‘What is a bookshelf other than a treasure chest for a curious mind’  ~ Unknown

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing a series of tips and techniques that reflect a courageous approach to design.  The series, Is Your Space Too Safe, will explore five interior design options that require boldness.  The payoff? Unique, personality-filled interiors that dare to leave “safe” behind.  


Homes require maximum functionality for daily living.  Custom built-ins maximize wall space and provide much-needed storage.  With careful consideration of the surrounding architecture and furnishings, beautiful cabinetry can meld seamlessly with the rest of a room, enhancing homeowners’ books and prized possessions.

The back surface of a cabinet or built-in offers a unique opportunity to introduce colour or texture. There are endless paint and wallpaper options out there, offering colour, pattern, texture and flair. This technique can be applied during the manufacturing phase or, for the do-it-yourselfer, once the cabinetry is in place. Such additions can make a bold and sophisticated design statement that goes beyond the traditional plain and matching look. You can also use this technique to reinforce a colour scheme or theme by incorporating an accent colour or motif. 

Books and accessories look fabulous when placed in front of such a treatment.  It creates depth and interest by drawing the eye to the architectural details as well as the objects themselves.

The trick is choosing a combination of accessories that contrast against the background and complement the built-ins. To achieve a balanced and dynamic effect, remember to consider scale and proportion when choosing your objects.