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Fireplace Mantle and Built-Ins Reveal

It is finally finished! I started about 3 weeks ago, and got held up by a 2 week wait on the corbels, but it is FINISHED!!

As I showed in my teaser post this is what the family room built-ins looked like the day we moved in.
The mantle was pretty sad, and didn't match anything else in the room (the baseboards were the only other thing that was white in this room) so I knew I had to amp it up.
One of the things that bugged me is that the plywood shelf on the left was too thin compared to the bookcase shelves on the right.  So I added a 1x2 to make it match.  I also added cabinet hardware that matched my kitchen cabinets:
I also knew there were too many focal points on the wall, and it was way too busy, so I had to unite the whole wall to make it look like a single built in unit.
The first thing I did was add door molding and rosettes around the outside of the shelves to make it feel more custom:

Sorry about the quality of the pics, this was before my new camera!
I removed the doors and then primed all the oak and moulding as well as the wall above the fireplace.  

I painted the back walls (behind the shelves) the wall color in order to give it more depth.

We had to live with it in the "wet paint" stage for quite a while, and my family started to go through TV withdrawal so I had to set up a temporary solution:

I painted the brass accents on the fireplace screen black and added corbels under the fireplace mantle:
 I used bubble wrap and packing tape to hold them in place while the liquid nails dried.
I painted them before installing, but after caulking them I needed to touch up the seams.  I just adore how they came out:
Finally I staged the shelves with my thrift store owl and homemade milk glass.
The built-ins still house a lot of bric-a-brac, but I don't mind it against the white shelves.
I think it came out fantastic! I am still considering installing doors over the opening by the TV, but for now I am more than happy:
And hands down my favorite part is the new mantle, especially the corbels.  SWOON!!
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