built in sliding bookshelves

Fit to A T: Why Moss Designs Custom Cabinetry


Part of what turns a good building design into a great one is the level of detail.  Working with custom cabinetry and built-in furnishings allows us to hide clutter, save space and make memorable buildings.  Here’s why we love it:

Two hundred short years ago, a kitchen could consist of little more than than a wood stove and a table.  Today, we take a built-in kitchen with fitted cabinetry and appliances for granted and an entertainment wall of bookshelves, fireplace and concealed electronics is usual.

Really Fit your Space … and Your Needs with Custom Cabinetry

But we can take it still further if with a little creative cabinetry.  This diagram highlights all the spaces we planned to use built-in custom cabinetry in a tidy loft on Wabansia. 3d model_composite colors_cropped3

We proposed a panel wall system to conceal the entry closet, a guest room / office which can go from open living area to closed off room with the slide of a bookshelf and the pulling down of a murphy bed, and wall-hung bath cabinets to maximize space and keep it clutter free.

Here are just a few ways we win with well design built-ins:

Work within the Walls

So many of our projects are existing buildings, and we have to think creatively to fit in all the various activities and spaces you want within the envelope of your existing building (plus a possible addition).  Using built-in cabinetry lets us fit in more than you’d otherwise imagine.

Work With the Walls

Designing custom fitted cabinets (and desks and islands and other fixed furnishings) also allows us to work with the charming and frustrating irregularities that older buildings often have.  If the walls of a corner aren’t quite square, we can scribe the cabinetry to fit exactly, where a purchased piece of furniture would show up that irregularity with a wavering gap.

built in kitchen

Save Space

And speaking of off-the-shelf furniture …, you generally can’t just shove it up against wall.  A sofa, book shelf or storage coffee table all need some breathing room.  That space can eat up your square footage and result in a cluttered appearance.  Designing with built-ins allows us to leave plenty of room to show off your chosen furniture pieces.  (We design furniture, too).

Conceal Clutter

William Morris said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  Fitted cabinetry helps keep those items that are useful but not so beautiful tucked out of sight, but still close at hand.  Clean-lined, closed built-ins can keep un-lovely essentials at your finger tips but out of sight, as well as concealing power and lighting elements and keeping cords at bay.

custom cabinetry, built-in sliding bookshelves


Save Whole Rooms

Good built-ins can turn one room into many.  A wall of storage can transform a small niche into an office, guest room and yoga studio at different times of day.  An array of sliding bookshelves can make that nook either a closed off room or an integrated part of the larger whole.

Note: We’re not talking walls lined in solid built-ins and with one wide open living space in the center.  We use cabinetry to condense and conceal the parts of life that each of our clients chooses to minimize – leaving more space and attention for the parts you prize.

Rather than direct you to a specific post or project in order to see more examples of our custom cabinetry … we’ll just suggest you check out any of them.  We include designs for built-in elements in just about everything we do.  Now that you know why we love it, take a spin through the moss blog to find more.