Design Details: Built Ins

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    Hooper Tetrault Studios

    The library of this New England farm house is made extra cozy by incorporating firewood storage in with cabinetry and bookcases. Project: Hillside Farmhouse, Boston; Builder; Robert Lawrence Builders, Westwood, Mass.; Architect: Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Boston
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    Matthew Carbone

    This entryway is able to pull double-duty as a compact bath thanks to well-located built-in cabinetry that provides linen storage and conceals other bathroom essentials. Project: Ocean Bay Cabana Bath, Water Mill, N.Y.; Builder: Witty & Gazda, Sagaponack, N.Y.; Architect: Stelle Architects, Bridgehampton, N.Y.
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    Builders Choice 2011Hacienda Ja Ja, Alamo Heights, Texas

    Frank Ooms Photography

    Built-in shelves provide display space for the owners’ art collection while eliminating the need for bulky bookcases, preserving the design’s clean, contemporary feel. Project: Hacienda Ja Ja, Alamo Heights, Texas; Builder: Traux Construction, San Antonio; Architect: Lake|Flato Architects, San Antonio
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    Builder's Choice 2011Saunders Residence, San Fransisco

    Matthew Millman

    For a pair of clients that made the jump from traditionalists to die-hard minimalists, their master wing is kept clean but luxurious with custom built-in closets and cabinets that keep essentials out of sight but within reach. Project: Saunders Residence, San Francisco; Builder: 38 Degrees North Latitude Builders, San Rafael, Calif.; Designer: Cheng Design, Berkeley, Calif.
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    Mark Herboth and Alphin Design Build

    This kitchen claims its own space while remaining integrated with the open layout of this modern home thanks to a massive partition loaded with built-in cabinets and pantry. Project: Graham Street Residence, Raleigh, N.C.; Designer/Builder: Will Alphin, Alphin Design Build, Raleigh
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    Rau Barber

    As part of an update to this 1900s Craftsman, the entryway was brought up to speed with modern life thanks to cabinetry that provides a hideaway for backpacks, sports equipment, and coats, while providing a subtle space for boots and shoes. Project: Craftsman Home, Minneapolis; Builder: Full Circle Construction, Minneapolis; Architect: Rehkamp Larson Architects, Minneapolis
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    Art Gray

    In a fresh take on built-in kitchen seating, these rubber-backed chairs tuck under the island when not in use. Project: Superb-A House, Venice, Calif.; Architect/Contractor: mnm|MOD, Santa Monica, Calif.

Beautiful and functional, built-ins are a balm for many ills. They add value, end clutter, and answer the never-ending call for more storage space. And while typically associated with high-end custom homes, built-ins don’t have to be a big expense. If you’ve got a carpenter and some scrap lumber, you’re in business.

So take another look at the space beneath your stairs, the back entryway, the master closet, and just about every other room in your homes. Chances are, there’s a way to make more of the spaces you’re offering. To offer up some inspiration, we found projects that harness the power of built-in features in areas around the home.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.