DIY Built-In Entertainment Center with Fireplace

Do you have a blank wall you want to fill with bookshelves and also want a fireplace? You came to the right place. We are here to help you make that dream of a DIY Built-In Entertainment Center with a Fireplace a reality just like we did in our new home!

You will leave here planning your custom look with a step-by-step plan start to finish!

I had this huge wall in our living room that needed something on it besides just a boring tv. First thing I did was headed to the drawing board to work on a plan for our Custom Entertainment Center. I wanted to make sure I incorporated the design elements we wanted with the overall look we were going for. The entire unit needs to look cohesive and intentional.

But, I didn’t know where to start? Do you ever have this same problem? Big blank walls can be nice but also overwhelming at the same time. Don’t worry. Let’s get those wheels turning with your very own DIY Built-in Entertainment Center with Fireplace.

Growing up in Florida my entire life meant we never had a fireplace, there wasn’t a need for one either. When we moved to SC where the winters actually get cold and a little bit of snow. I knew it was finally time to have a fireplace in our home!

We lacked any gas hook up in this part of the house. Not wanting to deal with that fiasco of getting that installed for a gas fireplace. We quickly realized an electric fireplace was the route we needed to go. But…we wanted charm and books on the shelves!

Who doesn’t love tall oversize bookshelves filled with books?! Let’s also not forget base cabinets with doors as the perfect solution to hide things we don’t want seen.

Being in the middle of our living room we knew it was going to be the perfect place as an entertainment center focal point. It was time for us to head to the drawing board and write down everything we wanted for this build!

Planning your Entertainment Center Fireplace Build

This is one of those projects that so many people believe you have to hire out. Not true. You are very capable of tackling a project like this! 

Coming up with your plan and what you want first is the key in being successful in your DIY Built-In Entertainment Center with Fireplace from start to finish! Having a plan will also make sure you keep your project within budget.

These are the steps I take to make sure I have a plan, budget and finished project I will love for many years to come!

Step 1: Get some basic measurements of the wall you want your built-ins on. The width and height of the wall will be what you want to get. 

Step 2: Draw out what you want your built-in fireplace area to look like. What shape, size fireplace, bookshelf size with or without doors and the finish of your built-ins (stain or paint) and fireplace surround and mantle look?

Step 3: Draw out detailed plans with dimensions of your project and supply needs.

Step 4: Figure out what supplies you will need to complete your project. Get the supplies ordered and at your house before you start your project.

Step 5: Start executing your project based on your plans you drew up. 

PRO TIP: Having a plan will always guarantee you finish your project completely and within the budget!

These are the most common reasons I hear why people don’t finish projects…

  • We ran out of money
  • We didn’t get enough supplies and struggle to match certain items
  • We don’t have time to finish

To avoid running out of money. Make sure you set a budget and pick materials that will keep you within that budget. Purchase all of your supplies before you start. This will also make sure you know the cost entirely before you start.

Make sure to measure and know the amount of each supply you will need. It is always better to order too much than not enough. You can usually return it if you don’t use it all!

Be realistic in your time management planning for projects. Always schedule yourself more time than you think you will need. If you finish early, that is a bonus. If you schedule too little time you run into the issue of “never having time” within your busy day to day life. It happens to the best of us!

Building out your Entertainment Center Fireplace

We chose to build the majority of our Entertainment Center with Fireplace in the garage. This allowed us to keep the mess mostly outside. Keep in mind wherever you choose to build it will get messy. 

First we tackled building out our Built-in cabinets. This included building the boxes from scratch the custom sizes we needed for our specific needs. I love being able to build custom sized cabinets vs. just having to go with the standard sizes. Don’t get me wrong building cabinets from scratch is hard work. But, it is very doable for any skill level.

You can do one of two things when it comes to the cabinets: Buy standard size unfinished cabinets ready to be installed OR build custom ones. Buying standard size cabinets will cost a little more, but save you time. Knowing whether time or money is most important to you will help you easily decide between buying ready cabinets or building custom ones.

We built two bases and two upper cabinets for our Entertainment Center Fireplace. Our ceilings are 9’ tall and we knew we wanted them filling the majority of the wall but not going to the ceiling. We did not want to cut into the crown molding that was already in place. Also knowing a sheet of plywood is only 8’ long. This told us we needed to split the cabinets into two pieces to achieve the height we wanted.

Next we added the face frames on the cabinets and used poplar. Poplar is a great option when you are wanting to paint your cabinets. If you are going to stain, going with maple or oak might be a better choice. 

After the face frames were installed we primed and painted them in the garage. You can do this one of two ways and it’s personal preference. Install your cabinets then paint or Paint and then install. 

I prefer to do as much of the finishing work as possible out in the garage for all of my projects. Again, this just keeps the majority of the mess outside. It also allows me to work a bit more on making sure there are no imperfections in the primer and paint without worrying about how much dust I am creating inside my home. You will be shocked how much dust the primer alone can create.

Once the cabinets were painted and we let them dry for a couple days. The next step was to install them on the family room tv wall. 

PRO TIP: Letting them dry a couple days allows them to cure fully and less likely to ding and mess up during install. Fresh paint is a lot easier to mess up.

After we installed the main cabinets we finished with trim work, cabinet doors and adjustable shelves. Once the cabinets were finished, it was time to work on the center part of the fireplace.

We built a frame to custom fit our electric fireplace insert. Then we installed the frame, fireplace mount and the drywall for the fireplace surround. 

Next was to add the Faux Concrete finish to the surround. Hang the fireplace on its mount and install the mantle. If you want an in depth tutorial on how we accomplished our Faux Concrete look this is a cost-effective way to achieve a gorgeous finish.

Like I mentioned earlier, having a step by step plan of how you can best execute your project will make or break its success. 

Now, don’t be afraid to pivot if you find out along the way you have to change things up some. That happens to the best of us. But, do your best to stick to the plan as much as you can!

Finishing touches

This is seriously the best part of every project, the finishing touches! This is where you will want to rush to finish. But it is so important and take your time to finish it the right way not the fast way! The details are what really matters when it is all said and done!

To wrap up our Entertainment Center with Fireplace we did a couple things you probably can’t even see unless we told you.

We sealed the mantel with a polycrylic matte finish. This makes sure the wood won’t get damaged over time and that it is stable to any moisture or temp changes.

Next, we drilled our shelf pin holes, finished the shelves and doors so they could be installed. We went for a two-tone look of black and wood. The shelves are stained MinWax Driftwood color and sealed with the same Matte Polycrylic the mantel got. The doors we painted the same Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black as the rest of the built-ins.

And last but not least…drum roll!!! Styling the shelves and mantel was the absolute last thing we had to do! This is the moment when you finally get to step back and take it all in. You get to see this amazing creation you made from start to finish!

Before you go…

You just learned not only how we tackled our DIY Built-In Entertainment Center with Fireplace step-by-step. But, you now also have pro tips and a game plan on how you can make your custom plan to tackle your very own big project in your home.

It’s like eating an elephant one piece at a time!

Not only do I want to inspire you by showing you what we have done and learned over the years. I want to also help give you the confidence to do the same! You can and should build your cozy home and love your living space day after day.

I can’t wait to see what you create! Honor the Vision and Trust the Process! You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish! You got this!

If or when you do this tutorial, I’d love for you to tag us on Instagram so I can see what you create! 


Every cozy home deserves amazing recipes, and it’s even better when those recipes are both delicious and healthy. Our goal is to provide tasty meals that are easy to make, regardless of your skill level. 

Fast, easy meals leave more time for fun activities, making your home a hub of joy and good food.


As always, we love hearing about your experiences with our “DIY Built-In Entertainment Center with Fireplace”. Reach out to us through our social channels. Any questions you have about DIY projects, we’re here to answer. 

Stay updated by joining our newsletter, offering a monthly dose of new recipes and a first look at upcoming projects.


If you’re hungry for more, explore our collection of Cozy Kitchen Recipes. Another healthy favorite is the “Sausage Potato Veggie Bake.” Find these recipes and more here.


For additional resources, check out our DIY Tutorials, offering a wealth of information to enhance your home improvement skills.

Share the ♡

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *