Having custom built-in cabinetry made for your home is the ultimate space maximizer. It allows you to take full advantage of the space you have in a way that most furniture or standard sized cabinetry cannot. Even though I do this for a living, I am constantly surprised at how much storage and utility you can get from a well designed built in unit while also greatly improving the appearance of your space.
Most of us don't need bigger houses or more space, we just need to use the space we have better. Choosing to live in smaller houses has many advantages: It is significantly less expensive (taxes, insurance, utilities, upkeep) and also take less time and effort to maintain and clean. The only downside being that if you don't have a place for everything or aren't using your space well, things can get cluttered or claustrophobic very quickly. This is where custom built-ins can make a HUGE difference in how functional and enjoyable your space will be to live in on a daily basis. For most people, putting some money toward custom built-ins would be significantly less money and effort than moving to a larger home.
Last year, I had a customer reach out to me had recently downsized to a two bedroom, apartment-style condo with her husband. Inevitably, the second bedroom became the multi-purpose room: spare bedroom, desk/office, storage of miscellaneous items, filing cabinets, sewing table, play room for grandchildren, small display cases, etc. This was what the space looked like before:
Together with the customer, we spent a lot of time taking measurements and throwing around all sorts of ideas for how to make everything fit in this room and to make it function as an office/play room/sewing room/spare bedroom/storage room and somehow not make the room feel too small and also look nice at the same time. After several revisions and changes, the following drawings were what the customer chose:
Like in most cases - it was going to be most effective to get everything on one wall. This wall unit went floor to ceiling and wall to wall to use all of the available space. It included a queen sized murphy bed, six large display cases with custom lighting, two large storage cabinets, a large desk with two small drawers and one file drawer as well as some upper desk storage cabinets. The murphy bed was the most crucial part of this unit as it allowed the room to function as a spare bedroom with a high quality mattress (unlike many hide-a-bed couch mattresses) but the bed is only folded down and taking up space in the room when it is needed (a few nights per year). Once the bed was folded up and out of the way the space felt significantly bigger. Here is the end result:
So if you constantly feel like you don't have enough space it may be worth considering how custom built-in furniture can maximize your space and, in the long run, be CHEAPER and EASIER than moving to a bigger home. There are TONS of empty, useful spaces throughout your home that you may not realize are there. Feel free to fill out my Contact Form if you'd like to talk more about how to accomplish this in your home.
You can also check out my other blog posts about how I did this in the basement and bathroom of my own home: Basement Murphy Bed and also Custom Bathroom Vanities