Built in bookcase

This is my bulletin in my dining room. I'm getting bored with the gray wall and the white cabinets but I am unsure If I should wallpaper this back wall or if I should paint a darker color so that the white pops. Maybe it needs new knobs too. The knobs came with it when we bought house. Thanks for any Ideas!
q built in bookcase, home decor, home decor dilemma, painting, painting cabinets
  22 answers
  • Magda Karavasili Magda Karavasili on Dec 13, 2015
    I believe you could go with a pop of color. Painting the walls would be the most obvious way. You could also play with the backs of the glass door cabinets by adding color there.If you don't want to bother with painting, you could rethink your curtains. I changed mine from simple see through whites, against a background of white walls, to beige lace ( 6 euro a piece at a local thrift store) and a bark brown brocade (12 euro a piece) to block some of the sun. A cheap solution that truly transformed my room. Add a vase or some ornaments to complement the color you get to choose for the curtains and you are there. The best part with the curtains is you can change them the moment you get bored of them, it takes me less than an hour, ironing and styling included ,to do my two windows and I consciously take my time with it.

  • Sandy Sandy on Dec 14, 2015
    I took out the cabinets in my dining room, I didn't really need them. Amazed me how much bigger the area appears now. I kept just the buffet. The cabinets came out easily, they were just screwed in. I added after pictures for you.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 14, 2015
    To give the area an updated look I would paint the wall a darker color. Depending on the color you choose change the curtains and accessories to add some color as well Changing out the knobs would also aid in giving the kitchen a updated look with very little money.

  • Carol Potts Carol Potts on Dec 14, 2015
    You would be amazed how the smallest changes can make the biggest impact. I'd use some really pretty paper with a bright accent color to cover the back of the cabinets, take off the knobs and spray paint them, and then add a few accessories around the room in the same accent color to give the room a pop. I'm sure these relatively inexpensive changes will give the room a whole new feel.

  • either paper or a bright color (for the back of the cabinets, not the walls!)..yellow? orange? aqua? don't know what other colors you have. another idea is to line the backs of the cabinets with some antiqued mirror. Bounces the light and gives it a classy traditional look. Or you could paint the back and then do a stencil. Or you could apply contact paper for a quick and easy change.

    • C Crow C Crow on Dec 15, 2015
      @Beth H. Makemeprettyagain.blogspot Love both your cabinets/cases!

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 15, 2015
    I like the setup and colours. Have you thought about getting mirrors for the backs? You can add interest by selecting colourful dishes, etc. for inside.Would not replace the knobs.

  • C Crow C Crow on Dec 15, 2015
    You are so fortunate to have such nice built-ins!

  • Grammy in TN Grammy in TN on Dec 15, 2015
    I think i would darken the paint for more contrast. Also brighten up that back window and side window with brighter patterned fabric(that co-ordinates to rest of room) curtains. Putting lights inside glass cabinets and colorful dishes. Bright accessories on the counter too. Would love to have those cabinets in my kitchen!

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Dec 16, 2015
    Thanks for so many ideas..Ive added a mirror & new table set. Still have to make more improvements.

  • Janet chambers Janet chambers on Dec 17, 2015
    I would add a valance to the window with the same color in it as the blue chairs. I also would remove the things you have under the window and add a beautiful flower arrangement with blue and yellow flowers. I would remove the things from the table and add a yellow table runner with blue/yellow fruit bowl.

  • Sandra Sandra on Dec 20, 2015
    And, I think some greenery on the top of the cabinets would bring the wall unit together. That space seems to leave it a bit unfinished. I am not sure about the valance. I like the open window look. The new table and chairs are very nice. And, since you have that yellow cabinet, I agree that the flowers should be in blue and yellow. Then you have everything tied together.

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Dec 20, 2015
    Have you considered changing out the louvered doors on the bottoms of the built ins? Solid door would look great there! I agree with no valance - that is a beautiful window, why cover it!

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Dec 21, 2015
    I have the same room. I painted the interior backs of the built-ins a nice fleshy salmon color and have swag on windows in the same in a rich fabric. Salmon color candles, touches of it in the table runner and a few accents. I would also agree to change the hardware, but take your time, don't rush, and find some elegant simple pieces to enrich the piece.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Dec 21, 2015
    I like the darker table, but I think what you are missing is color. Pick an accent color--maybe yellow (or mustard yellow) or your favorite color--a beautiful green, peachy-pink, coral. All you have now is neutrals so you can really pick any color. Cover your dining chairs in a print featuring that color and choose curtains with a different but coordinating print that also has that color. Choose a few chunky accessories: candlesticks or candles, pottery, vases, etc in a shade of your accent color to go under your window. Then paint the backs of your cabinets in a color that is in your fabric, but is not necessarily your accent color. I would consider removing the louvered doors (fill the holes and touch up the paint) and using matching baskets to hold your items to add more texture to your room. You have a beautiful space to start with and I know it could be amazing!

  • Etoile Aloha Etoile Aloha on Dec 23, 2015
    How about some colorful paper in the back of your cabinets? If you do not like it, you can always remove it. I like the idea of adding color to walls, leaving the white furniture. Don't cover up the window with fabric/valance, let it shine through. Please share photos of an update when you're ready.

  • G G on Dec 24, 2015
    Love the window. Maybe a darker wall color. Maybe add the color to the chairs.

  • Suzie Suzie on Dec 25, 2015
    I love the other commenters Idea of paper in the back of the shelves walls. Also maybe some very light sheer curtains on the window?

  • Hum3481597 Hum3481597 on Dec 26, 2015
    Add a lively colored tablecloth,,,,Colored Glass pieces,,,,Objects you like in color,,,use your imagineation,,,go whimisical,,,have some fun! Hang a cool painting,

  • Linda Weeks Linda Weeks on Dec 26, 2015
    hey, there's a lot of value in all the woodwork! Awesome place! just a suggestion, but I just noticed the dark chair in the background, maybe paint him a pastel, or white?

  • Suzanne Crowther Suzanne Crowther on Dec 27, 2015
    HI Bonnie What a great room you have the built in is awesome love it ,you have a blank canvas here first what colours do you like ?, and what look are you after shabby chic modern ??I would get a good wall paper get a really nice one in a colour you want then ty the room together with colour paint the chairs in Annie Sloan chalk Paint to match a colour in the wall paper colour ,if the paper has more than one colour paint the chairs in the next colour not the main colour this will give you 3 colour to work with. IF the wall paper is not to bold and has 2 or 3 matching not to bold colour if it has blue silver white you have the 3 colours to play with that very dark chair can be painted in a silver blue darker than the paper yet still matching it looks like you might have a big light fitting we cannot see it just the brightness the chairs it would look nice with a good looking cane basket at the fire place with some logs in it but some bits and bobs to match candle sticks a centre piece for your table, some beautiful soft curtains .

  • Suzanne Crowther Suzanne Crowther on Dec 27, 2015
    HI Bonnie your table and chairs are stunning love the mirror are the chairs seat ci=overs blue, if they are you could get a nice soft paper that will reflect light back into the room soft curtains and paint that cabinet I don't think the white is working with all the dark wood .The floor table chairs and mirror are all dark I think you need to soften the darkness matching bit and bobs for room Annie Sloan chalk paint would be my choice is such a nice cabinet I would use good paint as its a big job you could wall paper the back of the inside cabinets and even the top ,you would need seal it or I would add a piece of glass over the wall paper then put your beautiful mirror under the window gat some candle sticks this room will look stunning you can also make some chair covers that just cover the backs of the chairs not all the way down not even half way you could use a luxe fabric or fur fake of course

  • DivorceCoach DivorceCoach on Dec 27, 2015
    love this space! Pick a style you like and the "colors" will follow...I can see shabby chic here as well as French Country. If you like flowers I see lots of fresh flower potential. Also an area rug...I"d change the knobs and perhaps the bottom cabinet doors...