Behold the power of paint. Even bulky pieces like consoles, armoires, and bookcases, when painted the same color as the wall behind, suddenly seem like inobtrusive built-ins — or even like they're not there at all.
A rich hunter green all over (and even on the door and door frame) makes everything on this wall read as a single entity. The effect is calming, unifying, and maybe just a little unexpected. Image from Fixa Dona.
Wall mounted shelves are one of our favorite space-saving tricks for small spaces — and they look even better when painted the same color as the wall, which creates of cohesive, built-in look. These dark shelves, in a dark living room from Elements of Style, almost disappear.
This can work equally well with white furniture on a white wall, as evidenced by this cabinet in a bedroom from Homes to Love.
How to make bookcases look built in (even if you're renting)? Paint them the same color as the wall. Image from Domino.
In this space from My Scandinavian Home, wall shelves complement, rather than compete with, an accent wall.
A dark paint makes these two etageres, in a living room by Erin Williamson, visually recede from the viewer, and makes that beautiful rosewood sofa the center of attention.
This is a neat trick even with smaller pieces, like this chair in an apartment spotted on Fantastic Frank. The chair becomes a part of the space itself, rather than something that competes with it, for an overall effect that's light and uncluttered. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be painting everything in my apartment baby blue.
Re-edited from a post originally published 11.28.16.