CARRIE KELLY Special to the Calgary Sun
Built-in Beautiful Before Photos CouRtEsY dECoRAtIng dEn
If your home is feeling cluttered, the problem may not be having too much stuff, but not having the proper framework to keep organized. Built-ins quickly transform a room and can be instrumental in taking it from topsy-turvy to tidy. If you’ve ever lived in a home that lacks good storage, you know how indispensible it is. Having a place for everything and everything in its place makes life more simple and efficient. We tend to accumulate a lot of “things” over the years and not all of it needs to be purged. The items we choose to store or display give our homes personality, such as photographs, books and keepsakes from a treasured trip. Built-in shelving in a living room creates a beautiful backdrop for everything from your television to a bright bouquet of flowers. “It’s a great way to bring in colours and accessories and add interest to a room,” says Katie Rioux, owner of Calgary’s Decorating Den. Custom built-ins can be created in any corner of the house, for almost any purpose. The empty space on either side of a fireplace is an obvious place for built-ins, but they also transform a half bath, spare bedroom, playroom, entryway or otherwise wasted space under the staircase. “If you think outside the box, you can do some really cool stuff,” Rioux says. In a home that lacked great closet space, she turned a spare bedroom into a walk-in closet with customized built-ins. A home office is another room that becomes much more functional with a builtin desk, shelving and cabinets. Built-in desks are also great for kids rooms, providing a designated and inviting homework space. Professional built-ins, rather than readymade shelving, offer the benefit of being able to hold more weight and fitting perfectly even in a uniquely shaped room or a narrow space. “They create a concise, clean look,” Rioux says. “Sometimes if you do ready-made, it can really look do-it-yourself. It’s an investment in your home.” She suggests having built-ins made in white or matched to your home’s trim.