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I am one who always likes to keep my design options open. I have always enjoyed arranging and rearranging a room and never tire of moving furniture and accessories around as I “play”. I can do this for hours and thoroughly enjoy myself the entire time. It’s that interior design gene…

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So, it surprises me that I am such a big fan of built-in furniture. Attaching furniture to something appeals to me; perhaps it represents grounding and permanency. Inside the home I love built in window seats and dining room banquettes. Outside, I am drawn to a large built-in bench with comfy cushions and lots of throw pillows.

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I also like a built-in, swim-up bar in a pool.

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Or, an island of seating seemingly floating within a liquid world.

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An outdoor banquette appeals to me as much as one inside. I like the way the patio furniture is not matched and how those sitting on the bench can cozy up next to each other.

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Built-in furniture is often used as a space-saving design element.

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Sometimes its inclusion is more of an aesthetic preference—where free-standing furniture may compete with the architecture of the hardscaping.

Many do-it-yourselfers enjoy the effect on their pocketbook.

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All of my adoration for the built-in, however, is contingent on how it is appointed and married to the overall design. A bench attached to a railing and left void of cushions or pillows is a missed opportunity and simply gets in the way.

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I firmly believe that if you build it, they will come. Build it nicely and make it attractive; your friends and family will repay you with hours of smiles, laughter, and money’s-worth of use.

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