There are plenty of bins, boxes and bags to purchase to help organize your home. But, if you’re looking for a stylish alternative to temporary storage, consider adding built-in units to your home. Built-ins are permanent features installed in a home that can add charm and provide additional storage space for home owners.
Some popular options for built-ins include bookshelves, cabinets, desks, entertainment centers and window seats. The cost of built-in cabinets depends on the materials used, the space’s size and the design’s complexity. Still, because built-ins often negate the need to purchase particular furniture, they can be economical.
Given the variety of styles, finishes and uses, built-ins can be a smart choice for many design projects. Generally, there are three types of built-ins:
- Custom built-ins. These are built to order and are designed and constructed specifically for a particular space in your home. They are typically the most expensive option; however, they offer the most flexibility regarding design, materials and finishes.
- Semi-custom built-ins. This option is pre-designed and pre-constructed but can be somewhat modified. They are generally more affordable than custom built-ins, but they are available in fewer designs, materials and finishes.
- Pre-fab built-ins. This choice is pre-designed, pre-constructed, and pre-fabricated, and can be installed in whatever space or room is desired. Pre-fab built-ins are the most affordable option, but designs, materials and finishes are limited.
With many choices for material, there is plenty of opportunity to make built-ins fit with the look and feel of any space. The most common materials are:
- Drywall: This relatively inexpensive material is easy to work with. Once completed, drywall can be painted the same color as the walls, creating a seamless transition.
- Glass: Often used as a component in built-ins, glass works well for floating shelves, display cases or cabinets to give a sense of airiness and spaciousness.
- Laminate: This budget-friendly alternative to wood is available in a wide range of colors and patterns to mimic the look of wood, stone or other materials, so it provides endless possibilities.
- Metal: Examples include stainless steel or aluminum, which can be used for modern and industrial-style built-ins and are often seen in contemporary kitchens, home offices or libraries.
- Wood: A classic and versatile material for built-ins, wood can be stained or painted to match the existing decor.
Built-ins can change the look and feel of a space while providing essential storage, display and/or workspaces. Available in various types and materials, the best built-ins match your home’s style, budget, and functional needs. For a list of remodeling and home design professionals to help with your next project, contact your local association, here.