Custom Cabinetry: Storage Solutions for the Whole Home

"A place for everything and everything in its place" is a motto that most of us would love to live by. Unfortunately, it's not always so easy. Although decluttering is all the rage these days and a big part of the process is getting rid of items you no longer use (try to donate or recycle instead of adding them to our landfills), it's also important to organize whatever you want to keep. Don't just stash your stuff -- you'll be far better off putting your belongings in a neat and tidy nook where you can access them as you need to. The good news is that there are custom storage solutions for every room of the house that can help you toward your goal.


Photo: Sitka Projects/flickrYour kitchen is the room where efficiency counts most. When you're rushing to prepare elegant dinner party fare or a quick and healthy meal to feed your hungry family, it's essential to have your supplies readily at hand. Right now, the kitchen fashion trend is more and more toward custom cabinetry that combines good looks with uber practicality, while making use of every square inch of space.

A pullout trolley or fridge-side rack offers a hearty helping of storage within its slim lines. Use this for bottles, jars, or cans of essentials like cooking oil or tomato sauce. And don't forget to install a cabinet which maximizes that often-neglected spot over the refrigerator.


Photo: joel/flickrBedrooms have an advantage over the rest of your home in the ongoing struggle for storage. They come already equipped with closets, where you can put away clothes and accessories. But if your closet tends to end up out of control, simplify your life and your morning routine. Have a carpenter build a closet organizing system just for you.

Living Room

Photo: Sharon/flickrWith the popularity of family rooms and man caves, the living room is often the part of the house we keep for "best," reserving it for large holiday gatherings and special guests. As such, an attractive, orderly appearance counts.

If you enjoy books as much as I do -- the real thing, with pages that you can actually turn! -- you know they have a way of taking over a room. Keep them available yet organized in a striking bookcase with its own attached ladder to help you easily reach the highest shelves. This low-profile piece would also work well in a home office.

Then there's that area above the fireplace. It's traditionally reserved for a mantle crowded with messy tchotchkes, but why not grab the chance to build in a storage cupboard? Discreet yet extremely serviceable.


Photo: Sitka Projects/flickrHooray! Today's laundry room is updating its former drab image. Who else loves brightly painted walls on washday? To hold your cleaning supplies in style, install a few cabinets with a trendy shabby chic or industrial theme.


Photo: Unskinny Boppy/flickrWhat was old is new … and mudrooms, once considered passe, are now back in style in a big way. Paramount in modern mudroom decor is a sturdy bench. That's where you sit and take off your boots and shoes when they're full of (what else?) mud. To keep your mudroom from turning into a mess room, add shelving, hooks for coat hanging, and dedicated cubbies to stash the aforementioned footwear.

Finished Basement / Bonus Room

Photo: David Cedrone/flickrGot a finished basement or bonus room? Lucky you! This extra square footage is the perfect place for family fun and relaxation. When togetherness gets to be too much of a good thing, break up the expanse with another piece of custom woodworking -- a half wall of storage that doubles as a room divider.

Laura Firszt writes for

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