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8 Built-In Ideas for the Living Room

One thing I love about older homes is the unique built-in ideas you find within their walls. It’s nice to see some of the newer homes adding these custom features.

Built-In Cabinetry in Historic HomePhoto by Lisa Tharp Design


I started writing this post about built-in ideas for every room in the house, but I found so many great examples I decided to focus on just one room at a time. The photos above and below are the same room. Above you see the built-in bookcase, and below you see more of the banquette for added seating.

Built-In Cabinetry in Historic HomePhoto by Lisa Tharp Design


Yes, you could add a free-standing cabinet to a living room for storage, but a built-in cabinet with doors and drawers is so charming.

Built-In Cabinetry in Historic HomePhoto by Whitten Architects


To add dimension to a built-in shelving unit, consider painting the back wall a contrasting color. Think about the items you plan to display before choosing your paint color.

Built-in Cabinet Ideas - Bookcases and StoragePhoto by Period Architecture Ltd.


Built-in shelves are a great option to fill a space next to a fireplace. You can always add custom features like this to your house at any time. Look around your house and you’ll probably find a dead spot spaces that would benefit from a built-in option.

Farmhouse Built-in Cabinet by FireplacePhoto by M House Development


Built-in bookcases can contain books, collectibles, or a combination of the two. Get creative and consider your case a blank canvas waiting to be filled with beauty.

Farmhouse Living Room with Built-in BookcasePhoto by Sims Hilditch


Other built-in ideas include framing a window with shelves or cabinets. It’ll give dimension to a flat, boring wall.

Create a built-in cabinet to frame a windowPhoto by Everything Home


A contemporary home makes great use of space with a window seat and book shelves. Grab a book and curl up on the seat with comfy pillows.

Contemporary Blue Living Room with Built-in Window Seat and BookcasePhoto by Jordyn Developments

Take a fresh look around your house and see if you can identify a space that could use a functional and pretty built-in. Let me know if you come up with an idea!

More Decorating Ideas to Enjoy:

Warm and Cozy Bedroom Ideas

Shabby Chic Living Room Ideas

Earth Tone Kitchen Ideas

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  1. I love any built in. Also the removable ones that can be taken with you. Years ago the homes were just four walls, then the builders realized that the husbands were completing the job. So many things can be hidden in the built ins.

  2. My two favorite things about the home we just bought were the built in bookcase in the family room and the window seat in the guest bedroom. We’ve lived in many homes but never in one where both existed. What a sweet thing for the Lord to do for us since this will probably be our forever home. You were so right when suggesting that the items in the bookcase be considered when painting the back wall a contrasting color. Ours is the same color as the walls but that might have to change as we get more settled in. 🙂

  3. As a child I always wanted a window seat in my bedroom. Alas, never had it. I still would love to have one but my little house can’t give up the space. Loved your post, though.

  4. So many spaces that can be hidden gems. The contractors need a woman standing over them to help them be more creative when building homes. Never too many bookcases or storage areas in a home.