5 Inspiring Built Ins


Storage in our homes can quickly become a premium as we grow into spaces. Whether you moved in before having kids and now have two or three, perhaps the in-laws moved in, or you regularly entertain family and friends. Either way, storage is hugely important! 

Over the years I have spoken to a wide variety of clients, and 9 times out of 10 there is a common theme that runs between them, a lack of storage! Or the feeling of “I have nowhere to put this” or “why is every cabinet and closet full!” If this is you right now – don’t worry! – you’re not alone.

You may have heard the term “built-ins” on TV, by realtors, or designers, with good reason! Built-ins refer to permanently installed cabinetry that is attached to a property’s interior. They could include appliances, shelving, or seating, as part of the built-in.

Built-ins are commonly installed in living rooms, family rooms, or home offices, to add extra storage and display space to the room. They could also feature a fireplace or wall mounted TV!

There are lots of reasons why built-ins are a great use of space in homes, but rather than talking about it, I’m going to show you 5 Inspiring Built Ins that I have designed over the years to explain the design process and share how to get the most from them.

Let’s take a look at 5 Inspiring Built Ins!

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1. The Family Basement


I was recently asked by a long standing client of mine, to help them with their basement. It was dark, uninspiring, and didn’t support how they wanted to use the space. I always listen carefully to how my clients currently use a space, and how they’d love to use it in the future.

For this family, they wanted to use the basement as their family room. They regularly play board games, entertain family and friends, and have movie nights. So it was important to have an area where they could play their games (so we added a round dining table to one end of the space), and somewhere comfortable to watch TV.

While this is how the family wanted to use the space for now, and the next 5 or so years, we needed to make sure the design would be able to grow with them.

Designing built-ins is all about determining what the client needs and making allowances for the future. What sort of items need to be stored away? This will determine whether drawers, shelves, or cabinets are best. Sometimes it’s a combination of all three! 

The built in for this basement needed to house a TV, storage for board games, and an area to showcase some of their interests and family memories. It made sense to have low level cabinets with open shelving above to provide a mix of storage types.


2. Family Room


For this next project, my client wanted to add storage to their family room which is open plan with their dining room and kitchen. They watch TV but also appreciate quieter moments for reading, and would have family and friends over too. 

A real mix of use space, this family room needed to accommodate a range of functionality! And a built-in would help them to do just that.

The built-in I designed for this client ensured there was plenty of storage in low level cabinets (for items they didn’t want on show), and open shelving for displaying various items they have collected. We also added a white-wash to the fireplace so it could be used in cooler months but not overwhelming the space come the summer. I used a beadboard backing on the bookcase portion in a soft green color for added interest and sophistication. 


3. Entertainment Basement


I’ve also had the pleasure of redesigning another basement for a young family that loves to entertain! Among a redesign of their laundry room, workout space, and office, is a family room that they wanted to use more regularly.

They wanted a sophisticated space that could be used for entertaining their family and friends, and for their kids to use as well. Over the last few years they have collected books and items that reflect their interests and wanted somewhere to display them.

For their built-in, I designed a modern feature wall with electric fireplace, TV above, cabinets, drawers, and open shelving. With the different types of storage available, the space can grow with the family. Future technology has been accounted for, with extra electrics added into the wall and available for the future.

We finished the built-in in a feature blue paint color so it doubles up as a feature wall in the room too!


4. Library


Next up – a library area!

It’s not often that I get asked to help design a library focused space, but I took the opportunity to be creative with a traditional concept. The family wanted somewhere to store their vast book collection in a space where they could sit quietly and enjoy their favorites.

The solution? A tall built-in with ladder detail!

To maximize the amount of books we could store, I extended the built-in design up towards the ceiling. The ladder enables the client to reach these items.


5. Family Room


Last – but not least! – is this Family Room built in that I designed for a family that are passionate about video games and movies. They needed a refresh of their space to include some storage for their books, games, and other items.

Before, they were covering the existing fireplace with a TV unit because they weren’t sure how to maximize the space available. With the built in I designed, they could use the fireplace, have extra storage in their home, areas to display family memories and a stylish way to watch TV or play video games.

You can see in the progress photo below that we have added extra electrical outlets behind the TV to allow for any technological advances the family would like to add in the future. It is so important to make allowances for these because you never know what will come out in a few years time!

Do you have a space that needs a little extra attention? We’d love to design a built in or help with your design needs. Be sure to reach out today! Visit our contact page to get in touch.

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