The removal of the wall that separates the kitchen and the living room creates a more open space for dinners and entertaining. The new white kitchen has new non-slip tiles (for the aging dogs), new cabinets, appliances, and lighting, as well as in-floor heating (for the dogs). The kitchen is also surrounded by built in pocket dog doors which allows the homeowners to contain the dogs in a comfortable environment while they are away. As seen on HGTV's hit show Love It or List It Too.
In order to give the ready-made bookshelves a custom, architectural look, Matt and Jodi had a contractor install the two pairs back-to-back. Once the bookshelves were attached to the walls with L-brackets, the exposed sides were clad with luan and trimmed out with 1x3 MDF (medium density fiberboard) paint in the same shade of white as the melamine shelves.
If a traditional mantel feels awkward in your space, try a just-above-floor-level platform like the one seen here. It allows the same display area (or more) and doesn't break up the visual line above the fireplace.