I’ve been looking at built-ins for some friends who are building an addition onto their house, and luckily I have Houzz to peruse for plenty of ideas. Where do you start when designing your built-ins?
1) THINK ABOUT YOUR NEEDS: When considering built-in storage, think about what you need to store. What is unsightly and what do you want to show off? Do you hate to dust? If so, consider glass doors. However, if you need to be child-proof, don’t consider glass doors on lower cabinets.
2) MEASURE: Consider the measurements you’ll require. For instance, do you have a bunch of coffee table books you’d like to shelve? Check out their heights and widths to figure out what you’ll need. Remember that books look good stacked as well as standing upright. I recommend having your carpenter make the shelves adjustable. Likewise, for cabinet storage, measure games and other items to make sure they will fit.
3) LINE THINGS UP: As for aesthetics, look around the room for horizontal lines to line built-ins up with, like mantles. Take a look at the ceiling mouldings and baseboards in your home, and have your carpenter match them across the tops and bottoms of shelving units.
4) REUSE: Think about repurposing. Are there some favorite salvaged doors, cabinets, or pieces of wood you’d like to incorporate into the design? It can be done.
5) LIGHT: Consider lighting needs. You can provide light from rope lights tucked under shelves, consider art lighting, or you may want to install some outlets within the built-ins so that you can incorporate some small table lamps or be able to hide unsightly media wires.
6) SKETCH: Grab some graph paper and sit in front of the area where you are considering installing built-ins. Don’t be afraid to get up, grab a tape measure, and draw the facade right on the wall to check yourself.