Built in and cabinet used to conjure the same images. Over the past 5-10 years or so we’ve been designing cabinets to look like furniture and using furniture in place of a cabinet. I feel like the “shabby sheik” movement began the use of furniture for cabinets and the look has evolved from there. The first time I came into contact with the blurring of furniture and cabinetry was during a Seattle home remodeling project where the owner had a vintage desk she wanted to use as the powder room bathroom vanity. I remember being suspect of such a request at the time but when it was done the results where unique and stunning. Since then we’ve had our custom cabinet maker build cabinetry that looks like furniture rather than a traditional cabinet. One of the hallmarks of this look is the lack of a toe kick or recessed pedestal that a traditional cabinet sits on. The toe kick is usually replaced with some sort of feet that make the cabinet appear to be”placed furniture pieces” rather than “built in”. It used to be that in high end construction and home remodeling no room was complete without an elaborate built in but there seems to be a stylistic shift where the built ins are becoming “placed furniture pieces”.
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