In this post, I am sharing how to achieve a faux “built-in” look for your fireplace alcoves by using the Ikea Liatorp bookcases. I hacked the Ikea Liatorp bookcase with glass doors into a mini entertainment unit for my living room. So, If you are like me, and you have alcoves either side of your fireplace and wondered “What can I do with the alcoves in my living room?” then this post is for you.
Late last year, I got quotes for custom built-ins for my living room. I believe custom woodwork is a skill, and it is worth the money. However, the quotes I received were out of my budget. So, I did some Ikea hack research and scrolled online to get ideas for my living room alcoves.
I saw lots of Billy bookcase hacks, but I decided on the Ikea Liatorp bookcases with glass doors for my project. These have more of a cottage feel, and they have moulding detail on the top and bottom of the cabinets. So, I choose the Liatorp bookcases with the glass doors as I wanted to add storage to the bottom of the bookcase.
Assembly of the Liatorp bookcases
So, assembly of the Liatorp bookcase is a two-person job. I had watched videos online showing how to build the units, but I found the boxes quite heavy. So, I had some assistance for setting up the bookcases. You can adjust the shelving to create different heights. My main reason for choosing these for my alcoves was to create more storage and have more floor space.
Before I had the bookcases, I had an old china cabinet and tv stand in my living room alcoves. While these looked nice, they weren’t practical. I needed storage for my fire logs, but I also wanted a place to display the teacups that I collect.
So, that is why I went for the glass doors on the bookcases, as they hide my fire logs on the bottom, and they display my teacups on top. I also gained an extra foot in floor space as they sit flush next to the fireplace. As a result, my living room feels more spacious.
How I hacked the Liatorp bookcase into a mini entertainment unit
I turned one of my bookcases into a mini entertainment unit to hide my Tv. I was going to hang my TV on the chimney breast. However, I heard that this could cause damage to my tv. So I decided to use one of the bookcases to house my TV. As I didn’t want a huge TV to be a focal point in the room because I don’t watch much television. However, I wanted my living room to be a calm space.
So, Using a 32mm flat wood drill bit, I drilled a hole at the back of one of the shelves. I created a hole wide enough to pull the TV cables out towards the back. The TV cables are loosely tied, and they come out the back of the bookcase. I have an electrical socket beside the bookcase where they plugin.
I have a 32 inch Samsung frame tv inside the Liatorp bookcase, and the 32 inch TV fits nice and snug. So, make sure to check the dimensions of the cabinets as you cannot insert a larger TV. It’s important to have a larger hole for your cables as the TV will need airflow to stop it overheating. I love that I can close over the cabinet when I finish watching TV.
I styled my Liatorp bookcases with some storage baskets on the bottom and my teacup collection on top. As I love collecting different trinkets from my travels, and I wanted to display them. As a result of having the glass doors, I now spent less time dusting them. They will also save them from my niece and nephew, who like to play ( and brake ) my trinkets when they visit.
Learn how to paint your fireplace, click here!
Here are links to items in my living room
I hope you got some inspiration from my Ikea bookcase hack, and how I created my faux built-ins around my fireplace. So, If you are like me, and you do not have the budget for custom built-ins, then I hope you got some ideas on how you can create your own on a budget. So, If you would like more home decor inspiration, click here. Please share your budget “built-in” ideas with me over on Instagram and Facebook, or you can comment below.
Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine.
Such a great idea for a built-in! Electronics and wires are the bane of my existence as well, even though I need to be on them 24/7. XD I’ve been on the hunt for glass door bookshelves like these for a while, sadly the ones that have a lot of moulding details cost a small fortune (the very Victorian looking solid wood ones). 😩 BTW when your teacup skittered across the floor 🥶 lol. Well wishes and a speedy recovery to your mom as well. 💗
Yes, I love the detailed bookcases, I have thought about adding extra mouldings to make them extra fancy, glad you liked the video, thanks for watching, I really appreciate it x
Hi Catherine! I just wanted to share with you that I’m a huge fan of what you share. I don’t comment often but I read every blog post and look forward to every YouTube video. I’ve even tackled some of my own projects bc of your tutorials. So thanks for being a bright light in this sometimes dark world!
Thank you Ashley! I really appreciate the support!