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Before and After: A Living Room Gets a Big Style Boost with $40 Used Kitchen Cabinets

published Apr 17, 2021
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Before: TV above a white farmhouse-style sideboard

There are plenty of times when small furniture or decor is better than big furniture. This is not one of those times. Here, bigger is definitely better.

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In Tara Boettger’s (Just Call Me Homegirl) home, the family room just… felt like it was lacking. “The before was fine, but it didn’t feel complete,” she says. The small farmhouse-style sideboard was nice enough, but it couldn’t offer the functionality — and the oomph — that Tara wanted for the space. “I wanted more storage I wanted something to make a statement,” she says.

Fortune struck when Tara saw five matching cabinets listed on Facebook Marketplace for just $40. She knew she had to jump on the buy before someone else did. “I sent my husband out to pick them up at 9 p.m. so I didn’t lose them!” she says.

Tara had always thought about built-ins for the family room but the cost, she says, always seemed too high. These used kitchen cabinets would help her make her dream built-ins for far less.

The cabinets made for the perfect base for the built-ins. Tara lined them up underneath the TV, then built to-the-ceiling shelving on top, all of which she painted bright white. The built-ins are open in the middle to accommodate the wall-mounted TV. Special touches — like cutting holes to hide TV cords, adding moulding around the top of the built-ins, and installing trim on the faces of the shelves — help make the piece look like a high-end build.

Repurposing secondhand finds helped Tara pull off this piece on an impressively small budget (just $300 for everything), but it was satisfying in other ways, too. “I love that we kept something out of the landfill, created something I have wanted for years, and at a fraction of the price,” Tara says.

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