To built-in, or not to built-in? That is the question. Or at least it’s one among many you’ll face going through the process of customizing your home.
Built-ins can enhance your living space in many forms. Media walls, wine storage, dining room buffets, desks, dressers, drop zone cubbies and outdoor fire pits are just a few of the options available to you. Since they are permanent by nature and something of an investment, deciding if you’d like a built-in bench for your master bath or a built-in settee in the bay window is enough to make anyone reach for a beverage of their choice.
As with all challenging decisions, compiling a list of pros and cons can be an enormous help – so we’ve done that for you.
Not having to shop for that specific style or size of a furniture piece, wall décor or lighting is a wonderful thing. Plus, they look clean and polished – something we can all agree is gorgeous in any home!
A sense of flow is essential to making a room feel spacious. Built-ins can help by saving space in a room as opposed to a bulky, free-standing furniture piece. For example, a large shelving unit will project several inches into the room between it and the wall, whereas a built-in bookcase is part of the room’s structure and takes up much less of a visual footprint.
As far as storage goes, built-ins can’t be beaten. The ability to customize what sort of shelving, drawers, and surfaces work best for your needs will help keep your home organized and less cluttered. Built-ins bring character and personality to the overall designed space. That inherent sense of specialness makes them a perfect spot to house cherished items and family photos.
Customizing your home to suit your family like a tailor-made glove affords a lot of enjoyment. There’s nothing like having everything as you imagine and feel it should be! That alone is worth a bit more cost. Should you ever have to move, the custom aspect of built-ins speaks to the quality of your home and creates further value.
One of the biggest challenge is that built-ins are fixed elements. Once created, they can’t be swapped as easily as one might a rug. This could be an issue because depending on the type of built-in, they can sometimes feel outdated over time. So, before you create a custom Pokémon action figure display wall in your child’s bedroom, consider how it might be re-purposed or styled in the future.
Just as furnishings might not work as well, built-ins can be overwhelming in small spaces. Something to keep in mind as you decide on whether built-ins work for your intended application.
By and large, built-ins tend to cost a bit more than furniture. Develop a built-in wish list for each room, ranking must-haves to wants, and then balance it against your overall budget. You’ll find it easier to make decisions regarding function and style.