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Thorne Group


The advantages of built-in furniture

Built-in furniture was often a pivotal feature within Frank Lloyd Wright homes, defining how people—and their things—were meant to occupy his iconic buildings. Over recent years we have started to see a resurgence of built-in furniture. From high-end homes to tiny houses, custom fitted furniture has many advantages. There's just something about built-in furniture that, if done correctly, beautifully marries form with function.

Be it a reading nook, recessed dressing table, built-in desk within a study nook, under-stair display unit, integrated dining table or TV cabinetry - built-in pieces are a delightful combination of style (providing the design is cohesive and adds character to the design) and function.

One of the key benefits of built-in furniture is that it is a a brilliant space-saving strategy. It therefore works particularly well within our ‘small but smart’ homes, making better use of available space while being unobtrusive and minimalist; giving you the ability to create the illusion of more space as well as ensuring that there is no wasted space.

Our advice is to work with a quality joiner or cabinetmaker to create your furniture.

Examples from previous Thorne Group homes ...

Window seats

Window seats are a popular feature in homes that we design. There is just something about being able to curl up with a book and bask in the sunshine. Storage can also be integrated within the design.

It is essential window seats are well placed, especially to capture sun and views. In this home (designed by #thornegrouparchitecture), the view of the Mount is framed perfectly.

Multi-award winning Thorne Group show homes: 2017 Thorne Group showhome above and current showhome below. The current showhome incorporates storage with drawers underneath for additional functionality.


Built-in shelves can act as both storage, display or even a room divider (as in the case in this Thorne Group home ).

Adding functionality to an entrance

This entrance features a place to hang hats, scarfs and a large, functional pull-out drawer for storing shoes.

Examples of built-in desks with overhead storage. Adding a window to provide an exterior outlook delivers both light and sense of space.

This built-in desk was integrated with a window seat in the clients bedroom.

Built-in dining

This home was a alteration and space was at a premium. The primary objective was to save space which was helped by integrating a dining table within the kitchen. As an aside we were able to add another design aspect by repurposing the old (rimu) window lintels and transform them into the table top for the client.

In this home the integrated dining serves as a secondary informal dining area for the family.

Built-in seating

Built-in seating was pivotal to the design in this case and seating is custom made for the corner sunken lounge.

TV Cabinetry

The recesses in this home are designed within the structure of the building to house the TV and window seat. This allowed the cabinetry to sit perfectly with the protruding wall. The effect was that the functional elements were transmuted into a design feature.

In this streamlined design the TV is hidden behind a sliding door. The clients did not want the TV to be a focal point in the room, but at the same time wanted it positioned in a practical location.


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