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Design Tips For Built-Ins That Are Functional & Chic

Design Tips For Built-Ins That Are Functional & Chic

Last November, my son Chris M. White was visiting from Boston, where he is an Architectural Designer with a large firm. We were sitting in our living room watching a movie on the flat screen in our old antique armoire that took up a considerable part of the room.

 

Before you knew it, he came up with a fantastic design for a custom wall unit and fireplace insert that I have always wanted but could not picture how to do it. The dream was to have more storage for our movies, CDs, and books. Plus a mantle for stockings at Christmas time. 

 

 

As hard as it was to part with my old antique armoire, the new wall unit would be an enormous addition to our living room, giving us more space and storage. We then partnered up with our master carpenter, who is also Chris White, but of  Wood & Wires, who took the drawings and bought them to life. Here are 6 simple but essential steps to help you create the perfect wall unit that is functional and chic.

 

BEFORE PICTURE OF THE WALL  

 

Check out these design tips to consider that are functional and can make your wall chic.

 

1) SKETCH IT OUT

Make sure you take a before picture, then grab some paper and sketch your vision of what you see for the ideal built-ins. Then, don’t be afraid to grab a tape measure, put tape on the walls, and draw the actual layout on the wall to check yourself the spacial feel. It can look a lot different in full size than on paper.

 

2) PLAN HOW YOU NEED TO USE IT

When considering a built-in wall with storage and even a fireplace, think about what you would like to store in it. For example, I had items like books to display, movies and CDs to keep behind doors. Do you have stereo equipment? Or like to dust? If not, consider doors. We added a few on the upper and lower on either side. Do you want a mantle? There are endless ideas to choose from in creating the perfect wall unit.

 

DURING THE BUILD OUT WITH ROCKY SUPERVISING

 

3) ALWAYS MEASURE TWICE 

It’s essential to consider the measurements you’ll require. For instance, do you have stereo equipment or large books you’d like to shelve? Check out their heights and widths to figure out what you’ll need. You can also have your carpenter make adjustable shelves if you are unsure what you need to make them more flexible. Likewise, for cabinet storage, measure games, and other items to ensure they fit.

 

4) BALANCE IS IMPORTANT

Once you determine what you would like to display and store, ensure the overall design and look are balanced. Check for other horizontal lines in the room, like windows, doors, pictures, etc., to line up your built-in shelves, TV, mantle, or fireplace. Do you have ceiling moldings and baseboards that need to consider in the design? You’ll want your carpenter to match them across the tops and bottoms of shelving units. Chris centered the TV on the shelves as well as the fireplace.

 

ALMOST COMPLETE


5) REUSE & REPURPOSE
 

Were you looking for some interest in your design? First, think about breaking up the look with something repurposed. For example, we found a repurposed barn beam to use as a mantle that looked a little pop. Next, look for salvaged doors, cabinets, or pieces of wood you’d like to incorporate into the design to add charm and make it your own.

 

6) LET IN THE LIGHT

Lastly, there are lighting options to consider, from recessed ceiling lights under shelf mounted lighting. If you have a unique art piece, look to highlight it with a spotlight. We added some outlets within the built-ins to incorporate a small lamp or additional stereo equipment.

 

AFTER PICTURE OF WALL UNIT WITH ROCKY’S APPROVAL

 

Thanks for checking out my latest wall and fireplace unit remodel project. Have fun dreaming & designing.

 

In need of a wall unit remodel design? Reach out for some ideas. Learn more about our home interior design services HERE

 

Wishing You much health, happiness, and an inspired home!

 

Kim

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