Built-In Inspiration: Shelving

Custom millwork is a great way to maximize your existing space. Whether it be built-in storage, open shelving or seating - we collaborate with custom millworkers to create classic, functional pieces that utilize every inch of space.

Open shelving is common in our built-in designs as they provide a place to store and showcase our client’s own collections, pictures or memorabilia that really personalize the space.

A few things to keep in mind when planning built-in shelving:


Styling bookshelves, especially a large wall of them, requires planning. Empty shelves feel boring and cluttered shelves are overwhelming to the eye. We like to use a mixture of objects and books in styling bookshelves. Many people will arrange their books based on size but you can also arrange them based on color.


Plan to light your shelves! This truly takes planning because as you’re working with a contractor, you’ll need to make lighting decisions early on, so they can wire accordingly.


You know we love wallpaper! Custom shelving is a great place to add it! If you don’t want something with a print, try grasscloth or keep it simple and go with paint.

With these tips in mind, here are a few things for you to think about:

  1. With any shelving that currently exists in your home, how can you make it better? i.e. lighting, paint, wallpaper, styling your shelves with books and other decor.

  2. Is there a space in your home that would be more effective with custom shelves? Be intentional.


Built-Ins with Huffard House

Working with us, you’ll have an opportunity to explore built-in options, providing you with more storage and character for your home in the spaces you really need it.

We’ll start by providing you with 3D line drawings to provide you with different options. Once we make a selection and revise the first draft, we begin customizing the piece even more. We’ll propose countertop material, paint colors, a moulding option, lighting, and any other details to make the custom work feel like it’s always belonged in your home.

Here are some examples of what phase I of this process looks like:

If you’re thinking about a built-in for your home, send us a quick email at info@huffardhouse.com. We’d be more than happy to assess your space, make a recommendation, and work with a local contractor to get something built for you!

Meeting Storage Needs

We work with clients who have various design needs. Our projects vary in scope and size and our work includes the following (although this list is just a beginning):

Color selection

Space planning

Project management



New builds

Furniture selection

3D renderings

One of our current projects involves a renovation. We’re renovating two spaces: 1. a family room above a garage so that its functionality aligns with the family’s current and ongoing needs and 2. we’re also renovating an entryway to also meet more storage needs.

You’ll definitely be seeing more progress of these spaces, but for now I wanted to give you a look into these custom built-ins. A room with virtually no storage (and a home with very little), now will have these built-ins with adjustable shelves on each side of the television and cabinetry below. Across from these is a large unit with more cabinets and drawers plus the room will now have a bigger closet as well. Stay tuned for more photos, especially before and afters, as well as a comparison of the 3D renderings to the final photos.

And remember, if you’re thinking about a renovation, send us a quick email at info@huffardhouse.com so we can chat about how we can be helpful with your ideas and plans.


Renderings to Real Life: custom built-in unit

In 2018, we began offering 3d renderings as way to help clients see what we’re envisioning for their space. Take a look at the two photos below to see just what this looks like.

The top photo is a rendering we created on the computer and the photo below shows the work in real life. This space was in need of storage and some character and by working with a custom cabinet builder, we were able to share our ideas while he made it come to life.

Next steps: adding wallpaper, tile surround on the fireplace and lighting!

Send us an email at info@huffardhouse.com if you have a space in your home you need help finishing.