Built-in furniture is the standard in many parts of the typical home — kitchen and bathroom cabinets and appliances come to mind, along with closets large and small.
Others take the concept further with built-in shelves and bookshelves, media centers attached to walls, window seats over cabinetry, wet bars with mini-refrigerators and more adaptations to secure storage to the wall.
These types of storage solutions can free up space and give rooms a more streamlined and grounded appearance that suits a luxurious home, but that doesn’t mean every homeowner should jump in and hire a carpenter.
Anything that’s built-in needs to be carefully designed to meet your current and future needs, and it’s not always going to be the best option.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of built-in storage.
- Safety — Built-in furniture secured to the wall can’t be jostled around or tip over onto people or pets, potentially causing life-threatening injuries.
- Space — Depending on how they’re constructed, they can either save space (by being built directly into the wall) or consolidate it (if they’re attached to the wall) to create more living space and eliminate those tiny gaps around freestanding cabinets.
- Customization — It can be built to your home’s exact dimensions, including those oddly small, short and asymmetrical spaces where nothing else is going to work.
- Cost — Built-ins are more expensive due to the time and expertise required. If you have a limited budget you may want to consider other options.
- Limitations — Most built-ins are difficult to impossible to remove, so if you or a future prospective buyer should end up deciding later they’d rather convert that bookshelf-lined office into a bedroom or media room, it could be problematic.
- Inflexibility — Most built-ins can’t be expanded or downsized if your storage needs evolve over the years — you could end up having to buy additional freestanding storage or substantial empty cabinetry or shelving taking up space you’d rather do something else with.