Built-Ins that Aren't

When you move into an apartment, it's not always in the cards that the space is outfitted with cool built-ins. In fact, that's rarely the case. But there are moves you can make — even as a renter — to outfit your home with pieces that carry some of the look and convenience of built-ins. Only difference? You can take them with you:

1. Wall-Hung Shelves: Size them to fill a niche or an entire wall and they can have the appearance of being built in. These can be as simple as brackets with simple wood planks from the hardware store or can be a series of floating shelves as shown in the photo.

2. Large Bookshelves: Even in a small space and even if you don't have a ton of books, a large bookshelf can be a wonderful piece to have. It will store a surprising amount, allow you to display items that you love to look at, and can give the appearance of a built-in. Even an inexpensive or old, beat-up shelf can be great - you can paint it to match the trim of a room for an even more integrated appearance!

3. Long, Low Console: This can be in one piece of furniture or lots of serial pieces (as shown in the photo). It provides a twofold purpose: closed storage or shelving below and a serving or display surface on top. This is great for a room divider or use under a wall of windows with a waist-high sill height. Go a little lower and this could even function as a window seat!

Do you have any furnishings that look and function in your home much like built-in millwork? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Images: Living Etc., Living Etc., Decor Pad

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Style, Decorating, Shelving

Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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