Design Tips 

For Built-In & Free-Standing Cabinetry

How to design and layout Built In cabinets

Home Offices: 

       Keep in mind, your cabinets will last many years but what you store within them will change, therefore keep cabinet sizes generic....

Desk knee hole (chair) spaces should be 36" wide. In this 36" wide space you may have a pencil drawer, open keyboard slide or our drop down keyboard (conceals the keyboard and appears like a pencil drawer).

Allow approximately 24" of space from the desk top to a wall hung cabinet above.

Wall hung cabinets directly above the chair space/desk top area should not exceed 12" in depth.

Using our keyboard slide, a 24" desk depth in most cases is satisfactory. Use a 30" depth for working at home full time if space allows.

Allowing  an open desktop space width of 60" provides enough space to "spread out".

Protect the desk top working area with a piece of glass (placed on top of finished surface). Consider a plastic laminate surface for full time usage.

On one side of your desk area / chair area have 1 file drawer and 2 box style drawers for "current hot files and everyday stuff". On the other side, consider a single, pocket door base cabinet to house a tall cpu tower.

Don't have a computer yet? ...still opt for the drop down style keyboard slide which will act as a pencil drawer but provide the option later.......

30" high base cabinets work well for a desk height. Office chairs are often adjustable in height to assist for the best comfort level.

Typically, 24" deep cabinets will house most printers, cpu's and fax machines. It's better to have too much space than to be searching for components to fit. Components will change and/or be replaced however your cabinets will last a very long time!

Use a pull-out slide shelf for any equipment where you must access the top of the machine. Do not needlessly add pull out shelves, as they limit the vertical space adjustability in the future.

Lateral style file drawers are easier to design with than front to back file drawers. Also, as you are sitting at your desk, they are easier to read the contents as you will not twist your neck!

Most home files are letter size. The few legal size files you may have can be folded to fit in a letter size file.

Print out our form to help you list all the dimensions for your equipment


Entertainment Centers:


 measure all components: include the width, depth and height

Keep in mind, your cabinets will last many years but what you store within them will change, therefore keep cabinet sizes generic!

Large Screen TV'S........... Often it is difficult to fully enclose a large wide screen television. It is even more difficult to put these large units behind pocket doors. The cabinets and specifically, the doors would be too wide for superior construction techniques. However, bridges above the tv and panels on the lower portion will provide a built-in appearance. With today's changing tv electronics, an open area will provide greater flexibility.

Depths..........A 18" to 24" deep cabinet will house most stereo and related equipment (cable box, bluray, playstation/wii, receiver, etc.) behind doors. Although many units are now shallow in depth (front to back dimension) they still require extra space for wires and space to "breathe".  Be sure to include protruding wires and knobs when measuring. The useable interior depth of our cabinetry is approximately 1-1/2" less than the overall cabinet depth.

Widths....... Stereo components are typically 17" wide, however the mini systems are smaller in width. Pocket doors may be used to conceal a small television or stereo equipment. These doors slide back into a cabinet to reveal the entire contents. Pocket doors take up an additional 3- 1/2" of space in available width. To have adjustable shelves inside a cabinet with pocket doors (for stereo equipment), an additional insert unit must be made for the shelf ends to sit on. This insert unit will decrease the available working width an additional 3" of space. Therefore, including the cabinet sides and solid trim, you may require a cabinet as much as 8- 1/2" wider than the component you wish to store.  A 36" wide cabinet with pocket doors will house a smaller, 27" diagonal tv and we often use a 24" wide cabinet to house stereo equipment.

Corner Cabinets......... We do not manufacture corner cabinets but rather place rectangular cabinets on a diagonal and fill the balance of space for the same effect. In general, a true corner cabinet  looks great but needs a tremendous amount of wall space and offers little interior working space! We often receive a request to place a large tv in the corner of a room at a diagonal. Please bear in mind, the space required on both sides of the "triangle" floor and wall space are quite large. Since the television cabinet may require at least a 24" depth this will also greatly increase the necessary space on each adjoining wall. Consider a regular cabinet with a pull-out tv swivel for a maximum 32" tv to provide the same viewing angle. For larger, thin screen  televisions they can be placed on top of base cabinets placed on a diagonal in an open, non-enclosed space. Corner configurations will be more expensive.

Speakers.......... Today's systems' often will require a left, right, center and sub-woofer speakers. The speakers can be placed on adjustable shelves or fixed shelves to be concealed behind our fabric speaker panel doors. Rear, surround sound speakers (left and right) should be behind you, and typically will not be in the entertainment center.

Wires etc............... All our cabinets have an integral wire management system to handle all those cords! Grommet holes are drilled in appropriate areas to bring wires from a lower section to an upper area, above the counter top. We will help you coordinate and suggest any other additional work to eliminate any potential problems and meet your specific requirements.

Print out our form to help you list all the dimensions for your equipment