July: Budget Built-In

Want the look of a custom built-in without having to shell out big bucks? Consider this project from Janice Badkin Elze of Amagansett, N.Y., who used inexpensive IKEA Pax wardrobes and lumber rescued from construction sites to put together a home entertainment center. Crown molding, a coat of white paint, and vintage glass knobs pull the piece together and give it character. Even better, "no one realizes it cost less than $320 to make!" says Janice.

To make your own, set a stock cabinet between two tall stock wardrobes. Build or purchase a shallow box with shelving to sit on the middle cabinet, then top the entire assembly with a piece of plywood. Edge with molding and add doors for a cohesive look.
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