Homes and gardens

Beauty of built-in furniture

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It can reduce or even avoid the use of expensive, free standing wooden décor pieces

Furniture that is built into the design of a space is fascinating as it forms an integral part of its architecture.

If integrated well, it can seamlessly blend into the space and reduce or even avoid the use of expensive, free standing wooden furniture.

In history

The earliest use of built-in furniture dates back to the middle ages wherein wall benches and aumbries (built-in ledges) were common. These were designed as architectural features as part of the building, and over time, they evolved into standalone furniture pieces.

The style regained popularity during the mid 1900s. At that time, built-in furniture depicted simplicity and unified the design elements within a space. It was also seen as an economical method to reduce visual clutter.

In context

Given today’s scenario of rising construction costs, built-in furniture can be seen as a way to use floor space more efficiently and thereby reduce building costs. Some examples include: shelving and niches, benches, window seats, beds and even seating for dining and living areas. These would typically be designed with natural stone and masonry support, eliminating the extensive use of wood especially in a warm and humid city like Chennai.

Beauty of built-in furniture
 

The window seat is a charming feature that provides occupants with a cozy space to relax and connect with the outdoors. Low built-in masonry walls — with storage space below and seating above — can also serve as partitions between rooms.

A little creativity can result in a wide range of built-in features that would integrate with the design and enhance the aesthetics of any space.

Additional benefits

Besides creating a distinct aesthetic, this furniture style also helps reduce dust and dirt accumulation — common in free-standing furniture pieces — by being monolithic and having fewer crevices and edges which trap dust. It is also a great option for spaces that are curvilinear and not suitable for mass produced, rectilinear, standalone furniture pieces.

To conclude, such functional interior features can seamlessly integrate interior design with the architecture of the building, save cost and time for the owner, lead to a more environmentally sustainable option by reducing use of wood and lastly, result in a unique aesthetic for the home.

The author is the founder of Green Evolution, a sustainable architecture firm

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 2:04:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/benefits-of-built-in-furniture/article29655646.ece

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