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Built In Benefits: Bookshelves and Home Office Built In Ideas for Chicago Homes

Built In Benefits: Bookshelves and Home Office Built In Ideas for Chicago Homes

Built-ins are a great way to integrate storage and furniture into your Chicago home design. They utilize unused space, keep your home safer, and are high-quality furniture in their own right. Built-ins allow you to enjoy a fully integrated home design.

At Patrick A Finn, we love integrating built-in features into our Chicago-area home remodeling projects. This month’s blog post will outline the benefits of built-in storage and furniture and look at some of our favorite home built-in features.

What Are Built-In Shelves? 

Building Semi-Permanent Storage In Your Home

Built-ins are storage and display spaces built like furniture into your home’s architectural design. They are generally designed as a space-saving and elegant aesthetic addition to your home.

Best Places to Add Custom Built-ins to Your Chicago Home

One of the greatest things about built-ins is their versatility. Most storage solutions can be built into a home, meaning endless possibilities exist. Some common built-ins we see include:


  • Bookshelves
  • Cubby storage
  • Benches
  • Kitchen table or booth
  • Under-stairway storage
  • Media or TV units
  • Cabinets
  • Closets
  • Window benches
  • Vanities
  • Office storage

The possibilities are endless!

Custom Built-Ins Maximize Storage Space In Your Home

Every home has nooks and crannies that simply cannot be used due to them being too small or oddly shaped, including:

  • Underneath stairways
  • Second-story rooms where there’s a downward roof slope
  • Next to other features built into your home, like a fireplace
  • Underneath beds and surrounding furniture spaces

While these spaces may not be suitable for habitation, they are perfect for storage. For instance, a bedroom could mean a perfect place for storing bed linens.

In addition to utilizing this space, which would likely go unused otherwise, it also frees up other storage areas in your home.

custom built in shelves with fireplace in middle in living room remodel in chicago.JPG

Why Custom Home Office Built-Ins in Chicago Are A Popular Remodeling Request

Since they’re custom-fit to the exact space, you can design storage units to maximize storage capacity. When you buy storage pre-designed, you’ll have to find a unit small enough to fit the most confined part of the space where you’re placing it. This will invariably leave space unused.

With a built-in storage solution, this will never be a problem! Every inch of the space will be leveraged to provide the most storage possible.

built-in bookshelf for office space more storage options

Reasons to Add Custom Built-In Bookshelves Instead of Store-Bought Bookshelves

Buying free-standing storage furniture such as bookshelves and cubby units will always be less safe than a built-in storage solution. While they may seem stable, furniture like bookshelves has been known to fall over. Dogs or even humans can inadvertently cause freestanding shelves or the items they contain to fall to the ground dangerously. Since built-ins are structurally part of your home, you can be sure they’ll be stable and safe.

Living room built-in bookshelf in chicago

Built-ins Can Be Integrated Seamlessly Into A Home’s Design

When remodeling your home, ensuring aesthetic cohesion should be a top priority. When you don’t integrate built-in features into your home remodel, you’ll have to search for storage solutions that seamlessly fit your home. While this is possible and can even lead to interesting interior designs, integrating built-ins into your space immediately allows for a cohesive design.

They’ll also be custom-built to your exact needs — this means no searching for the bookshelf to fit your stereo or the just-right media center to fit your big-screen TV. These built-in bookshelves can be built with your signature items in mind — leading to perfect storage solutions that look great and are functional.

Built-In Features Provide Higher Quality

There is some great stand-alone high-quality furniture available at furniture stores, but there are also many low-quality items.

When you design a home remodel with a seasoned remodeler, you know the storage will be built using high-quality, long-lasting materials. Plus, since they’re built with the entire design of your home in mind, they’ll be more visually stunning. Don’t settle for a lower-quality bookshelf when you can have one built right into your home's design!

built-in storage bench bookshelf

Built-Ins Help Define Any Room In Your Chicago Home

At Patrick A. Finn, we love open floor plans! We think they bring warmth and life to any home, and we find ourselves always recommending them and meeting new clients who want an open floor plan integrated into their home’s design.

However, one challenge to designing an open layout is defining the space so there are still distinct areas in your layout. Home features that outline and give definition allow the room to be open while still feeling cozy and comfortable.

One way we do this is through built-in storage. Whether through a kitchen island filled with storage space underneath or a built-in bench backed up against a railing separating rooms on two different levels, built-in storage is a great way to define larger spaces.

Built-ins Add Visual Texture to Your Home

Similarly, adding definition and storage provides visual texture to your home’s design. A well-placed built-in bookshelf will let your book collection shine, while office cubbies will give a home office a completely new look and feel. Your home will immediately be more charming and feel more lived-in while still retaining the look and polished feel of a well-designed home.

unique built in bookshelf in kitchen island remodel in chicago (1)
Your Home Will Retain Order With Built-In Storage

With built-in storage, your home will be easier to keep organized. Integrated storage will look clean and as if it was designed to be there (it is custom, after all!). Since you’ll be in charge of the design and placement of the storage down to every detail, you can design it with your needs and storage concerns in mind.

This will reinforce the already helpful benefits of additional storage, keeping your newly remodeled home clean and looking exactly as you hoped it would for years to come.

Begin planning your home renovation projects by downloading this eBook,  "The Ultimate Step-by-Step Home Renovation Transformation Guide."