It’s time to invest in built-ins!
I am a big fan of built-ins. They allow you to maximize your space and customize the look. What is the downside? The costs. Built-ins are known for being more expensive because they are custom built for your space and usually can not be removed. If you are renting, budget tight or do not plan on living in your space for a long time, built-ins may not be the way to go.
For me, I was on the fence at first about putting in a built-in due to costs. With a newborn and a higher mortgage payment, money definitely felt tighter than it had been in years. It’s true what they say about having kids and costs escalating!
After over a year of living in our new space, I decided that it was an investment I wanted to make. I knew that a built in would make a big impact on the space that I was living in every day and the expense would be well worth it.
Here are the results below.
Before … What do you think? It’s not awful, but also not great. We went with a fun yellow tv stand console from Ikea originally. It served it’s purpose but you can see from the before picture that the space felt a lot more disjointed with the heater and AC off to the side and the TV console under the TV. It was three separate units that did not quite go together. My goal with designing a built in for the space was to create a seamless surface that blends seamlessly in the space without calling attention to itself.
After .. What do you think? I absolutely loved it (and still do!). It is funny how a space does not feel that bad until you see the before and after pictures. Looking at these two images side by side, I can’t even believe I was thinking of not investing in the built-in! The look is now much cleaner and sophisticated. The three units are no longer disjointed but seamlessly run together.
What, A fireplace?!?? Yes!!!
Okay .. so the fireplace was my design “why not”. I had always wanted a fireplace and I decided living in NYC in an apartment with no fireplace was not going to stop me! Both the carpenter and Matt, my husband, were a bit skeptical when I first pitched the idea. In the end, they both agreed that it looks and works great! Plus, I finally get that fireplace. Now, I need to figure out how to create a skylight … ha!
The illusion of it floating above the floor
This little design element creates a big difference that most people will not notice. When designing the built-in, I did not want the piece to feel overly heavy or take up too much of the visual space. I pictured something light and subtle. I am a big fan of anything floating above the floor in general. I use to joke with my husband that I would love to design a space where nothing is on the floor except for the rug … you know, swinging couches from the couch – kind of room! Okay, I deviate.. that is for another space and time. Let’s get back to the living room built-in.
For this built-in, I asked the carpenter to specifically build the piece so it did not go all the way down to the floor and appeared as if it were floating. This is the result above and I am loving it. Yes, we sacrificed a small amount of additional storage, but it is small compared to the visual footprint the piece makes.