In the early part of the last century, only the affluent could afford to have finely constructed built-in furnishings added to their homes. A grand home, like the Greene & Greene-designed Gamble House in Pasadena, California, was graced with custom-made stairways, fireplaces, even light fixtures, and had extensive built-in furniture and cabinetry in every room. Fortunately, in recent decades built-ins have become part of the contemporary American concept of what makes up the interior of a home -- whether its a mansion or a starter model. The right built-ins afford a home many important qualities, including utility, comfort, and style.
Cabinets and shelves have the utilitarian function of storing our clothing or organizing our books. Window seats and benches add comfort to our homes by creating cozy places to relax or congregate. Well-designed built-ins and the trim, paneling, and other components that enhance their installation can add warmth, color, and tons of style to any room of the house, transforming spaces from drab to delightful. Besides making an interior more pleasurable to live in, built-ins also can add to the value of your home -- yet another compelling reason to consider them.
The rising popularity of the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement and the spread of home centers and internet web sites has greatly helped to make the possibility of creating and installing your own built-ins a reality. Theres a seemingly endless selection of products -- everything from knock-down cabinetry to shelf and closet organizer systems to counter and work surface materials. There are also countless options for bathroom, kitchen, and lighting fixtures, and hardware for doors, drawers, racks, shelves, and more.
But before you begin making the multitude of decisions your remodeling or home upgrade job will entail, you must begin with ideas. Thats where this book comes in. The following 10 chapters are organized by rooms: passages (hallways, entryways, and staircases), kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, entertainment areas, bedrooms, kids rooms, work spaces, and utility areas. Theres also a first chapter thats intended to help you better plan your built-ins, as well as effectively integrate them with the rooms paneling, doors and windows, and trim.
Throughout these pages, youll find lots of impressive examples of built-ins for every room in the house. The photos were taken in well-designed homes and apartments all over America, and range in style from country rustic to traditional colonial to casual contemporary to stark modern. Just leafing through the book, youre sure to glean lots of ideas about design, layout, and materials that will help you create your own vision, or make it easier for you to work with an interior designer, contractor, and/or builder on your project.
Whether you find a design that is exactly what youre looking for or you simply develop a better sense of the wide range of looks and configurations possible with built-ins, this book will be both helpful and inspirational.