So you just moved into a new home that has been blessed with built-ins and you couldn’t be more excited to have the custom look you have always wanted. Sometimes the very thing you have always wanted ends up being one of the hardest things to decorate. Maybe you have no idea where to begin or maybe you have lived in the home for some time and just never tackled them because let’s face it, built-ins can be quite overwhelming. Today I am going to show you How To Style Built-ins the easy way, so those beautiful shelves don’t end up being naked for years to come.
When you are staring at all of that blank space it can seem almost impossible but once we break it down into a few steps you will feel confident and be able to use the same principles on any surface in your home.
One entire wall in our living area is made up of custom built-ins which gives our home unique character that other homes may not have, but those same built-ins are so large that when we moved into our home they quickly became a point of stress for me. Originally we went shopping and in one fell swoop bought enough decor to fill the space. All was great for a while but fast forward several years later and we have found ourselves starting completely over because we hate the style we
created threw together.
Since way back then there are so many things that I have learned about myself and my style and those same built-ins are no longer a source of stress for me. Now that I have practiced and taken the time to learn a few tricks I know that I can gradually work through any set of built-ins and I will be happy with the end result and after today I hope the same can be said for you as well.
Step One: If you have read my previous post How To Decorate Any Room In Your Home then you know that you absolutely have to have a whole home color palette. This color palette is the key to making your home look pulled together and consistent. It will also cut down on random purchases that you love in the store but bring home only to find they don’t work with the decor you currently have or the direction you want to go. Don’t sweat it because we are all guilty of this at one time or another. When you know the three to four colors you will be using (along with neutrals) then it brings the options that are available to you way down which in turn makes shopping much easier.
Step Two: I can almost bet that 99% of the beautiful built-ins you see while scrolling Pinterest have some form of artwork layered in. Art is very important when styling built-ins because when you purchase artwork you only buy pieces you are drawn to or absolutely love. Items like this are the things that display your personality and make your home feel like “you”. Art also fills space that cannot be done with small pieces while also giving you a layered in look.
Step Three: Add in pretty objects and items that you love throughout the shelves. Make sure that you use items of varying heights, textures, metals, and sizes. Add in wood elements and mix metals to give it that curated look effortlessly. Shop your house to see which items you already own that could work well on the shelves.
For example, Since we are slowly redoing our entire home I have decided to really take my time on our built-ins and collect items over time. So over the past several months when I have spotted an item that would work well on the built-ins I would purchase the piece and sit it to the side. While also using items that we already owned like the three bird figurines and the finials. Once I had gathered enough to complete one shelf I would add the items in layering each piece as I went. Doing this kept me from rushing through the process and I have been able to find some great bargains on items I absolutely love, like the three ginger jars I purchased for 50% off.
Use items such as books, trays, baskets, pots, vases, sculptural objects and bookends. Stack books two to three high with an object placed on top similar to the top shelf in the photos. Mix it up by stacking books horizontally and vertically. Place smaller objects such as picture frames and sculptural objects on a tray for a more put together look.
Step Five: This step is one of the hardest steps for me and is something I am painfully learning as I go and that is being patient. Think about it for a minute, we have been programmed to want every single thing right now and sometimes it is easy to think you can just snap your fingers and you will be sitting in the home of your dreams but it takes work. It does not have to be hard and in fact, it can be fun but you have to be willing to go through the process patiently without giving up. All of these small details are just as important as the large ones and sometimes they are more important. These details are the difference between just a house and a home and that doesn’t happen overnight. If you follow these small steps and go into decorating with a willingness to learn one day you will look around and realize you have actually created the home of your dreams, a home that speaks to you and a home that displays your personality perfectly.
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- Ginger Jar 1 (similar)
- Ginger Jar 2 (similar)
- Ginger Jar 3 (similar)
- White pot
- Gold Round Frame
- Brass 16×20 Frames
- Bone Inlay Frames
- Wood Bead Garland
- Birds (not available)
- Multicolored Finials (not available)
Slowly but surely our home is coming together and I am so excited for what the future holds for us in our home. The vision of a completed home is what keeps me pushing forward and I am learning so much about myself as I go. If you would have asked me ten years ago if this is what I would be doing I would have probably laughed hysterically, and that in itself should give you all the confidence you need to tackle any space in your home. Because I my friend am just like you! Yes, I have learned new skills and gradually honed in on my style but the point is there were several points in this journey where I was felt all of the same feelings. Scared to start for the fear of messing up was greater than wanting a beautiful home and thinking I was just one of those people who would never be good at decorating. It took me some time to realize that just like anything else if simple steps are followed a beautiful home is within your reach. Don’t forget to show some love and pin the image below.