A fun wall unit

Sometimes you get the opportunity to be extra creative with a wall unit, to great results. To wit:

living room wall unit with floating shelves

The inclination usually is to make everything symmetrical, and make the two sides around a fireplace match. But here’s an example of a terrific design that doesn’t follow that convention. A modern home with modern touches, the space called for a particular look, and our designer Paulina delivered. Taking a two-tone approach, we used a fairly common melamine finish called Chocolate Pear with a newer, rich colour called Walnut Amati (the lighter of the two woodgrains in the cabinets) and the results are dramatic. The two colours bring out the tone in the floor, and play nicely against the tone of the floor.

floating shelves above console cabinet

On either side of the fireplace, we built lower base cabinets, with recessed kickplates to create a floating effect.  The doors on the cabinets, upper and lower, feature a simple edge profile, and in the Walnut Amati finish, they really stand out. This finish has fooled more than one person into thinking they were looking at solid wood, it’s that good. The shelves in between are playfully staggered, making this wall interesting to look at, in addition to being useful.  Stainless steel square knobs complete the look, keeping everything boxed and compartmentalized.

interlocking custom cabinets with floating shelf

On the right-hand side of the fireplace, we placed another base unit, but with a twist; the doors on the left portion of the lower cabinet include a perforated MDF insert panel, stained to blend with the Walnut Amati, and allowing for storage of components to go with the television. Using the perforated panel accomplishes two things: one, it allows for venting, preventing components from over-heating, and two, at allows for the Blu-ray player, PVR, etc to be concealed, while still possible to activate them with the remote control.  These panels are quite handy for a variety of projects – indeed, we use them when making radiator covers – and come in a wide range of patterns.  Possibly our favorite detail on this project is the upper cabinets, and how they interlock with each other. The doors on the enclosed portion lift up, rather than swing out, and the open unit straddles around the enclosed one.

With all the unusual aspects on this design, it was challenging to execute, but the results were well worth it. Just imagine what we could do for you!