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Avoid Clutter, Use Built-ins

“A place for everything and everything in its space”

- Benjamin Franklin

Every room, small or large, has the potential to appear cluttered. The key to a clean, clutter-free room is to create a place for each item where it is best suited. Often, beautiful items appear haphazard and disorganized when they are on display. Sometimes, built-in shelving or display units are the best solution for extra storage, whether you live in an apartment or a grand suburban home. These units can be built from many different materials and styled to suit a modern or a more traditional setting.

Built-Ins with Benefits

Built-ins give the room a wealthy and bespoke, or custom made, feel. Allowing a smooth transition between spaces, built-ins also create the impression of openness, since they tend to blend into their surroundings better than stand-alone furniture does. Furthermore, they hide any unsightly architectural features or problems a home might have. Examples include rooms that are oddly symmetrical, windows that are not well placed, heating pipes, or radiators.

Since built-ins can take up an entire wall, they can offer lots of storage without making the room appear smaller. If done right, they can transform a room. New materials and reworked room proportions add to the effect. Consider built-ins or custom cabinetry as an investment that will always be beneficial to address unique requirements.

Possible Options

Since this investment is made custom for your space, think about what you want to display and what you want to hide. If you have collectables or items you bought in your travels, you can highlight them in a well-proportioned, appropriately lit, custom wall unit that is out of the way of other furniture. The unit can be painted in a color to suit your decor, or it can blend into the wall, depending on preference.

To modernize the built-in look, you can use acrylic or glass. Consider wallpapering the back of a unit, or add marble, quartzite or other material to add drama. Exotic woods are always a nice option, depending on budget. The hardware can give the finishing touch, similar to a well-chosen piece of jewelry on a perfect outfit.

Where to Place Built-Ins

Look around your home for space that is not used well. Perfect spots include under a staircase, in a corner, on either side of a fireplace, and other awkward places unsuitable for other furniture.

Working on custom units requires thought and expertise, so it’s always best to work with an experienced interior designer who can provide stylish solutions to meet your specific space and clutter challenges.

For more information, please email me at or call (516) 234-5425, or book a discovery call at


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