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5 Gorgeous Built-In Redos Prove 2022’s Trendiest Color Has Staying Power in 2023

published Jan 12, 2023
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Credit: Erin Derby

Built-ins painted olive or emerald or any shade of dark green dominated last year’s Before & After submission inbox here at Apartment Therapy. It’s no wonder that six (!!!) major paint companies chose a shade of gray-green as their 2022 color of the year. There’s something about a deep green that makes a great almost-neutral-but-not backdrop for colorful book spines, and while it feels very of-the-moment, green was also a popular color in Victorian-era homes. Etsy’s Trend Reporter Dayna Isom Johnson wrote, when making predictions for 2022, that the color had a regal air to it, and that “the rich and grounding shade complements a variety of other popular color ways — from earthy terracottas and neutrals to luxe golds and silvers — making it easy to add into existing decor.” 

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Our prediction: Shades of green on built-ins aren’t going anywhere this year. The color works in nearly every style of home, from century-old houses to modern, minimalist retreats. Want to jump on the bandwagon? Start by getting inspo from these stylish DIYers whose projects were featured in Apartment Therapy.

DIY Built-Ins and Dramatic Paint Transform This Family’s Reading Room

Paula Truscott and Martin Loorits (@mismatchedhome) maximized storage and color in their “reading room,” which was bland when they originally moved in. “The wall around the opening was dead space, screaming for a built-in,” Paula says. Martin added the cabinetry and shelving, which makes the room feel larger as it stretches across the room’s threshold, and the design/DIY duo both painted the room green (Taubman’s Racing Green).

“It’s so inviting, especially for sitting and reading,” Paula says of her emerald paint choice. As the DIYers here prove, deep green is a surefire shade for a romantic, moody reading space — just make sure to accessorize with a lamp or two or three!

Bookworms Will Love How These Homeowners Maximized Every Inch of This Blank Wall

Another great thing about using green for bookshelves? It pairs nicely with gold and brass accents, as shown above by TikTok DIYer Liz Lovery. Liz made sure to add a bit of dimension to her shelving with a frame, a sconce, and some art-gallery-inspired lighting — like jewelry on an outfit. Her built-in color-of-choice was Southern Vine by Benjamin Moore and her bookshelf bling, aka the frame, sconce, and gallery lighting, are from Hobby Lobby and Amazon.

Before, “that whole corner felt unused and it fell flat,” Liz says. Now, it’s a storage-filled statement wall.

This Home Office Redo Is a Masterclass in Mixing Color and Pattern

Homeowner Maggie Overby (@maggieoverbystudios) already had built-ins in her home office, so she didn’t have to do any woodwork during the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge; she was just looking to amp up the color palette in the space.

“I wanted deep, rich color on the built-ins,” Maggie says. She went with Sherwin-Williams’ Hunt Club for the unit, and behind it, she used a red linen-looking peel-and-stick wallpaper. Maggie also added brass details via hardware and frames at the intersections of her shelving.

A Boring, Cluttered Home Office Gets Organized with Luxe Green Built-Ins for $1,000

Arianna Starnes’ (@homesweetstarnes) home office is another member of the green built-ins club — and she added them for less than $1,000. “We got these four unfinished wall cabinets from Lowe’s for pretty cheap — a lot less expensive and timing-saving than if we were to build our own,” Arianna explains on her blog. Arianna built a base for the cabinets, added spacers in between them, and built plywood shelving up above to create the look she was after.

“I always love the look of an office when you enter the room and see a grand executive desk and a feature point behind it,” Arianna says, and her deep green paint (Behr’s Alpine Trail) and cool globe sconces certainly make the statement she was going for.

A $400 Home Office Redo Features One of 2022’s Trendiest DIYs — and It Looks So Luxe

Graphic designer Samantha Kate Herrick’s (@samanthakatedesign) home office came with these white built-ins, but they “looked thrown together with no customization or trim,” she says. Her $400 redo was all about making them look a little more complete. Enter: trim, drawers and drawer fronts, bead board backing, and green paint, of course. (Samantha’s pick is Sherwin-Williams’ Riverway.)

Her redo is proof that even the saddest-looking shelving (whether built-in or big-box) can look more intentional with some budget-friendly additions.

Other Colors You Can Expect in 2023

With all the green bookshelf inspiration floated around in 2022, it’s likely that many DIYers will still be picking up cans of green in 2023. Paired with gold frames and brass lighting and vintagey finds, the combination can’t be beat.

However, according to this year’s Etsy trend report, you can expect a resurgence of blues and golds like indigo and honeycomb this year. “Indigo carries with it both a high-impact and futuristic tone, while honeycomb lights up a room,” Johnson says. And she predicts more vintage-inspired hues like burgundies and our beloved greens will make their way to kitchens and countertops.

Whether they’re painted in a vintage-inspired shade or something more bold and futuristic, I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings our way in terms of fabulous built-ins!