Staging a Built-In or Two

In any project I do for our home or someone else’s, it’s important for me to show that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to get a look you’re going for. It’s so much more fun and makes me way happier to help people realize that what they have is usually great, it maybe just needs some refreshing.   My sweet friend Kristen already knows that this is my motto and invited me over to refresh a few built-ins in their beautiful home.

Here is the before picture of the large living room built in. It looks fine but Kristen said that eventually she just started putting things in and it just lost its cohesiveness. There are really important pieces displayed and not for one second did I consider not displaying them. It all just needed to be rearranged.

begin, she took everything down from every cabinet and mantel and put
it all on their kitchen table. Love this idea. Such an easy way to start
fresh. Think of how different your house would look if you collected
all the decor and relocated it. Plus, you can get some pretty serious dusting done this way too.
I’m kind of inspired to do this in my own house except I’m always
moving stuff around anyway so it might not make as much of a
difference….Annnnnnnd I don’t like dusting.

The picture below is of the built-in in their bathroom. (I was dangerously close to falling into their toilet while taking this picture.) Anything for my art. *to be read in a fancy voice. Again, totally fine but fun to refresh.

Since this is mostly Kristen’s space, I tried to include things that are important to her: things that were her parents’, her mom’s jewelry box, an artwork she bought her dad, pictures of them, etc.
On the bottom shelf in between the trays are some artworks that her girls painted for her. Because her jewelry was so bright and cheery, I split it up a bit to spread out the color. Add a little greenery and a couple candles and it was good to go.
She also wanted me to fix their mantel while I was at it. So, here’s that. Look at those beautiful babies, by the way. Heart eyes.
Just a little more polished. The candle holder in the middle has the tall ring that better fills the space between the mantel and the artwork. Same thing for the flowers on the left. Added a few things in groups of 3 and called that one finished.
Now for the big maama jamma. To be honest, I put priority on this one. It’s in the living room and seen and enjoyed the most, so this is the one I really focused on first.

When I got there, I had a blank slate and just started putting things in place.
Here’s how it looked a little while later.
I didn’t start out trying to get the shelves to be symmetrical but it kind of just worked out that way. Whenever I’m styling a space I try to keep a few things in mind: shape, color and height.
The shelves aren’t exactly symmetrical but I tried to balance each side with like shapes, colors and heights. For example, on the top left and right corners I used objects with warm brown tones and placed the case on the left on top of a few books to try and match the height of the fish on the right. 
Another example is the bottom left and right. I tried to mimic the rectangular shape with the tray on the left and the glass sculpture on the right. For extra height, instead of just propping every framed picture, I used 3M tape and taped the black and white pictures of the girls up higher in the opening (above the plants). This gave me more room to style underneath them and filled what could have been a big blank space.
Also, when making little vignettes, try to use odd numbers. For example, the group of 3 white candles on the bottom left-ish and 3 white candles in the middle right. On the far left at the bottom, the tray, owl and red vase are placed together and all stand at different heights, which make your eye move as you’re looking at the objects. 
Pardon the glare. They have beautiful, big glass doors and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t hang out all day and wait for the right lighting.
Over all, it looks much more organized and cohesive. Everything gets to shine, nothing is covered or crowded. Am I right Mr. Duck? You’re welcome.
Thanks, Kristen, for having me and trusting me with your important things… and for giving my girls 5 years worth of great hand me downs. Best. Gift. Ever.
Pin to share or find later. Thanks for reading, friends!
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