Using Fitted furniture to create quality spaces
Fitted furniture can certainly add a look of grandeur to a property. Indeed, you only have to look at budget hotels as compared to four-star and five-star offerings. You will almost always find the high-end hotels have fitted furniture throughout whilst the budget hotels will normally have stand-alone furniture in the rooms.
Yet when embarking on the task of adding fitted furnishings it is important to plan and fit the items with the upmost care.
For a bedroom the best thing to do is to look at five-star hotels online and look at the pictures of the rooms. You could visit some places also but you may find taking pictures is a bit awkward if you don’t intend to stay. A theme will be evident in that sparsely furnished places that are not rich with fitted furnishings will normally be seen as less welcoming and less plush than those with fitted furniture.
For the sleeping area, you will normally see the headboard is extended to the side cabinets, and often beyond to a reading or writing desk complete with all the modern connections for a laptop etc. The extended headboard may simply be a long piece of carefully designed and shaped wood that connects several pieces of furniture together to give an all-in-one look.
High-end hotels will almost certainly have built-in wardrobes at the entrance or elsewhere in the room, and these will normally incorporate sliding doors that will activate built-in lights to illuminate the space inside. These will normally be floor-to-ceiling affairs so there is no space unused.
For a kitchen area, the norm anyway is to have a built-in kitchen as opposed to stand-alone units. Check with a kitchen designer or even just go to a branch of Home Pro or SD Design and you will find mock-ups of a number of different kitchens to suit all possible budgets and space constraints. Since a kitchen using built-in furniture is the norm for high-end places, it will come as no surprise that this is firmly expected in any abode that boasts a proper kitchen area.
A living room may be one place where less fitted furniture is evident, but again a look at hotel offerings will be insightful. For living rooms you will need to focus on hotel rooms that are offered as suites such that a separate living room exists. You will likely see there are built-in shelf units, and a backboard for the TV with a built-in TV unit underneath. You could follow the design theme of the bedroom in regards to colours and material styles, but overall the rest of the furniture, such as sofas and chairs, should be free standing.
Often accompanying any such fitted furniture are paintings, artwork and other accessories that highlight the additional quality of the space. Look to incorporate long paintings above the headboard that can be presented in a mosaic form across the entire room, following the line of the fitted furniture already in place. A reduction in the use of mirrors would be good, but some plants and other ornamental pieces would be worth considering to give the place colour and to provide a lived-in look.
It is important in the bedroom and living room to design a colour scheme that fits with the colour of the built-in furniture. Look to use dark wood fitted furniture in a room with dark wood flooring, or with a dark grey carpet if you wish to have a carpet at all. Pine fitted furniture may fit a lighter room colour with white or beige ceramic tiles, pine flooring or a lighter coloured carpet. Look to make the surrounding soft furnishings also blend in. Some contrast can be added by using white bed covers with red pillows and a red over cover. In the living room red again fits well with either a light or dark theme, so consider using a red sofa. Other colours for consideration could be cream, beige, white, black, brown or green for soft furnishings.
In terms of budgets quite a lot can be saved if you do it yourself as there are seldom too many elements involved in much of the furniture. That said, a built-in wardrobe would probably require expert help and a proper kitchen would normally come with installation included. Still there are plenty of things you can do yourself especially with regard to accessories and smaller items that could well make all the difference to the final look and feel of the place.
Finally there is certainly something to be said for thinking ahead. If you want to change the layout of the room later it would be good if the fitted items can be reused by simply being moved to another location. Thus it is wise to have other locations covered in regard to knowing their sizes and designing pieces of fitted furniture with these different sizes in mind. This will allow fitted items to move from their original place to another place without modification and can help when reorganizing a space, whilst still keeping all of the qualities fitted furniture has to offer. You can apply this thinking to headboards, wardrobes, desks and cabinets with a view to making a truly flexible design. Neutral colours work well also, so you can redecorate and still retain the original fittings such that they fit with any new colour scheme.
Overall the investment in fitted furniture should pay off. It will enhance the living space and elevate a property’s value, covering its cost quite well.