TikTok's DIY For Rustic Built-In Living Room Cabinets Is A Must-Try

Built-in cabinetry and bookcases can often be at the top of any homeowner's wish list, coming in all sizes and configurations, perfect for adding storage and display to any room. This is especially true in living rooms, family rooms, and media rooms, where these cabinets often serve as a place for keeping books, equipment, and other things organized and tucked carefully away on shelves, behind doors, and in drawers. While they can be very functional and instantly elevate a room, custom cabinetry is often pricey to add in construction. It can be even more expensive to add it to existing spaces later on, especially when building built-ins from scratch. TikTok user @stayathomewoodworks, however, has some great tricks for installation to give cabinetry that seamless look of custom-builds without the expense of hiring a professional carpenter to install them.

It's a trick that works equally well with cabinets built to size or with pre-made cabinets, which can be a great, inexpensive way to save some money and still get a fully custom look. You can also outfit the cabinets perfectly to your space and available room, whatever your design aesthetics.

Getting a built-in look

@stayathomewoodworks suggests beginning by removing the baseboards in the area where your cabinets will go. This allows the pieces to fit flush against the wall. Screwing them directly into the wall at the studs will result in a tighter fit and prevent even the heaviest and tallest cabinets from toppling over. You can also attach the cabinets to each other for stability. Using smaller modular lower cabinets placed together instead of a single large cabinet makes them far easier to install and move around where you need them. The upper towers made of shelves almost reach the ceiling, where large crown molding can be added to close any gaps and finish off the built-in look. 

To make the entire unit of shelves look more cohesive, @stayathomewoodworks installs shiplap planks to the wall between the towers, which adds texture and a more rustic farmhouse look to the built-ins. The shiplap-covered portion provides a great backdrop for a wall-mounted TV, while the spacious system of cabinets, shelves, and drawers provides ample storage. 

Making pre-fab look fabulous

While you can build your own cabinets to your specifications, this is also a great project even if you're working with pre-made cabinets like those from Home Depot or Ikea, that come in a large variety of formats and require less professional carpentry skills to create. You can work with all the same above principles like flush placement against the wall, adding molding, trim, and other wood pieces to close gaps, and using material, like the shiplap, to make the shelving units feel more built-in and original to the space. Other great custom touches include a mix of drawers and cabinets, decorative trim on doors, glass doors, and luxe hardware.

While this particular design works well for a more rustic look, using more streamlined geometric molding can also work in more modern and contemporary spaces with simplified and clean cabinet fronts. In lieu of shiplap, you can also use other varieties of wood paneling, molding, or wallpaper to capture the desired aesthetic in your room.