With residential and commercial projects it’s important to decide from the beginning
if custom built ins will be a part of the design. By factoring in the size, scale, colors, location and finish (s) of a built in within the framework of the overall design, the shelving will fit seamlessly into the design. Since built ins can take up a substantial portion of a space, deciding on the right combination of materials and finishes which match the flooring or perhaps an accent color will tie the room together. If the built in is an afterthought long after the design is complete, it may be more challenging to match existing colors or move walls if necessary.
In the first example there are two different matching wood grains in the wall shelving unit which match the side tables next to the banquette. The shelf exteriors have a slightly smoother grain and the backsplash and undersides of the shelves incorporate a more visible wood grain. This subtle variation in addition to the medium color tone which matches the flooring and textiles offer balance to the space. The very large and long shelves do not overwhelm the space either by being a single finish or too dark/light. In the second example the designer mixed the natural wood shelves alongside a granite exterior fireplace in the living room. In the second example the shelves also match the wood flooring and the base is designed as almost an extension of the wood flooring. The gold backsplash accent creates the feeling more of a piece of furniture that of a shelving unit.
It should be noted that all three of these custom built ins are recessed which can offer more flexibility for integrating larger or more unusual designs.