Favorite built-in features you have...or wish you had :)

lavender_lassJanuary 22, 2011

I have always loved window seats, bookcases, hutches, plate racks, old fashioned pantries, etc. When we remodel our farmhouse, we want to include several of these types of features.

It's not a fancy home, and many things are not centered on the walls (including the living room fireplace) but I think this gives the house a lot of possibilities. Built-ins (such as the window seat on one side of the fireplace and bookcase on the other) would make the features look planned and give the house a little whimsy :)

So...what are your favorite built-ins? What do you have, or wish you had, in your home? Ideas, pictures links, etc. would be wonderful! While I have a fairly good idea, what I want to include, I would love to have your input!

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In our current house, the only thing vaguely built-in are the shelves above the windows. I build shelves with curtain rod brackets under them, and my wife sews tab-top curtains. It's a good place to display knick-knacks, and it kept them safe when the kids were younger!

I'm toying with some built-in ideas for the new house. I'd like to at least have a window seat, or maybe a banquette in or near the kitchen. I'm still making wholesale design changes, even while I'm coordinating contractors to start clearing trees and moving dirt!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 2:55PM
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I have a mid 30's center hall Colonial built by an architect for his family. Great plenty of storage - good number of kitchen cabinets and drawers; kitchen has a cook top with a bank of slide outs for pots & pans and drawers for utensils, towels, potholders, and one tin-lined for breadstuffs. At some point, I suppose a set of cabinets was sacrificed for the dishwasher. Oven is built in above a large pot drawer; two cabinets above the oven were refitted for a microwave. Above that vertical slotted tray, cookie sheet, turkey roaster shelves.

Low rise banquette seating and the seats lift for storage - I tend to "live" there because it seems a cozy place to sit with a cup of coffee, pay bills, read mail. etc.

Only problem with it - it's a mid 30's kitchen. People tend to love it, but it could use some updating somewhere.

Livingroom is pretty typical - bay window in the back overlooking the gardens; windows and built-in book or display shelves flanking the fireplace, etc.

Diningroom has a built in china cabinet. Entry hallway closets have raised floors with lined boot and mitten drawers. Upstairs closets are cedar lined and all have the raised floors with bottom drawers for sweaters, extra linens, etc. Adequate linen closet in the upstairs hall and a nice, deep bathroom closet.

Finished basement has a wall of closets, shelves and drawers. Then there's the sauna which has a long tiered bench wall - great place for all those tubs of Christmas decorations.

Even though I'm at the "decluttering" stage of life, I'm pretty appreciative for everything that's here - storage wise. There's definitly enough space to really organize and have all of life's stuff neatly put away.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 3:56PM
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I especially love the hall way linen closet in my old home:

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Marita- I've always longed for a built in linen unit, and yours is lovely!!

Here are some of my dreams

--a window bed with shelving units for books on each side (storage below to hold linens so it can be a guest bed for children, if ever needed)

--a linen closet built into the hall. I love having glass doors on the top....I can't seem to find the inspiration picture I have stashed away

--a bench in a mud area where we can dump shoes, wallets, etc.

Our current home has very little:
--two corner units in the dining room
--a half wall bookshelf by the fireplace
--a full wall shelving in one bedroom
--soon to have a wall of shelving in the library we are creating

I'm in the process of designing a unit for the master bedroom, between which I'll tuck the bed and the nightstands. It will give us some additional closet space since the master closet is quite small. I'm trying to come up with a cutout design I can use to tie together the design of this unit, the library shelving, and the sink base cabinet in the kitchen.

I'd love to convert the too-deep linen closet in our hallway into a built in and expand the adjancent bedroom closet in it's place...but, it's the ONLY nonbedroom closet in the house. So, where else can I store the sweeper and whatnot?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 9:08PM
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OH Jay I love your curtain rod shelves. I might have to steel that idea from you.

I also love the built in linen in the hall. Well honestly I will say I see some thing in every built in picture shown. I guess I just love built in furniture.

Really enjoying this thread.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:24PM
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I know I've posted this photo of my dining room before, but here is a really great built-in in my early 20th century house. I can't believe how much storage it provides: tons of shelves and drawers for linens, dishes, etc. It was a mess when I moved here several years ago and I did a lot of restoration on it--repainting, replacing trim, replacing mirrors etc--to bring it back to its original state. All the gorgeous hardware is original.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 7:15AM
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I love builtins in old houses. I had some in a house I bought in the early 80's - sold it a few yrs later to move west. had a linen cab like you have marti

these days I'd have to say the dw tho - lol! it's both a have and a have not... there is one in the new place but it isn't new and isn't even connected in correctly. It looks lopsided - and loose. I'm afraid of what might happen should i attempt to use it. will have to find out one of these days.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 6:41PM
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I LOVE the built ins all of you have done. I am planning on doing much of the same. Not only is it practical in terms of storage, but it gives the house warmth and character. I hope more pictures and ideas get posted here.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Yep, love the ideas you folks are serving up. I am looking forward to a window seat flanked with two "pantry" tall units on either side.

Love Jay's curtain rod shelf, and the tab curtains too.
And I hope I can upload a shot of the Scandinavian style bed alcove with book cases as mentioned above too. You can see some in Carl Larsson's paintings too. Drawers beneath too.

Some of my best storage ideas originate with shipbuilders. You don't have any space to waste on board. Get rid of the flotsam before it sinks the boat. And when seas are rough, you sure don't want to have your STUFF knock your brains out.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:27PM
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