The ability to tailor built-ins to suit your particular needs and floor plan gives them a functional
advantage over store-bought furniture. Instead of a space-hogging sit-down desk for this kitchen office, designer Scott W. Smith tucked a stand-up command center into a narrow
sliver of wall between the hallway into the room and doors leading to a screened-in porch. Eliminating the need for a chair kept the high-traffic area clear of obstacles and also freed up room for three rows of drawers under a 36-inch-high, stained-wood countertop. The top drawers hold office supplies, the middle ones are for hanging files, and the bottom ones stow newspapers and catalogs until they're ready to be dumped into the recycling
bin. Cubbies above the desktop are for organizing
mail and cookbooks, and the latched doors up top hide phone books. Floor-to-ceiling shelves on the hallway
side of the built-in create even more usable space, while a recessed toekick on the kitchen-facing side helps give the entire piece an elegant, furniturelike look.
IDEA: The beauty of built-ins is that you can customize them to work best for the people who will use them most. Thirty-six inches is standard counter height for a stand-up desk, but you can vary the height so it’s comfortable for you.