Built-In Office Furniture Using Semi-Custom Cabinets

By Todd Fratzel on Design, Finish Carpentry

Built-In Office Furniture

Kraftmaid Cabinets Office DeskOne of the most used “areas” of our new home is the built-in office space that we created in our breakfast nook. One of the really cool things you can do with semi-custom cabinets is put together built-in office furniture, entertainment systems, book cases or any other type of furniture assemblies. For our new home we used KraftMaid cabinetry.

We created this built-in office furniture using a file drawer cabinet on the left, a desk drawer in the center and a regular cabinet on the right. Then we were able to order a solid hardwood desk top to cover it. In the right hand cabinet is our computer. We cut a circular hole in the desk top and installed a plastic “grommet” so we could run all of the computer cords into that cabinet.

The upper cabinets are regular wall units with a “cubbie” cabinet mounted to the bottom of the center cabinet. That works well for storing bills and important daily paper work. This office furniture ends up being the center of quite a few activities. We are able to pay bills and use the internet in close proximity to our kids playing or one of us cooking dinner.

Semi-Custom vs Custom

One of the reasons that we like using semi-custom cabinetry is the cost. By using semi-custom cabinets it’s possible to design built-in furniture that looks like custom. The key really is having a keen design eye or working closely with a cabinet design professional. Almost all hardware and building supply stores offer several lines of semi-custom cabinets to choose from.

Benefits of Built-In Office Space

The other HUGE benefit to this setup is going to be when our children are a little older. We want to be able to easily supervise our kids when they are on the computer and more specifically on the internet. With all the news these days about children being contacted on the internet by predators we want to be able to keep a very close eye on them. This way we can all be doing our thing all the while being very close to the computer. Sad to say times have changed and you just can’t be too careful with your kids.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Ethan says:

    I think that’s a great setup. It looks great and is really functional. I also think your smart to plan ahead for your kids like that. I hope to do something similar. Where did you purchase the cabinets?

  2. Jennifer says:

    Nice setup! Your kids will hate you… because you are keeping them safe. :) They will secretly like being part of the kitchen hubub, too.

    It looks great… very functional and classy. Should be something that weathers time very well!

  3. Todd says:

    The cabinets are Kraftmaid. You can buy Kraftmaid at most lumber yards including the big orange one that I don’t particularly like.

  4. Anita says:

    I love this! We’re planning on doing something similar for toy/book storage in each of the kids’ rooms at some point in the future (that point being determined by how long it takes to gather up the cabinets at the rate of maybe one cabinet per month…)

  5. Anonymous says:

    We want to do something like this too. I like the idea of piecing together the desk. Where did you order the desktop from? And how did you get the finish/material to match the drawers and cabinets?

  6. Office Furniture says:

    Its a great set up. I like how it doesn’t take up much room, saving people the space that some of us don’t really have in our homes that really smaller these day.

  7. office furniture says:

    Creative. I liked the built-in idea. The over-all look didn’t even made me think that it was made from different pieces.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Looks great. A couple of questions if you could please answer so I can make this same attempt.

    1) Did you have to cut the existing baseboards to get it flush to the wall? If not, what did you do?

    2) How hard were the cabinets to hang? One man job?

  9. Todd - Home Construction Improvement says:

    I installed the cabinets when we built the house so it was installed prior to the baseboard. However, you can simple remove your existing baseboard, install the cabinets, then cut the old baseboard and re-install.

    Cabinets can be a one man job for intermediate to advanced handy man skills. I’d say you want a partner in crime if you’ve never done something like this.

    Best of luck,

  10. Fine cabinetry adds beauty and value to your home. From a full Kitchen remodel to replacing just the cabinets how renovation is always exciting.

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