my home

TV Wall and a Floating Shelf

By August 14, 2012 14 Comments

I confess, we are one of those couples whose dining table is their coffee table.  We have a real dining room, with a wonderful dining table, but we never eat there.    We eat in front of the TV.  Though it’s not ideal, after a long day of work, sometimes all you really want is to sit together, with no need for conversation.  Because of this, I was really sick of staring at everything around the TV – which included the cheap TV stand I bought years ago when I got my studio apartment (sans doors, as they had fallen off after all the moving around), as well as tons of cords for the speaker / tv / media system.  So,when most women ask for jewelry and clothing etc for their birthdays, I asked that we spend time remodeling this wall.  The project began in March, and we finally finished enough to post pics this past weekend.

I hated the previous setup so much that I didn’t even take before photos, so instead I’ll show you a photo from our last holiday party, where the ugly TV cabinet is in the background of all my super friends in their fun “recycled” holiday attire.

The ugly cabinet went straight to the curb (where we can always count on someone to come by to pick up old stuff).  
I drew everything exactly as I wanted it on SketchUp, and my wonderful husband did the rest. 

He spent hours researching the right components, and then more hours in the attic running the necessary cables from the TV location to the new component location (above the basement stairs).  He also cut new speakers into the wall per my dimensions.  (And would you believe the holes were correct and required no drywall patching?!?)
The main glitch was actually the install of the floating shelf.  Our first attempt didn’t work.  We did some more research, and figured out a different approach, which worked perfectly.
While still looking for a center channel speaker (trying to find something that’s not just boring, boxy, and black) as well as some decorative accessories for the shelf, we’re close enough to done so I wanted to share.
And for those of you who might want to know more about hanging the floating shelf, here’s what we did:
The shelf has a 1″ hollow space in the back.

My husband used wood-glue to glue (2) 1/2″ pieces of wood together for cleats.  Then he used a pocket-hole jig to pre-drill holes.

Used a stud-finder to make sure we were drilling into something solid.

Mounted the first cleat on the wall.

Note the line above (drawn before cleat was mounted) to keep cleat level.

Used the level for the remaining cleats (starting with outside first and working our way in).  I was asked to point out that the level was standing upright for actual leveling… here he was just using it for the straight edge.
Once the cleats were installed, the shelf slid perfectly into place!

Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • MikeM says:

    That looks great! What an awesome team you and your husband make. 🙂

    FYI I did NOT mount the outlet and coax locations that, was done by a previous owner/dish technician.

  • Kevin Nowak says:

    Looks really great! Where are the cable box, DVD player, etc?

  • Laura says:

    This looks great! (Did you get new windows too or is this a different wall than before?) Do you have a cable box or DVR to contend with that I can't see? I never know what to do with those things after the tv is on the wall. The tv pics I see always look so good with the tv mounted but then we have all this extra stuff that's still sitting there.

  • We actually don't have a cable box, and currently we don't have a DVD player. The TV is a smart tv with GoogleTV. All the other components are on a shelf in the stairwell behind the sofa – Mike fished all the wires through the attic above the living room.

  • Thanks Laura. No new windows, and the TV is in the same place as before, though I think all the ugliness distracted from the windows. 🙂 See reply above re: location of components (on a shelf in the stairway behind the sofa). Everything is remote. Our remote control uses bluetooth so it works without pointing in any single direction. I think having the Smart TV made this all a bit easier.

  • Oh, and we also used a special recessed outlet box behind the TV that allowed for the TV plug plus extra cables to be plugged in without adding extra bulk. If you're interested in that amazon link or any info on the smart tv or anything else, just let me know.

  • Amber says:

    It looks so great Nicole! Also, I'm loving your front room in general. Great taste!

  • Hi Amber – thanks for the comment! Hope you're doing well these days!

  • Tiffany says:

    Looks so amazing!! (I wont make any comments about how terrible I look in the Christmas photo 🙂 )
    Thanks for an awesome bike ride last night! Can't wait to go again soon! 🙂

  • Tiffany – you don't look awful at all – you're adorable!

  • Joe Cary says:

    Very nice Nicole, just like I want to do with a floating cabinet. I would do just a shelf but the eternal problem is what to do with the DVD player, subwoofer, cables, and of course center channel. Seems like the best thing to do is buy an ugly center channel/soundbar, and hide it in something with maybe some type of perforations to let the sound out. Maybe a box built with the board used for hanging tools with the holes in it. Maybe mounted under the shelf. Yours is the perfect install really. I've been working on a plan for my spot for a while. If I could move the Dvd player and subwoofer(I don't have one yet) to the shelves on the side of the room I could do something without a cabinet. I really like this idea here. this is a great site I'm sure you've seen. The other one I was telling you about is , it's the reason I've wanted a Big Chill all year.
    Please give me the link to the recessed outlet and smart tv. thank you…

  • Hi Joe! We'll probably end up with the basic black box center channel speaker, and then try to draw attention away from it by putting something more interesting on either side of the shelf… not quite sure yet. Here's a link to the recessed outlet:
    It's great for the plug and all the cables. As for the Smart TV, our TV has Google TV integrated into the actual television. Though our model is discontinued, you can by GoogleTV as a separate piece to work with your TV. Like many women, I hate fancy remote controls, but this one I can actually work really easily.

  • Katie says:

    Hi! Just wondering where you found your coffee table – I'm interested in something similar from Pottery Barn, but if I can find a less expensive version I'll take it! Thanks!

  • Hi Katie, We actually got it used from on online classified (similar to craigs list). The original owners bought it at Room & Board a while ago.