Our Shirlington Built-In Expert

Larry Northrop, our Shirlington Showroom Manager was recently featured in The Northern Virginia magazine. If you didn’t see it, here’s the magazine and his article on built-ins.

Northern Virginian Built In Cover

Hardwood Artisans Designing a Built In

This article provides clear information on what to consider when you’re purchasing a built-in.

3 Things to Consider Before You Buy Built-Ins

With over 40 years of woodworking business to his name, Larry Northrop, Hardwood Artisans Shirlington showroom manager, advises us all on what to consider when purchasing built-ins for the home.

1. Asses your needs.

This may sound like a simple, obvious step, but many homeowners and renters don’t fully take into consideration exactly what use they’re hoping to get out of a built-in. “Give a lot of deep thought to what you’re actually wanting,” says Northrop. “People think just about TV or stereo, but don’t take books, statues, etc., into mind.” Do you have a large DVD collection? Are you interested in glass doors and LED lights? Built-ins aren’t one size fits all. “It’s a broad spectrum,” says Northrop. Do you want to start with a standard piece and customize onto it?

2. Determine the amount of space you have.

“People with spare bedrooms often have a double-wide closet with double-wide doors,” says Northrop. “We’ve designed a bed to fit that closet space.” How much of the room can be taken up by the built-in? Is there a certain space that needs to be filled? Northrop’s philosophy is to take a room and utilize what is available. “How can I design something that will maximize space?” is the question Northrop asks when sketching out plans for his clients. Does the guest room also function as a home office? If so, then built-ins that hold anything a guest could need during their stay while leaving an open area for the room to maintain its office-like qualities would be the perfect solution.

3. Think about the future.

How long do you plan to live in your current residence? Do you think it’s likely, or reasonably possible at least, to move sometime within the next few years? If so, then built-ins may not be the route to take for additional storage. “They get so hung up on the built-in look that they don’t think into the future,” says Northrop of many in the storage-seeking set. He suggests considering built-ons if a clients future plans involve reserving a moving van. “It gives customers the option to be removable if they love the piece of furniture and want to take it with them.”

For more information about Hardwood Artisans built-ins, visit our Shirlington Showroom and speak to Larry Northrop himself!

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