Published February 19, 2013
Built-in furniture has been a part of residential architecture for hundreds of years, but it wasn't until the Arts and Crafts movement that built-ins reached their full potential. The dining room buffet in particular has emerged as one of my favorite built-in pieces. Whether it features a china cabinet, acts as more of a sideboard, is recessed into the wall or projects into the room, it allows a small dining area to live large.
Since the Arts and Crafts movement, built-in dining buffets have been modified and styled to work beautifully in many different types of homes. From classic sideboards in stained wood to modern buffets in a mix of finishes, dining room built-ins are home runs in terms of storage, style and sophistication.
In Arts and Crafts homes, you're likely to find an open dining area with a built-in buffet. In some, the buffet even features a pass-through to the kitchen, as efficiency was a top priority in the Arts and Crafts movement.
Stained wood built-ins work well in tones that go with the other wooden features in the room, including flooring. Notice that in this dining room even the table and chairs complement the buffet.
The flush toe kick integrated with the existing baseboard helps make this dining sideboard appear as if it has always been there.
In this historic residence in San Francisco, leaded glass windows are this built-in buffet's crowning glory.
The mirror above this built-in buffet makes the dining room appear as if it features a pass-through, while really it's just a space-gaining illusion.
A soapstone countertop and floating shelves contribute to this modern take on the built-in dining buffet.
A bright white built-in buffet/china cabinet pops against walls painted Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue.
Tim Andersen restored this Seattle Craftsman dining room by removing the drywall ceiling to expose the original box beams. He also added painted MDF wainscoting with battens, built to the height of the existing windows to flank the stunning built-in buffet.
Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish -- online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals around the world. Rachel Grace is a contributor to Houzz.