There's no such thing as too much storage space. And that goes double for thoughtfully designed, carefully constructed cabinets, closets, shelves, and other home stowage solutions. "The most successful built-in storage answers a specific need," notes Linda Jovanovich, of the American Hardwood Information Center. "It might be micro scale, like a drawer to store and charge electronic devices, or a macro project, such as outfitting an entire mudroom, but its usefulness, durability, and aesthetics will depend on how good the planning, materials, and execution are. Hardwood's versatility, strength, and good looks make it an ideal starting point when considering most home storage problems." Here are six inspiring examples of what Linda is talking about.
1. In-drawer charging station
Smart phones, tablets, and other personal electronic devices, along with their tangle-prone power cords, are a perennial source of clutter. A dedicated drawer equipped with a charging outlet, as shown in this Chappaqua, New York custom kitchen by Studio Dearborn, gets the gadgets out of the way-and looking great against the blond wood millwork-while they power up. Photograph: Adam Kane Macchia
2. Pots and pans drawers and pullouts
Studio Dearborn tackles an even bigger problem-how to keep pots, pans, and other culinary equipment close to a cooktop without creating a jumble-in this Sleepy Hollow, New York custom kitchen. A deep center drawer holding bulky saucepans is flanked by a pair of vertical pullouts for smaller utensils and bottles of cooking oil, a practical and elegant solution. Photograph: Adam Kane Macchia
3. Kitchen island storage
A custom kitchen in Chicago by 210 Design House featuring Plain & Fancy cabinetry makes exemplary use of the center island's inherent storage possibilities. Open shelves and deep cubbies not only help break up a visually massive piece of solid-walnut furniture but also provide neat pigeonholes for magazines and attractive display space for silverware, ceramics, and wickerwork. Photograph: Tony Soluri Photography
4. Under-stair storage
The wedge-shape void beneath a staircase is often underutilized real estate in multilevel residences. Specht Architects makes the most of this no-man's-land in a tiny New York loft with a triangle of custom built-in cupboards and drawers. Exquisitely calibrated to use the maximum available space, the storage wall also creates an almost sculptural work of decorative design. Photograph: Taggart Sorensen
5. Built-in wine storage
The space at the top of a staircase can be almost as problematic as the underside. In remodeling an Omaha, Nebraska house, Steven Ginn Architects and designer Marilyn Offut use custom hardwood shelving, cabinets, and wine-storage system to create a welcoming and practical cellar in what otherwise could be a wasted nook. Photograph: Kessler Photography
6. Mud room built-ins
Making the most of this Denver, Colorado mudroom's generous dimensions, Terra Firma Custom Homes has provided separate alder cubbies for each member of a family. While all share a bench for taking off boots, there are individual under-seat recesses for storing damp footwear, hooks for outdoor clothing, and wire-mesh-fronted lockers for personal items. Photograph: Kimberly Gavin Photography
Visit www.hardwoodinfo.com for more about built-in storage with American hardwoods.