We bought these shelves for our old house in Virginia at Ikea. They are one of the best purchases we've made from there. First of all, they don't really scream Ikea which makes me happy. And because the piece connects across the top with another shelf, they almost have the feel of a built in. It was the perfect piece to house my husband's need for a ginormous television and I was able to style things around it that I liked to look at. Also, when you do something simple like change out the hardware, people truly don't believe that you got the thing at Ikea.
I almost didn't bother moving them to the new house because I wasn't sure where I was going to put them. You see, the layout of our living room is a little hard to work with. There is no foyer so you walk directly into the living room and the front door is over to the side of the room. The only wall without windows is the wall beside the front door and so it would be really weird to put the tv on that wall because when you walked in the door, you'd be in the middle of the seating/tv area. And the tv is just too big to put in front of the windows because a) I wouldn't want to block all the great natural light; b) um, major eyesore and c) the glare would be so bad it'd be hard to watch tv. That left us with one option...mount the tv over the fireplace. And that, my friends, is a saga for another day. Suffice to say, our marriage was a little rocky for a while until we got that crazy ass situation sorted out.
So, because we mounted the tv over the fireplace, and situated the seating accordingly, we were left with this big long empty wall over by the front door which posed two problems. First, the wall is so big that it required something SUBSTANTIAL. A dinky piece of furniture would look dwarfed and out of place. Second, remember how I said there is no foyer in our new house? That means no hall coat closet either. That in and of itself is annoying for adults but try having two little kids who constantly need coats, hats, gloves, etc. So I got creative.
I decided that the height of the lower shelf would be just about right for a bench seat and that I could utilize the interior blank wall space as a spot for hooks to hang jackets, scarves, bags, etc. Plus, I still got to have a place for my pretties to jazz it up a little so that it still looked nice in our living room. The fabric I chose for the bench seat is upholstery grade and I chose neutral colored ikat that gave enough texture to make it interesting but was neutral enough that I wouldn't tire of it. I had the bench cushion made with 3 inch foam and it ran me a couple hundred bucks for the fabric and labor. I found the antler hooks at Anthropologie. Originally I wanted to have one of each of these but they were sold out of the duck ones I two wouldn't have been enough hooks or looked right on that big of a space. In the end I think the fact that they were sold out of them turned out in my favor because I think having the hooks match ultimately looks better than it would have to have three different kinds.
So, there you have it. For around $300 I have a new entryway piece that is pretty to look at and serves an important purpose in our new house.