Why We Love Custom Built-Ins

It’s no secret that here at BOLT Builders, we love custom built-ins. There’s nothing like them to elevate a home and make it absolutely perfect for the people who live there. Built-ins can bring a level of thoughtfulness and intentionality to a space that makes it look finished and well-planned. Many of our projects include custom built-ins (see here and here for examples). Read on to learn why we love them so much and why we think you will, too.

Custom Built-Ins Add Style

Builts-ins can be anything from cabinets to bookshelves to benches, desks, or beds, and can be installed in just about any room. Because they are permanent, they add a level of intentionality and thoughtfulness to your space. They show off your home’s character. Like adding a statement chandelier over the kitchen island or painting your front door an unexpected color, installing built-ins into a room is a stylistic decision that will always be popular and enjoyable.

Custom Built-Ins Add Functionality

Built-ins save a lot of storage space since they’re attached to the walls instead of sitting in front of them. Because you can make them just the right size and shape for your room, they are always perfectly suited to the job: proportional to the room and making good use of every inch. They open up a room, adding valuable floor space and hiding clutter. Custom built-ins also save visual space because they present as part of the room instead of as furniture, making the room seem less crowded.

Many people design their built-ins with particular functions in mind. A seamstress might want a cabinet that is sized perfectly for her sewing machine, or a coffee enthusiast may opt to build a coffee bar that holds his favorite expresso machine and collection of mugs. You can design built-ins to showcase artwork or family heirlooms or to hold a large quantity of books. You can build a standing desk that’s just the right height, or a bench for your breakfast nook that has a seat for each member of your family. 

Custom Built-Ins Add Value

Everyone loves custom built-ins. They add value to your home because they are designed for your particular space, they reduce the need for furniture, they add interest, and they look curated and intentional. In fact, experts estimate that your ROI for custom built-ins could be anywhere from 45-90%. If you’re considering selling your house in the future, custom built-ins are a great idea. Buyers love them and they make your home memorable.

You Can Use Them Anywhere

Built-ins are not just for the living room anymore. They can be used in just about every room of your home and with great results.


Custom built-ins alongside your cabinetry give your kitchen a well-designed, thoughtfully-planned look that you will love. You could add a pull-out spice or condiment rack next to the fridge or an open shelf that runs under the cabinets. Any built-in storage in the pantry is a win in terms of organization and saving space. A display cabinet with glass doors makes a great space to showcase your china or holiday dishes. Installing a slim bookshelf on one end of the kitchen island or tall cabinet is the perfect place to hold your cookbooks. For your furry friends, you could build a dog bed into the side of the kitchen island, along with a place for food and water bowls. And putting a bench with storage in your breakfast nook provides extra seating while not adding visual clutter.


Nothing says perfection like an impeccably designed bathroom. Adding built-ins to your bathroom can make it feel like a relaxing spa, can save space if your room is small, and can provide you with a lot of storage that reduces clutter and lifts your spirits. Consider a built-in vanity or two. You won’t be confined to standard-size vanities, so you can make the most of every inch in your space. Built-in shelving or cabinets in your bathroom or linen closet make organization a breeze. You can even use open shelving to hold towels and baskets of bathroom supplies.


In the master bedroom, consider adding built-ins to your closet. This not only saves space and increases storage capability, but gives your closet a dressing-room feel. You can plan for extra storage in the areas you specifically need it: shoeboxes, suit coat hangers, tie racks, and so on. Install a dressing table and full-length mirror to complete the wardrobe. 

In the guest room, consider adding a built-in desk for work-from-home situations. You can also build in the bed itself for a thoughtful, custom design that will feel welcoming and intentional to your guests. Add bookshelves and closet shelves as well and you have a perfect guest room.

Built-ins are especially helpful in children’s rooms. Open up the floor for play space by installing open shelves and cabinets to hold toys, clothes, and art supplies. Build custom bunk beds or loft beds to save more space and make a shared bedroom feel bigger and more fun for kids. Older teens will appreciate shelving that is customized to their needs and supports their hobbies. Custom closet storage can grow with your child, keeping their clothing organized and easy to access.

Laundry Room

If you have front-loading appliances, add a custom countertop above for folding. Cabinets along the walls allow you to store laundry supplies, and you can even install a drying rack, custom ironing board that folds down, and storage for off-season clothes and gear.

Living Room

Of course, shelves that flank the fireplace are classic for a reason. They provide both storage and a place to display family heirlooms, art, or books. Consider using cabinet doors on the bottom half of the shelves to provide you with hidden storage as well. Another great idea for built-ins in a living room is a window seat–a bench with storage under the window that will be the perfect space for curling up with a good book on a chilly day.

Study or Home Office

If you have a dedicated space for your home office, built-ins make the perfect addition to your space. You can customize your desk, adding shelving as needed. For multiple family members working from the same home office, a long desk with separate workstations, or two desks tucked into opposite corners might give everyone the space they need. Consider a wall of bookshelves too–this gives you storage but also provides a great backdrop for Zoom calls

Foyer or Mudroom

This is where custom built-ins can really shine. These areas are hard-working–they need to help you and your family transition from home to away and back again, making the things you need easy to find, keeping you organized, and still looking good. Custom cubbies–one for each member of the family–will solve a lot of getting-out-the-door woes. Shoe racks, spaces for keys and small items, coat hooks, cabinets–all these built-ins will make leaving your home each day easy, and coming back home a joy.


If you’re considering a remodel or renovation to your Virginia, DC, or Maryland area home, you’re faced with a lot of decisions. What types of custom built-ins you need and where to put them is one of many such choices. We’re here to help you. Our skilled designers can talk you through all your options, presenting you with ideas that you may not have considered, and coming up with a great plan that will meet your needs. And our team of contractors and builders knows how to make that plan a reality. We can help you make your dreams for your home come true. Contact us today and let’s get started!