Built-in shelves are a huge design element that often anchors of a room. They add a lot of character and help set the tone for the space. It’s a nice way to show your style, while also serving function with additional storage.
If you’re considering an alternative to furniture, built-ins really defines the space and makes it feel more custom and part of the home itself. They also add significant style to a room. Built-ins are a practical solution when it comes to storage and getting the most out of your space.
Our downstairs is one large open space, a space we never truly used to its full potential. The back corner did not function as well as it could have. We ran through a few ideas how to better utilize this space and create a better flow and focal point. Our goal was to design our built ins to have cabinets for storage, a space that can be used as a desk and have a place to decorate with some of our favourite items in the open shelves.
There are several different built in designs we considered. Ultimately we created this custom design that functions for our family, today and in the future. The design allows us some flexibility as to how we might use this area differently in years to come. I’m very pleased that we continued the arch theme in our built-ins. It adds a lot of interest and character.
Earlier this year we turned two regular doorways into arched openings. You can check out that blog post here! By incorporating the arches downstairs in our family room, it ties in the other arches in our home. The repetition and continued theme really compliments the arch features. These built ins took this dark back corner of our family room to a magnificent design element in our home.
We painted the shelves the same colour as the rest of our home – Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. It would have been a great opportunity to use another colour but I wanted to keep the colour simple + classic so our decor would stand out.
For styling, some items I recommend are books, frames, vases, florals/plants, personal keepsakes, objects, beads and baskets. I like to gather all of my items so I can see what I’m working with. It’s nice to have extra items. I tend to gravitate to a colour pallet. In this case I utilized wicker, woods, earthy ceramics, whites and creams and some contrasting black pieces. A great starting point is often a blank slate. I like to start with the largest items and place art/frames against the back of the shelf. Often I’ll group items and also then layer in other objects in front or larger items. Books look great stacked vertically or horizontally. I like to stack a few horizontally then add a shorter item, it helps to create height. Its always nice to add warm elements like a candle or natural items like florals, plants or wooden objects. I play around with the items until it feels right and balances. You will want each shelf to be a little different and that the items vary from shelf to shelf yet you want to have an overall theme/consistency.
Stools | Baskets | jug | art | art lamp | rug | lamp, marble disk | papier mâché links | bud vase | Quin Vase | Orion bowl | fluted pot | jade vase | ceramic vase | Black Vase | Candle Stick | Dress |