This isn't a furniture build, but before I found Ana and built a few of her projects, I would never have attempted this! I did build the cabinet, and I think that the board and batten makes it really fit into the room.
I used 1/2" mdf that I had blue cut for me. I sanded, primed, and painted it a white that matched the existing trim. Instead of removing the existing baseboards, I cut the end of the batten at an angle and had it meet the baseboard. Before attaching the b&b, I primed and painted the wall the same white as the boards. A pneumatic nailer attached it to the wall and I then caulked all edges before painting it all with the final coat of white.
This was incredibly cheap to do and I LOVE the end result--although I must admit that it took me awhile to get used to such a dramatic change. Now I can't imagine how we lived with the "before" for so long!
If you want to see the entire process, you can read the posts on my blog:
The sign in the back of the room was also a DIY project that involved power tools: