Last weekend I went on the Showcase of Homes tour in Saratoga and a common thread throughout each house was the use of built-in cabinetry. Built-ins were very popular in the 80′s with their shiny, laminate, contemporary design, but today’s aesthetic is much simpler, sophisticated, and will change any room! Your first step is to think about where you are going to put a built-in. Built-ins are great for almost any space in your home, but it depends on the room available and what you are trying to achieve.
If you have a fireplace that is centered on your wall with two empty alcoves on each side, that would be perfect for built-in bookcases with the option of closed cabinetry for things you don’t want to see. If your sofa faces the fireplace, you can also incorporate your flat screen TV into the cabinetry, either above the fireplace or to one side. It’s not always “pretty” to see the TV, so a design idea is to conceal it by having retractable / folding doors as seen in the picture below by Design Hole.
Built-ins in your home office
Another location for built-ins could be in your home office. You can incorporate a built-in desk, file drawers, closed cabinetry, open shelving, etc. Keep in mind how YOU are going to use the space, otherwise it’s not going to be functional.
Where are built-ins best?
Areas of your home that are empty and unusable, make the best spots for built-ins, especially shelving for all your books! A narrow alcove makes the perfect spot for a built-in! Years ago, I worked with a client who wanted to use every nook-and-cranny for storage. We actually designed and built large file drawers under the stairs (similar to the picture below), and in the gym we designed outcoves in the wall between the studs for water bottles and weight storage.
Built-ins tend to cost more or equal to a good quality piece of furniture, so keep in mind that you won’t be able to take them with you when you move. Your options for built-ins are limitless, so design away!!
Images courtesy of Design Hole, Canadian House & Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Crownpoint Cabinetry, Floor 2 Ceiling
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