Updated: Jun 16
Aside from the common misconception of Interior Design being all about picking out paint colors and fabrics, designers focus on a lot of problem solving, which utilized both creative and analytic abilities. One of the challenges of Interior Design is finding a balance between beauty and practicality when it comes to storage.
So how do designers approach this problem? A perfect example of merging these two concepts of practicality and beauty is through built-ins. So what is so great about built-ins?
Reasons to have Built-Ins
Less Cost on New Furniture
I’ve seen it numerous times from my experience working at multiple furniture stores: you have had your furniture set for a while now, and you’re ready for a change. Instead of refinishing, reupholstering, or any other basic D.I.Y. transformation, you’ll go out an buy a replacement, typically on sale, and try to sell the old one on craigslist. While this method may be cheaper initially, you’ll go through this cycle a few times. Getting build-ins may be more costly upfront, but it’s something that will stay in your home for years. You can have basically any furniture built-in, from beds to dining tables.
Built-ins are great uses for storage. Since most of them are custom, you can get a built-in that meets your lifestyle needs. Have a home full of children? A breakfast bar is a great casual spot for meals and homework, while offering storage under the benches for art supplies, off-season clothes, etc. Need a desk but tight on space? A built-in desk offers you a work surface with plenty of places to store your office supplies while fitting nicely into a niche or recessed area of your home.
Built-ins are a sneaky way to store items discreetly. This makes them perfect for small spaces such as tiny homes. Plus they look a lot prettier than the basic storage system of metal shelves filled with rubber bins. Is this your living room or your unfinished basement? Leave the IKEA storage systems out of the public spaces.
Built-ins add a lot of character to your home. Nowadays, you can get a built-in in any style, from traditional to modern. Some designers go the extra mile and incorporate them into new construction, making built-ins not something than blends in, but stands out in the overall design of the home.
Where to Add Built-ins
Another beauty of built-ins is that you aren’t limited to a room. There is such a variety of options for where to have a built-in. It all depends in the end on your lifestyle and what is the most beneficial application. Do you have a lot of china to display? Try a buffet. Have more clothing than a shopping mall? Create a custom closet to property organize all your items. Here are some ideas of how to incorporate built-ins into each space.
Whether it is a full closet or just a few shelves tucked into a nook, have a built-in to store extra towels, linens, and bathroom products.
Kitchens already have plenty of built-ins with cabinetry. Create a built-in to display your kitchen gear in a creative and artistic way. This recessed shelving is perfect for showing off china or your mason jar arsenal of dried goods.
Bedrooms and built-ins go hand-in-hand. Having a built-in for all your clothing is a smart way to maximize your space efficiently. It keeps your space tidy and cuts the time down during your morning routine by making items more easily accessible.
Dining rooms can sometimes become a little “blah”. Create a focal point for the room by having a built-in to display all your fancy and pretty serving ware and add the “wow” back into your dining room.
Fireplaces are beautiful focal points for a living room. Adding shelving along the sides of the fireplace emphasis the architectural detail and offers a practical place for displaying decor. Aside from creating a built-in to flank your fireplace, another option for a living room built-in is to create a media wall to house all your electronic equipment.
Organize like a boss by adding built-ins to your office/workspace. Bookcases can be utilized for storage and display. If you’re tight on space and don’t actually have a room designated for an office, creating a built-in desk is a great way to make use of an awkward nook in your home.
Keep your mudroom clean and tidy by having built-ins. Create a built-in bench to store dirty shoes and coats, or line the space with cabinetry to store all your laundry and household supplies.
Built-in bookshelves are great ways to divide two spaces in an open floor plan while still maintaining a unity and flow between the rooms.
Basically built-ins can go ANYWHERE! They offer so much to your home and can help it in so many ways. If you're interested in finding out how to exactly work built-ins into your home, schedule a design consultation today!