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living room with green and brown furniture, stone fireplace and white built in cabinets surrounding

Built-ins can be beautiful and functional, but many people get overwhelmed when trying to choose items to decorate them with. These simple tips will help you furnish a built-in that is visually exciting and expresses your style.

Vary height and texture

Mixing and matching different pieces helps you create a layered look that gives your built-in dimension. When you have items on a unit that are different heights it makes the space more interesting to look at. If you want to put items on a shelf that are similar in height, consider stacking some books underneath one to make it taller.

Varying texture is also crucial to obtaining a layered look. Ceramic vases are beautiful, but if you have a shelf that is entirely full of them they start to lose their personality. Make sure you are grouping things like vases, frames, and books together so that no single texture dominates the entire space.

Pair complementary items, not matching sets

Think about an entire set of matching encyclopedias on a bookshelf. It lacks interest and contrast, and there’s nothing surprising to your eye.

Instead of looking to matching items for your built-in, think instead about which items complement each other. This is where you can think outside the box and get very creative!

Don’t be afraid of empty space

One of the most common mistakes people make when filling out a built-in is that they don’t leave enough empty space. People feel like they need to use all of the available space in order to make it look finished, but this typically results in cluttered shelves. Sometimes, one large item on a shelf can be enough to anchor the entire space, and you can leave the rest of it clear to create even more contrast.

Follow the rule of thirds

Speaking of space, one of the rules to keep in mind is the rule of thirds. Even if you’re feeling overwhelmed with ideas for the decor in your built-in, or you can’t remember any other tips, remember to follow the rule of thirds.

Fill one-third of the space with books, and try to prioritize books that have some meaning to you. They can be fictional titles that you love or books that are relevant to your interests and hobbies. Use another third of the space for miscellaneous accessories, such as frames, ceramics, etc. Finally, keep the last one-third empty space to create the perfect amount of contrast, and to avoid having the unit appear overstuffed.

Your custom home is an expression of your personality, so you to need to find a partner who will help you express yourself as you intend. Ridgeline Construction Group specializes in creating beautiful custom homes based on your desires and lifestyle, so contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive building and interior design services.