While free-standing furniture can look beautiful and provide ample storage, size-wise it may not always work into your space plan. 

If this is the case, you may consider blending storage into the room so that it looks like a part of the house itself. 

Built-in cabinetry lets you achieve this look, and believe it or not, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. 


Built-ins blend in to your interior instead of standing out from it. Free-standing pieces of furniture can sometimes project out into the room as much as 24″ and tend to appear much “bulkier” than built-in cabinetry that is fitted to (or into) the wall. 

Built-ins can provide large quantities of storage because they can use an entire wall without overwhelming the look of the room. 

The trim in your house can be coordinated with the built-ins for a nice, cohesive look throughout. 

Built-ins can provide more efficient storage because they can be tailored to fit specific needs. 

Lighting can easily be integrated into your built-in cabinetry which will add ambience to the room it’s in. Double bonus! 


Search design magazines and the internet for photos of built-in cabinets that appeal to you. Then, analyze your house to determine what will work, and what won’t. 

While a large room can handle a full wall of bookcases, a smaller room might do better with a combination of cabinets, cubby holes and shelves. Also, varying the depth and height of the cabinets can go a long way towards balancing the overall look. 

When deciding what finish to go with, look to the finishes you’ve already used in your house so that your cabinets blend seamlessly with your existing look. 

Think about what you’re going to store in your built-ins. For instance, if you plan to use baskets, measure them and use their measurements to determine the size of your cubbies. 


Local cabinet makers can bid on your project once you decide on the look and basic design you want. 

You! Built-ins cabinets are really just big boxes with trim around them, so with a few inexpensive tools, (and a lot of caulk!) it’s actually fairly easy to build them yourself. If you’re intimidated by adding drawers and doors, just leave them off and use boxes, baskets and other containers to conceal everything.

Follow this slideshow for ideas on how to incorporate built-ins in your home!