Should You Decide On Built-In Furniture?

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Pondering on the merits of choosing built-in furniture is another major decision that a homeowner will likely carefully consider at some point.
But is the cost and effort really worth the benefits?
To help you answer this question and decide if you should go ahead with your integrated furniture plans, we’ve gathered a list of pros and cons for three types of built-in options:

1) Kitchen Cabinets

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The Pros

  • It’s Practical

Built-in kitchen cabinets, especially custom-builds are a sensible choice in smaller kitchens.
This is because it can be tailored to fit into tiny spaces, as well as make use of odd angles and dead spaces.
  • Premium Appearance

The aesthetic of built-in cabinets often appear rather high-end, even with the more cost-friendly prefab versions.
Also, since it is the most popular type of built-in furniture, expect a ton of variety when it comes to materials, colours, and designs, etc.
You’ll be able to adapt your cabinets to the prevailing décor with ease.
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  • Higher Market Value

Homes with built-in kitchen cabinets have a reputation of potentially increasing resale values and rental rates in Malaysia.

The Cons

  • High Cost

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to hold off on built-in kitchen cabinets as they are relatively more expensive when compared to a free standing cabinet.
The average costs, inclusive of workmanship in Malaysia, runs from RM2,000 to RM6,000 or more, depending on the materials, construct, and levels of customisation, etc.
  • Can Be Challenging For Partial Remodels

If you have plans to fully upgrade or remodel your kitchen in the near future, it might be better to get a temporary cabinet instead.
This is because your built-in cabinet may not be able to withstand the renovations or integrate well i.e. stick out like a sore thumb against the general remodel.
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2) Wardrobe

The Pros

  • Easier To Stay Organised

Although there are plenty of free standing ready-made cupboards to choose from; built-ins offer far greater functional range and customisability.
This often equals more purposeful and efficient organisation of clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. In turn, it also becomes easier to maintain and keep the bedroom/dedicated space neat.
  • Maximise Space

Built-in wardrobes can take the place of multiple pieces of storage furniture fitted into a bedroom/dedicated space.
For instance, clothing cupboards, vanities, drawer chests, and even bed frames, etc. can be combined along with lighted dressing mirrors in a single, tidy design.
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The Cons

  • Longer Completion Periods

The demand for built-in wardrobes in Malaysia is not as high as kitchen cabinets and thus, it may take more time to source for certain materials, especially if importing.
  • Higher Cost

As with kitchen cabinets, built-in wardrobes do cost more. And as mentioned previously, if you are seeking unique materials or distinctive custom builds, your wardrobe could come with a hefty price tag.
Average costs for basic built-ins run from RM3,000 to RM6,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the construct (e.g. adding a bed frame) as well as the materials’ choice, etc.
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3) Bench Sets

The Pros

  • It’s Sturdier

When compared to basic quality dining tables and chairs or fast dining furniture, built-in bench sets will typically have them beat.
This can be owed to the general foundational construct of the benches i.e. concrete built into walls, which make them much tougher and long-lasting.
  • Works For Larger Families

Bench seats and tables can, on average, accommodate a larger number of people than a standard 6-seat dining table – and at the same time, takes up less space.
This is because it can be built into corners, leaving more free space available. Still, it is versatile enough to work for small spaces, as the design is often customisable.
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The Cons

  • Can Be Tricky To Redecorate

If you are prone to redecorate often, you’ll find that committing to built-in bench sets may not be the right way to go.
This type of furniture is generally inflexible and furthermore, it may require costly hacking work to remove, depending on the nature of the construct.
  • Can Be Dull In Appearance

Built-in dining bench sets do not often stand out for its appearance as the aesthetic tends to run raw. It is best fitted with the unfinished look of industrial-style homes.
Thus, it’s common to find bench sets made out of simple concrete, stone, or repurposed wood. This might not fit in with contemporary décor.
Of course, since it is customisable; you can upgrade to materials with a high-end appearance e.g. marble, but it will expectedly cost more.
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This post was contributed by Qanvast
Qanvast is the go-to renovation platform for homeowners to meet a right interior firm for their home makeover. Submit a simple form to start meeting interior designers, discuss your home design and compare quotes.