional.  Jeff and I glued the smaller planks together, but we don’t have a drum sander in our shop large enough to run the pieces through, so my dad took them to a professional cabinet shop to have them sanded smooth and also route the edges.

My dad finished the tops with MMS Tung Oil, which has unfortunately been discontinued, but he loves the stuff and we still have a stash of it.

Now that the finishing work was done, we were able to install them.  The base cabinets were custom cut along the back, so they would fit tight against the wall around the baseboards.  The upper shelves sit on top of the cabinets and were then screwed into studs to prevent them from tipping.



The center (floating) shelf was screwed into the shelves on either side and also through the back supports into studs.  That thing is screwed into studs with 3″ screws in nine places, so you can tap dance on it.


We finished off the top with crown molding to tie the three units together.


Since my parent’s just have a mattress and box spring on a frame, we clad the wall behind the bed with tongue and groove planking.  My mom was nervous about holes in her wall, but my brother and I talked her into it and she really loves it.


The cabinet on the right side of the bed (pictured above) has a little secret.  The door on the left actually opens up away from the bed for easier access.  We designed it that way, so my dad can store his c-pap machine in there.  It’s on a pull-out drawer that slides out when in use and easily stows during the day.

There’s still a bit of finish work that needs to be done, like caulking, filling the holes, touch-up painting and covering the screws with wooden plugs, but the hard part is done.


I could hardly wait to start styling them.  We mostly used books from their library, family photos and collected items that they already had.  This gave us an idea of what we needed to purchase, if anything, when we went on our final shopping trip for accessories to finish off the space.  (Obviously lamp shades were on the list!)


I’ll share all of the sources and room details in the final reveal.  If you can’t wait, you can find the sources for the fabric, bedding, rug and wall color in THIS POST.



My mom told me that as they were getting ready for bed last night my dad said, “This room is so nice, it feels like we’re spending the night in a magazine.”


High praise, indeed.


If you’d like to see how far this room has come, you can catch up by clicking the links below…

part 1 | the concept

part 2 | the before pictures

part 3 | selecting a wall color

part 4 | the walls & built-in plans

part 5 | the bedskirt & the built-ins

part 6 | the non-chippy milk painted-cabinet

Kim’s coastal bedroom | installing the built-ins

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