Before & After: Believable "Built-ins" That Are Actually Renter-Friendly & Removable

Before & After: Believable "Built-ins" That Are Actually Renter-Friendly & Removable

(Image credit: Submitted by Ariel)

Ariel found herself in a situation familiar to many an Apartment Therapy reader; a great idea, great taste and the limits of being in a rental. With a little millwork, paint and a weekend Ariel was able to make her living room dreams a reality.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ariel)

From Ariel: We live in a rental (Military Housing here in Canada) so we're not allowed to do anything that can't be un-done when we move out. I wanted the look of built-ins, but knew that they weren't feasible if done the traditional way. Using millwork from Metrie and a little ingenuity, we created renter-friendly built-ins that can be moved at a moments' notice.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ariel )

The full process break-down is on the blog, but basically we used architraves for the top of the tower bookshelves, casing to frame the bookshelves to the walls, and baseboards to make it all look like our home was built this way. We chose pieces from a cohesive collection to ensure that it all flowed together, and with the rest of the millwork in our rental.

None of the millwork is actually affixed to the walls, rather nailed, glued and screwed to the bookshelves, which are then affixed to the wall using the manufacturer's device.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ariel )

We painted the back of the bookshelves for an added pop of color against the white and pink in the space, while also picking-up colors from the rug. We used Behr's Hosta Leaf in a matte.

The articulated wall sconces complete the look by adding a bold color and dimension to the tower shelves, while being exceptionally useful for lighting in our space which doesn't have any overhead lighting, just task lighting.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ariel )

All in all, the project took us about a weekend (when you include dry times) and cost us in millwork, glue, screws and screw-caps, as well as two paint samples worth of paint for the backing and touch-ups where we plastered over nail-holes.

Thank you, Ariel! You can see more on Ariel's blog, PMQ for Two.

Created with Sketch.