Why is built-in storage making a comeback? Perhaps it is because built-in storage offers homeowners ample storage space for belongings such as books & linens, and range in design from bookshelves to butler’s pantries. The storage and aesthetics are just two factors that make built-ins appealing. In this article, we will elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of built-in storage, and give you ideas of where adding built-ins to your home can make a lot of sense.

It is a requirement for every home to have storage space. Built-in cabinetry can be customized to fit your home’s design, and can be used in any room of the house. Built-in cabinetry can keep your entertainment area clutter-free and organized while built-ins can also make small bedrooms seem larger and more efficient.

If you are setting the goal of creating more space in your home, built-in storage offers the following advantages:

  • built-in storage is unobtrusive and not obstructive
  • built-in storage can be custom designed to store specific belongings
  • built-in storage can be designed to have features such as adjustable shelving which can provide flexibility
  • built-in storage can be designed to have an appearance that compliments your home
  • built-in storage can be designed to fit the spatial requirements of your home

However, if you are looking at built-ins for your home, it is good to consider the following:

  • they are permanent and cannot be moved
  • they should be considered an investment, therefore only install built-ins if you are a homeowner
  • there will be several days when your home is “under construction” so you will not be able to utilize that room while the built-ins are being installed.
  • they may be more expensive than temporary storage solutions

Unobtrusive & Not Obstructive

This is perhaps the key “selling point” of built-in furniture. The coherent decor of built-in storage and the resulting smooth transitions between spaces expand a room’s possibilities. Simply put, built-ins blend beautifully.

Built-ins can utilize small and awkwardly shaped spaces such as underneath the stairs. They can be placed almost anywhere – from under the bed to around the fireplace. Ultimately, built-ins take underutilized space and transform them into extra storage without intruding into open spaces.

Customizable & Flexible

Built-ins can provide a lot of storage. From bookshelves to drawers, and cubbies to cabinets, built-ins can be customized to store specific items, but also be designed to provide flexible solutions. Adjustable shelving is ideal for books and glassware while custom-sized drawers can store linens and dinnerware. Built-ins can be tailored to suit your specific needs.

Space & Appearance

With built-in storage, the possibilities are endless. Your built-in storage can be designed to look like a part of the house itself, or have a furniture-like appearance that can become the centerpiece or focal point of the room. Lighting can be integrated into the built-ins as well. Built-ins typically add very little visual clutter to the room. This is often because they enhance existing architectural voids. Built-ins are made to fit wherever you need them to and utilize elements such as wainscoting, crown molding, paneling, hardware, and baseboards for visual flow.

Where Built-in Storage Fits Best

While most people have a good idea of where they could use additional storage, sometimes a little validation is all that is needed to confirm the value that built-ins can provide. This is where the magic of built-ins is truly revealed!

Mudrooms or Entryways

Lockers, cubbies, benches, and shelves are often great assets to a mudroom or entry area. Keep backpacks, hats & coats, shoes, boots, gloves, and other accessories organized and off the floor! With custom built-ins, each person can have a place for his or her items.

Custom Laundry AreaLaundry Rooms

Many laundry rooms have just a cabinet or two for storage. For many people, this is not enough to store the laundry-related items out of sight, let alone keep the laundry room organized. Custom built-ins can utilize space more efficiently, and provide you with the space you need to sort, fold or iron your clothing and linens, and store your laundry supplies.

Dining Rooms

Dining room built-ins can make excellent places for additional storage space. Using a wall to build a custom built-in china cabinet or sideboard increases the functionality of the room and conveniently stores items that are not for everyday use.

Living & Family Rooms

Built-in cabinetry is commonly used in these rooms for entertainment centers, fireplace mantels, or a combination of the two. Built-ins can conceal unsightly wires or utility boxes while still being an attractive focal point of the room. Shelving can be used to display books, glassware, statues, or other collections while custom features can be added to store or display fireplace accessories.


In the bedroom, wall units are an efficient way to make use of wall space, while preserving the size of the room. Built-ins can form closets, desk space, drawer space or bookshelves. If you have an office that you’d like to be able to use as a guest room as well, wall beds can quickly transform the office space into a sleeping place.


Many bathrooms have single cabinets and a place to hang two towels. Built-ins can make use of areas such as above the toilet or under the sink. Built-ins can be designed to hold extra towels, a laundry hamper, jewelry, toiletries & cosmetics, and more!


Garages can be one of the best places for custom built-ins! Wall units can be placed on both sides of the garage and be designed to store tools and equipment of all sizes and shapes. You can include a workbench for your DIY projects too!

Getting Started

So, where do you start? Begin by thinking about what you would like to use the space for. Will the built-in need to display items? Will it need to be able to store specific items? Will it need to be flexible? Does the built-in also have a specific use, such as a fireplace area? Do you want it to blend into the room? Asking yourself these questions in advance will help determine the features your built-ins should have. This will also help the professional you choose to build the built-ins understand your needs and goals.


Built-ins offer a unique proposition to every homeowner: a custom storage solution designed to fit their individual needs. While the initial cost of built-in storage, in some cases, may be higher, the appearance, flexibility, and ability to truly fit your space leaves nothing to be desired. Have you added built-in storage to your home? Tell us what you love the most about your built-ins in the comments below.


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