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Need help with this trim at top of bookcase. I just think it looks odd and doesn't seem to match everything e
Margaret Chappell
January 14, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Built ins in our great room. Just not crazy about the one piece of trim at the top of shelves. Suggestions?
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PRO
AMBIT Architecture
Curious why the bookcases don't fill the inset area top to bottom. Why the gap at the top?
January 14, 2013 at 8:44am     
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charleee
Was the plan to put a light in that recessed area? Or a sprinkler head? Weird!
January 14, 2013 at 8:48am     
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Margaret Chappell
Any ideas on how to correct it?
January 15, 2013 at 2:57am   
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housespouse
With the shelves recessed further back than the walls it is almost impossible. Even if you take the trim off and fill the space above it you will still have an odd area up above. To reduce the gap even more you could remove the trim then add a piece of say 2 inch timber the length of the top of the shelves and then put deeper trim than the narrow one you have now. It wouldn't take it all the way to the top of the recess but it wouldn't look so obvious if you get a smaller gap.

Whatever you do don't get tempted to put anything on those top gaps once you finish and hope the eye gets drawn to whatever you put in the shelves. Maybe paint the shelves the same as the walls so they "disappear". A different colour for the shelving will make that gap stand out.
January 15, 2013 at 3:21am     
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creeser
I'm guessing those gaps might have been for tv components. Surround sound or something like that. I still see a wire hanging down on the one side, will you be using that for something?
I would be tempted to try and remove the crown molding from the top and use it as a top shelf of the bookcase. Another option might be to have some frosted glass cut the size of the opening and frame it out with thin trim painted in the same color as the other trim and insert it to cover the opening.
January 15, 2013 at 3:57am     
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creeser
I was trying to find examples to show you and found this first photo where they used small doors on the top.
[houzz=House in Santa Lucia Preserve]
[houzz=Contemporary Living Room]
January 15, 2013 at 4:03am     
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rluchinski
Might be cool to put a light in there then cover over with a stained glass window on hinges. It could be used as a little hidy hole for seldom used items. The light behind would make it appear like a window and would be a bright feature in your room. I thought this will the idea that books would be on the shelf, so distracting from that might not be an issue.
January 15, 2013 at 4:26am     
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Options abound! Add a small additional shelf, light it with what we assume us an electrical box above, xenon or hockey puck halogen hidden behind a small valance. Display rarely used crockery or glass. Install a small raised panel door cabinet for out of sight storage. Face mount a raised panel to close off the space (removable for code electrical access) paint it and forget it!
January 15, 2013 at 5:39am     
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PRO
Gabberts Design Studio
Seems like an odd use of space, why wasn't the built in taken all the way to the ceiling? If it can be fixed, I would go that route to make it fit the space better. If not, I would suggest some lighting and some greenery to fill the open space above.
January 15, 2013 at 5:49am     
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trasgorshek
Love Creesers idea! Take the crown off and add doors so looks like part of the cabinet. If you make the doors decorative it could really be quite nice! It's looking great! Are you in the process of building?
January 15, 2013 at 6:33am     
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PRO
AMBIT Architecture
like many said: remove crwon, add a cabinet over the cabinet installed. Reinstall trim at the top of the inset. ALSO another idea is fill-in the area above the cabinet with framing, patch with drywall and paint.
January 15, 2013 at 6:51am     
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Lyn Keyes
Agree with Creeser, if you look at the photo's they are obviously going to place the TV above the fireplace (electrical sockets), so it would make sense to put the speaker components on the top of each built in and then small cabinet doors above to hide them ....
January 15, 2013 at 6:54am     
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PRO
Galle Construction Inc
Remove the existing crown molding, add a piece of flat stock material to the underside of the bulkhead and re-install the crown to finish under the bulkhead. You can also add an additional molding to break-up the flat stock.. see attached picture. Good Luck
January 15, 2013 at 7:02am     
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Carrie
I don't think it looks that bad really. I think once you get some paint, accessories etc. in the cabinets, as well as a fireplace slate, mantle etc. it's going to look quite different. Baskets are a cheap and easy fix if you want to put something up there.
January 15, 2013 at 7:12am     
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carbary
We have remodeled our home recently and had a few things like this that were odd. My thought is make it seem intentional. Instead of a mistake. The molding under the top of the shelves makes it seem odd. I would try to add some molding on the top. I like the simple molding on the beams above the fireplace. Something simple to tie in with that would look good. Then I would display a collection of something on both sides so it looks like the perfect place for that collection.
January 15, 2013 at 7:13am     
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John Seiffert
Your question is not specific. Is it the style of the trim you are having a problem with, or the space above?
January 15, 2013 at 7:30am     
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Margaret Chappell
This is a building job. Not sure why the trim carpenter built these two book shelves this way. We met with our builder architect today and have decided to remove the trim on the top shelf and take the shelves up to top of opening. We will add the "v-groove" paneling to the back of top shelf. The wire in the opening is for lighting in the shelves. We had considered using rope lighting in the very back of each shelf but haven't finalized. I love the idea of glass doors on these. Will keep you posted and post pictures as they change the trim. One thing I forgot to mention - and I hope everything thinks it is a good idea - we are adding the pediment treatments over the bookcase openings to match the rest of the cased openings in the house. I will send pics and if it is in poor taste - we will just have it removed. Building a house is much harder than I thought it would be. Anxious to move in and enjoy it.
January 15, 2013 at 3:39pm     
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Margaret Chappell
This is the latest update. I think it is much better. Interested in everyone's opinions.
January 16, 2013 at 8:50pm     
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trasgorshek
Love the trim work! The spacing duplicates the doors at the bottom, will you put doors at the top too? That would be really nice if you did. Looks great.
January 16, 2013 at 9:09pm     
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housespouse
Looks way better and you'd never guess there had been a problem. I actually prefer the way it duplicates the trim around the doorway and compliments the effect on the ceiling so you now have a better looking room.
January 16, 2013 at 10:12pm     
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PRO
studio | FORMA
The "latest update" is much much better. Looks balanced.
January 16, 2013 at 11:13pm     
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Margaret Chappell
I am thinking of glass doors at the top. We decided to wait until it is painted to make a final choice. Thanks for the help.
January 17, 2013 at 3:31am     
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creeser
That looks great! I think you've solved your issues. :)
January 17, 2013 at 4:03am     
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carbary
It looks great!! Like u planned it to look that way!!! Love how it ties in with the other trim work!
January 17, 2013 at 8:37am     
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PRO
studio | FORMA
Glass doors would look nice especially with some sort of stained glass pattern to bounce light around the room and add a real personal touch of style.

Another idea you may like to consider is some type of architectural mesh on the top row................and if you really like the idea you could stand to use it on the bottom doors as well since both of these are divided in three equal parts above and below the open shelves.

It will be a beautiful room. Is the casework getting stain or paint color??
January 17, 2013 at 8:49am     
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PRO
studio | FORMA
Stained Glass:
January 17, 2013 at 8:51am     
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Margaret Chappell
Paint, we love your idea!
January 17, 2013 at 8:50pm   
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Margaret Chappell
Here is one pic.
January 22, 2013 at 7:13pm     
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Margaret Chappell
I think you can see the book shelves from this picture.
January 22, 2013 at 7:15pm     
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Margaret Chappell
Painted and almost complete.
January 30, 2013 at 3:26pm     
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Margaret Chappell
Painted but we have not moved in yet.
February 17, 2013 at 2:08pm     
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trasgorshek
It is coming together beautifully! Hope you enjoy many happy years in your new home!
February 17, 2013 at 2:54pm   
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