There’s simply no better way to get the look and feel of a well-made custom home than built-in furniture. We’ve already talked about some classic choices and some more unexpected ones.
Of course, you don’t want to go overboard and install all of them. But make sure you’ve considered plenty of choices before you decide which ones are right for you and your home.
Built-ins on either side of the mantel are about as time-tested as it gets. For symmetry, utility, and beauty, there’s nothing better. Plus, they make sure that the mantel is the focal point of the room, keeping your design centered and well-balanced.
It doesn’t have to be a secret, but built-ins that move uninterrupted across a wall are a fun way to hide a door and maximize your space. A door that looks like part of a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf can also be a discrete method of hiding a bathroom or closet door, especially if a normal door would draw too much attention away from other focal points in the room.
If going across the door isn’t your style, consider going above it. If you are thinking of putting custom shelves on either side of the doorway, you may want to take them all the way up and over the doorway.
It doesn’t even have to have a door: an open archway between rooms is another great place to extend your storage and display space all the way up to the ceiling.
Entries can be especially tricky when trying to balance design and utility. The place where everyone comes into the house needs to have space for everything they bring in—shoes, coats, hats, umbrellas—but still make a good first impression.
Once again, built-ins bring in versatile possibilities for good design and all the storage you could need. A built-in chest-style bench, for example, can provide plenty of storage while doubling as a place to sit and take off shoes and winter layers.
As wonderful as open floor plans can be, there is such a thing as too open. If you want to give some definition to your space without closing it off completely, consider building a half-wall with shelves (divided however you’d like). It has all the same benefits of added storage plus an extra surface for display and décor, plus it can keep an open feel while offering more privacy and even reducing noise.
Built-in cupboards are so common in kitchens that we don’t even think of them as built-ins. But if you want to go beyond the usual, imagine adding details like a built-in spice rack with shelves spaced specifically to maximize the amount you can store.
You don’t even need to add a door. After all, there’s a good reason open shelving is a popular kitchen trend right now: they let you strike your perfect balance between storage and décor, utility and beauty.