We’re in the office of our Foothill Drive Project, and we’re giving the dark built-ins a refresh! (The color is Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore) Learn more about the thought process behind styling a dark built-in with our newest webisode! 

kateosbornephotography-35920_preview.jpg  Shop the Look:  Ellsworth Rug ,  Locals Only artwork ,  Ziyi Chandelier ,  Logan Desk

Shop the Look: Ellsworth RugLocals Only artwork, Ziyi Chandelier, Logan Desk

how to style a dark built-in:

Hover to shop the look!

A lot of the same rules apply when you’re styling a light built-in versus a dark one! Tips like grouping and layering apply when you’re styling almost anything, but we have some extra tips for making sure your accessories stand out in a dark setting, without blending in.

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First, create contrast with color. We did that here with white and green tones. We faced the bookends different ways to show off the unique shape.


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But you don’t want everything to stand out, and we love a moody element. Pairing a couple different dark colors together allows your eyes to rest while will still creating contrast and depth. Our love for tone-on-tone applies when the tones are dark, too!

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Using items with a dark texture makes even more of a difference! Wood tones and woven materials are a great medium color with textures that open up the shelving as they compliment metallics like silver and brass. When you have a cool tone as your paint color, using brass accessories is a great way to bring warmth! 


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Using decorative sculptural objects as bookends is a great way to shake things up! We used a cast octagon vase here, and we love how it brings out the gold details in the decorative books. This trick applies if you’re using other decorative pieces, vases, etc.

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Frames make the space feel personal. Whether they’re displaying a photograph or a piece of art, they really bring your space to life. Our tip is to make sure you stagger them in the shelving so it’s not overwhelming! 

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You don’t want a built-in to be full of tiny objects. We like to use boxes and baskets that are substantial enough to fill the space and provide a secret place of storage. It’s a great way to incorporate both form and function!


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These tips apply to both new and old items, but you can shop this look at McGee & Co. Make sure to tag us in your photos on instagram if you style our product in your built-ins!

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