An ornate Louis XV bookcase sits behind an upholstered sofa in this traditional living room. Elegant details in the space, such as the gold hardware on the bookcase and the lucite candlesticks on the coffee table, make the room feel detailed and sophisticated.
To add dimension to the bookcases in this sitting area, the back panel is covered with wallpaper for a touch of the unexpected. The space in front is used to create a quaint conversation area with two chairs and a side table.
When choosing items that you own to fill a bookcase, think about creating a contrast, says Leigh Spicher, Ashton Woods' national director of design studios. In this Orlando model home, neutral book pages and accessories stand out against the dark wood of the built-in bookcase. "Sometimes our favorite decor is something we already own," she says. If you save money by using existing items, you can also add picture and display lighting to illuminate treasured pieces.
A red leather chair is nestled near dark-stained bookcases, creating a pop of color in the rich, warm home office. A navy floor lamp provides task lighting for reading or working in this sophisticated space.
Instead of a fancy piece of art, enlarge a photo you've taken outside or in a favorite spot and frame it, says Leigh Spicher, Ashton Woods' national director of design studios. You can add color to the mantle, like in this Dallas home, without using accessories. Also, arrange shells or other natural elements that you saved because of their beauty (and free price tag) in a frame or shadowbox, as another layer of art for your mantel.
Wide casings and craftsman styling on this pair of windows blend with clean-lined white cabinetry and vintage-inspired hardware to give this California kitchen an elegant, yet casual air. Dark accents on the peninsula and built-ins create contrast, as does the dark wood bookshelf.
Built in shelving creates a decorative frame around the bench seat. Blue patterned throw pillows work with blue accents throughout the room to add color to the design. A dark dining table and dark hardwood flooring create a deep contrast against the bright, white room. A gold and crystal chandelier hanging above adds a traditional flair.
Cousins Undercover integrated an open bookcase into this design, allowing for functional storage in two separate rooms. Here, the white bookshelf allows light to filter into a dark turquoise living room featuring a low-slung armchair and pink throw.
A dark-stained peninsula and dark built-in bookshelf contrast with white cabinetry and white Calacatta marble countertops in this transitional kitchen. Tinted grout in the subway tile backsplash plays off the gray veining in the countertops.