for the Modern Home


November 8, 2017

When I think of built-in shelving units, I think of grand homes with many old books lining the expanse – the epitome of class! However, in today’s real estate market, home buyers are leaning more towards open floor plans, updated kitchens/bathrooms and a minimalist décor. Truly a home that tends toward grandiosity may feel a bit dated for today’s buyer. If your current home has built-ins, and you fear this may not suit the desires of today’s home buyer, follow these quick tips to breathe new life into your shelving units!

As Easy as New Hardware
This is a cost-effective method to update those closed off cabinets in the built-ins. By replacing the pulls on your cabinet doors with a long chrome handle, you are providing an instant face lift to your space! But beware, décor trends tend to run their course quickly, so be sure you are aligned with the latest look!

Long, thin, hardware adds a contemporary feel to these built-in cabinets

A New Coat of Paint Might Do the Trick
Painting or restaining your property’s built-ins is another way to update without breaking the bank. One way to tie the whole room together is to match the built-in color to the trim or molding. Grey and/or greige walls are very hot right now, and white trim truly pops against that color. Now, imagine having your built ins pop as well! Full disclosure, painting is generally going to run cheaper than staining, but you have to ensure you are moving forward with a quality paint. Semi-gloss or glossy finishes hold up best to the constant stacking and shuffling of books and plateware.

Painted shelving units add a contemporary feel to this office space

Continuity is Key
Make sure to remove elaborate molding that doesn’t fit with your home’s style. Today’s most desirable style is clean, chic and simple. By removing over-the-top embellishments, your built-ins feel like pre-determined parts of your home, as opposed to a feature that was added after the fact. Trend alert! For very high built-ins that run the length of your wall, consider placing a ladder next to the shelving for a unique accent piece that is also very useful!

The ladder on this rod provides a beautiful accent piece while also being useful

Need New Cabinets? Either Change It Up or Remove Altogether
Ornate fronts in a shelving unit can seem outdated and grandiose. By replacing the cabinet fronts with flat or Shaker style panels you have instantly provided a more modern feel to your unit. Another idea – remove the fronts of cabinets entirely and finish the resulting edges, thus turning your once closed cabinets into more open shelving.

Built-ins framing these french doors utilize space and create a beautiful wall of art and books