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Layout Fix with Built-Ins

Poor layout in any space is a very difficult, sometimes impossible (depending on load bearing of a home) feature to fix. So rather than worrying about busting down walls and moving beams, perhaps a simpler fix is built-ins.

Built-ins are any fixtures or furnishings that are literally built onto the walls, floors or ceilings of a space. They can include a massive array of items, including but definitely not limited to: shelving, cabinetry, beds, tables, seating, entertainment centers, desks, and storage solutions.

DMO was recently presented a rather challenging project, that if looked at without the knowledge of built-ins, could have resulted in a total overhaul of the basement structure and layout in an effort to turn a misshapen room into a functional teenager’s sleeping space.

The overall square footage of the room was sufficient for a sleeping space; however, at first glance the room seemed too small. This was because the homeowner was attempting to place traditional furnishings within the space, including a bed, a desk and shelving. DMO realized the potential of the space if those elements were better integrated into the layout of the space through built-in.

Here you can see the layout of the space is very oddly shaped, with an L-shaped configuration consisting of the main room area and a hall-like access to a standard size closet set on a perpendicular to the main room rather than the standard parallel setup that would be seen in a traditional room layout. Because the main portion of the room is smaller than a traditional square-shaped room, standard furnishings would completely diminish the walking floor space within the room.

DMO’s solution to the problem was a series of built-in shelving with space to include a standard size twin bed (could also fit an elongated twin bed if the teenager was taller as well) and a full size desk-top surface. By creating the shelving with “cube” storage as well as longer shelves for display and other forms of storage, a sense of symmetry was created without diminishing the ability for various storage. The small odd space at the end of the closet access hall was filled with a tall slender storage cabinet, and the hall was given some shelving of its own, complete with hooks mounted to the studs for jackets, backpacks and other hanging needs.


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By understanding what elements could be, not only built flush against the wall, but also using the full height of the room (to include the space over the head of the bed – an often neglected area) DMO was able to provide a growing boy a perfect area to call his own.

If you are needing help with a strange layout and can’t see yourself tearing down walls, contact us, built-ins may be your perfect solution as well.

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