Quaint and charming, Philadelphia rowhouses have plenty to recommend them. However, remodeling smaller homes such as these in order to enhance their function and versatility often means looking for the best solutions to maximize usable space.
One efficient way to increase organization and storage when upgrading your Philadelphia rowhouse is with the introduction of custom built-ins. Not only are they a practical solution to a common problem, but they also can be customized to your distinct architectural and design preferences, making your home as attractive as it is functional.
You can construct new custom built-ins as stand alone projects or as part of a larger rowhouse renovation. Negotiating multiple built in cabinet projects in one contract has the significant advantage of an efficiency of scale, lowering the cost for each individual cabinet location. If you look around, you may be surprised to find all the spaces in your house that would benefit from unique storage solutions. The goal here is to optimize your space, and that’s where a professional designer can help you increase efficiency of storage, while creating a great looking feature that becomes part of your home (instead of an ikea cabinet that will end up on the curb in 3 years). If you’re planning to remodel your Philadelphia home in the coming year, here are a few reasons to consider incorporating built-ins:
Custom built-ins come in many forms: bookshelves, benches, vanities, closets, cabinets, desks, cubby storage, kitchen tables, booths, media or television units, and under-stairway storage. That means whether you’re remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, basement or the whole rowhouse, there’s a type of built-in to suit your purpose. Custom built-in pantries create extra storage space that can be tailored to your primary kitchen uses. Your living room wall can be transformed with a built-in to house your entertainment system, audio equipment, video game equipment and DVDs. A small, unused alcove can turn into a charming sitting area where you can drink coffee and read by the window. The possibilities are numerous. Plus, built-ins are typically better quality and safer than freestanding furniture.
With the right design, custom built-in shelves and units can add dozens of square feet to your Philadelphia rowhouse without tearing down walls or bumping out onto the exterior of your property. They primarily utilize wall space that would otherwise go to waste. Consider incorporating bookshelves into your hallways or a compact storage space under your staircase. You can also make sure your built-in is designed for optimal function.
One example we love is you can create a built-in bench beside a fireplace or window and include storage under the seat, or design a built-in for your laundry room that incorporates laundry basket storage, folding counters and sorting hampers.
This may seem like an obvious benefit to constructing custom built-ins during your remodel, but it’s worth considering their versatility and how that helps when dealing with a quaint, historic rowhouse. As the name implies, built-ins are custom-made for each individual space, no matter how narrow, short, tall or oddly shaped it is. They are the ideal way to make the most of those awkward nooks and crannies and turn them into functional space. The basement guest bathroom shown above had a large empty cavity created by an HVAC duct, which created an ideal storage opportunity for the client's linens.
Display casing, built-in bookshelves and pull-out storage drawers are all suitable solutions for small areas. Your options for customizing also extend to the materials you use, how the units are configured and the special features they include. If you’re making a bench for a mud room, you can incorporate enough cubbies for each household member to store their shoes and other items. Adding motion sensors on the underside of shelves within deep cabinets or pantries is another practical feature.
Open floor plans are increasingly popular in modern homes. However, you still want to give definition to your space and distinguish between separate rooms, especially in a long, narrow rowhouse. Custom built-ins can help in this way. These unique features add definition to the interior of your home without it feeling cramped and cluttered, and they contribute visual texture to the design while ultimately serving a practical purpose. Additionally, a well-designed built-in unit can create an attractive focal point in your living room, entryway, finished basement or any area you're remodeling.
Custom built-ins are created for a specific space, but they’re also designed for a specific style. They add interest and personality in a way that complements the other architectural and design elements in the room. Unlike standalone furniture, built-ins blend in seamlessly, lending to a distinctly cohesive look. You can make your entertainment center or bookshelves with the same wood and finish as your trim and crown molding, or paint your built-in cabinetry to match the color palette in your bathroom. This is particularly important if you’re remodeling a historic home in Philadelphia and you want to improve its function and value without detracting from its unique character and charm.
Although constructing custom built-ins may seem like a simple project, working with a professional remodeler ensures you capture the various benefits these attractive and useful features have to offer. When planning your rowhouse renovation in Philadelphia, Bellweather Construction walks you through the design options and construction materials to optimize your custom built-in, depending on its primary purpose and where it’s located. Our highly skilled design-build team can then integrate your built-in features into your remodeling plan and ensure the project is executed correctly.
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