Top 10 Things to Consider Before You Install Cabinetry in Your Home or Office!
- PURPOSE Our very first question is What is the purpose of these built-ins ? What is their function? To hold books? (library) To display art or photos? (shelving) To simply store things behind doors or in drawers? Is it a "work" center? ( kitchen, office, seating, computer center, laundry area, bar, etc) There are all kinds of cabinetry, to serve many purposes and built-ins are often designed to accomplish more than one. Once it is determined what the cabinets will do, all other decisions should serve that end.
- LOCATION Where in the home will they go and where in the room specifically? You"ll have to consider the foot traffic through the room and the wall space available (around windows and heating sources, base board, radiators, vents if any, etc). Once their function and location are determined, the actual shape of the built-ins can be planned. The following guide lines hold true with a few exceptions.
- A STABLE BASE - Deeper cabinets (extending further out from the wall) should exist on the bottom and shallower cabinets should exist above.
- DRAWERS They work best placed below so that they can be looked into from above (below chest level or, better yet, below waist level)
- SHELVES ABOVE - when open shelves are combined with doors or drawers in a vertical format, the shelves should be placed above.
- SHELF SPACING - when a number of shelves (over/under each other) are of different heights, the tallest shelf opening should exist at the top and at the very bottom of the "stack" with the shortest opening height at eye level (it is difficult to look into a short shelf opening when it is way above or below your head).
- PROPORTIONS The relative sizes of moldings, door and drawer fronts, and panels require careful consideration. There are no hard and fast rules. Suffice to say that a 7&½" crown molding would look silly on a 5 foot tall hutch.
- UTILIZE YOUR SPACE - For rooms that are 8 ft in height (most rooms), it makes sense to build a wall unit all the way to the ceiling and wrapped with a crown molding. It should cost very little more to do so and the space left above a unit that is built at, say 7 ft high is, for the most part, unusable.
- APPROPRIATE STYLE - the style and detailing (of the built-in) should look similar to the style and detailing of the room in which it sits. Molding profiles (shapes) should mimic (or match) those in the room. The unit should "belong" to its environment.
- A WELL DONE DRAWING - A well done drawing of the built in project, as it will look in the room when finished, allows you to see what it will look like even before it is constructed. A simple blueprint of the unit alone is not enough.