In­side Style

The beauty of built-ins

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

Re­gard­less of a home’s size, space-sav­ing so­lu­tions al­ways seem to be a hot topic among po­ten­tial buy­ers. And when said home em­ploys the open-for­mat lay­outs preva­lent in many tim­ber homes, it can be even more dif­fi­cult to find places to stash be­long­ings and cre­ate des­ig­nated pri­vate spa­ces. En­ter the con­cept of cus­tom­ized built-ins.

From an elab­o­rate col­lec­tion of floor-to-ceil­ing book­shelves to win­dow seats and hide­away beds, built-ins can come in the form of func­tional stor­age units or us­able fur­ni­ture items.

What­ever your needs may be, builtins can pro­vide you with ex­tra space and dual-pur­pose util­ity, as well as an ex­tra dose of charm and com­fort that most peo­ple strive for in their cus­tom home.


Ob­vi­ously, when it comes to built-in fur­ni­ture and stor­age, there are plenty of stock mod­els avail­able on the mar­ket to meet your home’s most ba­sic needs. So why opt for a cus­tom piece? Whether it’s adding base or crown mold­ing to com­ple­ment the ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments in the room or se­lect­ing door styles to match your home’s in­te­rior look, built-in op­tions will of­fer an aes­thetic ap­peal un­matched in most stand-alone units.

Plus, in a tim­ber home — where the crafts­man­ship that de­fines this con­struc­tion style is a dom­i­nant fea­ture — the abil­ity to blend an equally prom­i­nent fur­ni­ture piece can be even more ben­e­fi­cial. To com­ple­ment your home’s frame, stay sim­ple by ton­ing down the con­struc­tion de­tails so that the ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments of the builtins take to the back­drop. So­lu­tions may in­clude flat-panel, 2-inch pi­lasters or con­ti­nu­ity of ex­ist­ing mold­ings to min­i­mize the amount of com­pet­ing com­po­nents.


Sim­i­lar to the draw of cre­at­ing a cus­tom home de­sign, in which own­ers can craft a house that caters to their needs, cus­tom built-ins al­low you to de­velop stor­age and seat­ing spe­cific to your in­ten­tions for those pieces and to adapt to the space you have avail­able. De­sign should be pre­med­i­tated by de­ter­min­ing what you will house there and how you’ll use the space. Con­cealed stor­age can eat up space as well in terms of clear­ance nec­es­sary for open­ing doors, so spa­tial con­sid­er­a­tions should be taken into ac­count both in the de­sign of such fea­tures and the place­ment of fur­ni­ture around them.

Re­cessed shelv­ing also af­fords the op­por­tu­nity to re­claim lost space — al­beit with a more con­tem­po­rary ap­peal — but is gen­er­ally pre­ferred for smaller rooms or spa­ces that are very tight.


You’ll want to plan ahead for builtins when work­ing with your tim­ber­frame team, as they’re eas­ier to in­cor­po­rate dur­ing the de­sign phase than af­ter move-in. Here are a few pop­u­lar built-in choices for tim­ber homes.


Cus­tom book­shelves can­not only cre­ate a com­ple­men­tary de­sign aes­thetic but also a dis­tinct fo­cal point in an oth­er­wise drab or monotonous room. The key is bal­ance — both in cre­at­ing a book­case with a com­ple­men­tary scale and in dec­o­rat­ing the rest of the room ac­cord­ingly. So, if you have a 10-foot-plus-tall ceil­ing and an equally tow­er­ing book­case, con­sider hang­ing art­work at a com­pa­ra­ble height on the op­po­site wall to mir­ror the stature of the shelv­ing unit. Pay at­ten­tion to the heights of win­dows and doors, too, which will fac­tor into the room’s over­all sight line.


No mat­ter the size of your home, you will need to have a va­ri­ety of seat­ing avail­able for you and your guests, and built-in seat­ing is a great op­tion to use in oth­er­wise over­looked or odd­lyshapes spa­ces. More­over, fold-down, built-in seat­ing can of­fer on-de­mand com­fort for vis­i­tors along busy walls of high traf­fic ar­eas. Most likely made from wood, th­ese seats will nat­u­rally com­ple­ment your home. An­other op­tion for built-in fur­ni­ture is wide seat­ing within a win­dowsill — a de­sign de­tail that you will of­ten find in older homes. You can eas­ily carry over the tim­ber to frame your win­dows and cre­ate a cozy nook for a charm­ing look that will ac­cen­tu­ate the beauty of your beams.

Stor­age Units.

Cer­tain con­struc­tion meth­ods nat­u­rally lend them­selves to cre­at­ing use­ful stor­age spa­ces. Tim­ber homes, for in­stance, do not re­quire the place­ment of load-bear­ing walls in­side the home, pro­vid­ing you with an ex­tra space to fill in with as much added stor­age as you need. Be­cause of this, think about spa­ces you nor­mally write off be­cause they are too high off the floor or tucked away be­hind a door. You can eas­ily build draw­ers into the steps of your stair­case to hide knick­knacks or to safely store photo al­bums, scrap­books or ev­ery­day house sup­plies. The area above your door can be a safe place for bulky but light items such as ex­tra bed­ding or empty suit­cases. If you have a framed home in mind, use a wall be­tween rooms to build in deep draw­ers from top to bot­tom, fill­ing up the space by di­vid­ing it in half on ei­ther side of the wall. With this tech­nique you can cre­ate stor­age for two rooms, with the added ben­e­fit of ex­tra sound proof­ing.

From book­shelves to win­dow seats and stor­age, built-in units pro­vide added charm and fun­tion with­out tak­ing up square footage in your tim­ber home.

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