What is the purpose of a wall unit? Basically, it is a piece of furniture used for storage. It’s a very functional type of cabinet, yet a wall unit can be customized to complement the style of any room. Used in both homes and businesses, wall units solve storage problems, add to the design of a room, and can even become the room’s focal point.
When choosing a wall unit for your space, there are several questions that need to be answered. The first and most important question is, “What will the wall unit store?” Common uses for wall units are entertainment centers, book or toy shelving, clothing storage, kitchen storage and office storage. Although, wall units are conventionally used for these purposes, they can be used for whatever purpose is needed.
It is becoming common to see wall units, which typically are placed up against a wall, to be brought out from the wall and used as a room divider. They are also being used inside of walk in closets to organize clothing. In older homes that have very little closet space, wall units can take the place of a closet.
Once you know what will be stored in the wall unit, the next question to be asked is “What type of shelves, cabinets, drawers, etc. do I need in the unit to accommodate what will be stored?” Sometimes, a simple series of shelves are all that is needed to store books and collectables. Other times, glass doors need to cover the shelves.
Wall units can be a series of shelves, cabinets, drawers and even large closet size cabinets all working together in one piece of furniture. For an entertainment unit, usually there is a space in the middle that will accommodate a television and that space is surrounded by shelving that holds video, stereo and audio equipment. There may be cabinets on either side to hold media such as dvd’s and cd’s.
In an office setting a desk may be part of the wall unit with storage for computers, printers, files and supplies surrounding the desk. In a bedroom, a wall unit may take up one complete wall of the room. It may be comprised of a large closet like cabinet, drawers for storage, and shelving for entertainment pieces. The configurations for wall units are endless.
The next question that needs to be asked is, “What material will the wall unit be made of?” Here again, the possibilities are endless. Solid wood units of oak, maple, yellow cedar, padauk, American or European beech, purple heart wood, alder or cherry are all popular choices.
When choosing a solid wood piece consider what will complement the space it will be placed in and also the durability needed for the piece. If you are simply using the cabinet as storage for a collection, say of dolls or trophies, there will not be much wear and tear on the piece. A less durable, less expensive wood can be used. However, some wall units get a lot of use. Entertainment units have drawers and cabinet doors that get opened frequently. It is best choose more durable material for these types of wall units.
Wall units and wall cabinets can also be made from a combination of solid wood, particle board and wood veneers. Metal and glass are also sometimes used for wall units.
Another question to be asked is, “Can the unit I need be found already made or do I need a custom wall unit made.” Because wall units are a very popular type of furniture, there are many pre-made units to choose from. Pre-made units will most likely be less expensive than custom made wall units. If you are on a budget, it is a good idea to do some research into what is already available for purchase.
However, if you are looking for something unique, something to fit an odd sized wall, or something that looks like it is part of the house itself, then having a custom wall unit made is a good choice. Custom wall units and custom cabinets can be designed to fit in the exact space you have available. They can also be designed to exactly accommodate the things you need stored.
Custom wall units and cabinets are often used for the following purposes: fireplace surrounds, library shelving, built-in desk with wall units, and built in kitchen units. They can be used for whatever purpose you choose, however. One of the benefits of custom built wall units is that they can be built right into the walls, giving the impression that they were built to be a part of the room. They often give a rich, elegant feeling to a room.
If you choose custom wall units or cabinetry, you can have it done through professionals at a home improvement store, a business that specializes in wall units or cabinets, or you can hire a professional carpenter to do a completely unique unit.
Other questions to ask yourself when choosing a wall unit might be, “Do the shelves need to be adjustable?” “Will it be easily movable if needed?” and “Is it the right material for my kids?” A wall unit with glass doors may be beautiful, but it may be impractical and unsafe if you have small children.
Once you’ve answered these questions, it is time to buy your wall unit. If you have decided to go the custom route, contact some professionals for estimates. If you are going to buy a pre-made wall unit, start shopping around. Go to both stores and search on the Internet. Look through catalogs. Be thorough in your search to make sure you are getting the best wall unit to meet your needs along with the best price.
There is one other option for creating your wall unit. You could tackle the project and do it yourself. Designing and building your own wall unit can get you exactly what you want and save you a lot of money, too.