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10 Best Ways To Make Cabinets Look Like Built In Furniture

Make any cabinet look like built in furniture with a few changes & add-ons. Give your cabinets a custom, beautiful look with these tips!

Can You Make Cabinets Look Built In?

Yes, you can make most cabinets look built in. And, it can be pretty easy! With a few changes and additions to your cabinets, you can give them a beautiful, custom built in furniture look.

This will work on Ikea cabinets and storage, out-of-the-box unfinished cabinets, DIY cabinets, and even any existing built-in cabinets in your home.

Image of beautiful floor to ceiling built ins in an office. Text says" 10 Best Ways to make your cabinets look like furniture".

Here’s 10 ways to make your cabinets look like built in furniture.

10 Ways To Make Cabinets Look Like Furniture

If any of the written examples below are confusing, check out this video.

10 Best Ways To Make Cabinets Look Like Built In Furniture!

Cover The Cabinet Toe Kick With Baseboard

A toe kick might be nice under kitchen cabinets that you always use. But, if you have a base cabinet in other rooms, you can cover the toe kick with baseboard.

Adding baseboard to cabinets is a pretty quick and easy way to make your cabinets look like furniture. Check out my steps to cover toe kick with baseboard in another post.

Image of a built in cabinet with baseboard along bottom.
Covering the toe kick on this cabinet with baseboard gave this cabinet a built in furniture look.

Add Feet or Legs

If you need to keep that toe kick space under the base cabinet, you can add legs or feet instead. Adding legs or feet to base cabinets will instantly give it a beautiful built in custom furniture look.

Image of a dark brown wood stain with a brown glaze on a kitchen island. Kitchen island design ideas.
The island in our kitchen was built our with fluted wood trim and feet to make it look more like furniture.


My favorite pieces of furniture always have one thing in common, they always have trim molding. A little trim can add so much character and detail to any piece of furniture or cabinet.

You can hide the horizontal joint between 2 cabinets with a pretty chair rail molding.

Image of chair rail molding on built in cabinets.
That pretty chair rail hides the horizontal joint where 2 different cabinets connect.

Trim out the bottom edge of upper cabinets with trim to give that cabinet look more like furniture.

Image of molding on the bottom edge of upper cabinets.
To the right of the books, you can see how the bottom edge of the cabinets was trimmed out with more detail trim. Check out How to Cut An End Cap for Molding, like Chair Rail to see how to finish the molding ends correctly.

Add 3/4″ detail trim along the inside edge of the face frame of open cabinets to give them a beautiful, custom bit of extra character.

Stick to the sides and tops when adding trim inside the face of cabinets. Keep the bottom of the open cabinet flat. Check out 8 Best Ways To Finish Plywood Edges With Trim to see how.

Image of detail trim lining the inside of the face frame on open cabinets or bookshelves.
You can see the pretty 3/4″ trim lining the inside edge of the face frame on these cabinets. It’s a pretty detail that adds tons of character. And, it helps these open shelves look more like built in furniture.

Go Wall To Wall

Another big way to make cabinets look like built in furniture is to go wall to wall with the cabinets. If you can’t go wall to wall, go as wide as you can.

Going wall to wall with the cabinets in our office and family room instantly adds an eye-catching statement piece to the room. And, they constantly get comments from anyone visiting our home.

Large, organized home office with green storage cabinets and shelves with white walls and trim. And, organized office shelves with nice decorations.
If you have the option, going wall to wall with cabinets will instantly make them look more like built in furniture.

Fill Open Areas With Trim Or Paneling

Any open areas between cabinets can be filled with pretty picture frame molding or wood paneling.

Adding that detail between open areas visually joins the cabinets together, making it look like one large piece of built in furniture

Home office with light sage green cabinet storage. Huge library style shelves in a home office with a stained wood desk.
Another way to make cabinets look like furniture is to fill any open areas with trim or molding to match the built in cabinets. Then paint that area to match the cabinets for one big custom built in look! The open area behind this desk has picture frame trim.

Go Floor To Ceiling

Going floor to ceiling with built in cabinets is another great way to make those cabinets look high-end and more beautiful. See 10 ways to Add Height To Kitchen Cabinets for mode design ideas.

I am LOVING this Before and After Family Room Makeover Transformation! Check out the amazing pictures and budget friendly DIY projects.
Going floor to ceiling and wall to wall with our Family Room built-ins gave that room tons of storage and a beautiful feature wall!

Add Crown Molding

Whether your built in cabinets go to the ceiling or not, add crown molding. Crown molding is a beautiful way to top off your cabinets with even more detail that looks like built in furniture.

Image of layered crown molding on built in cabinet storage in an office.

Add Unique Hardware

And, don’t forget to add unique drawer pulls, knobs, and cabinet hardware. Avoid using the bulk pulls and knobs from the hardware store. Unique hardware will give your cabinets a custom look.

I am LOVING this Before and After Family Room Makeover Transformation! Check out the amazing pictures and budget friendly DIY projects.
The pretty pulls on the built ins I made for our Family Room have a vintage vibe that I LOVE.

Caulk All Open Joints And Cracks

For a polished look, use wood filler on all nail holes and caulk on any joints between pieces of wood. Also use caulk where the cabinets meet the wall, ceiling, or floor.

Caulk is key to giving your cabinets a real built in cabinetry look. Check out this post on When to Use Caulk or Wood Filler on Trim for an easy DIY guide.

Low budget blue and white linen curtains in a home office remodel.
Caulking all of the joints gives your built in cabinets a polished, beautiful finish.

Use A Custom Paint Or Stain Look

And, last but not least, pick a stand out paint color or go for a layered stain look that will really make your cabinets look like custom built in furniture.

Check out 25 beautiful furniture painting tutorials for easy DIY furniture painting steps and design inspiration.

Image showing an example of ways to make cabinets look like built in furniture.

That’s it for How To Make Cabinets Look Like Built In Furniture. I hope it helped you find a few ways to upgrade your cabinets!

You might also like, 10 BEST TIPS for Building Beautiful DIY Small Walk In Closet Built Ins or this post with 16 Great Ways to Repurpose an Open Formal Living Room.

More DIY Home Ideas For You

You might like this beautiful Easy DIY Coffered Ceiling.

Try this Simple DIY Coffered Ceiling Design I used to give my Dining Room ceiling a beautiful new look. Includes lots of pictures and a how to video. DIY Ceiling Design Ideas. DIY Ceiling Makeover Ideas.

Or, this post on the Best Ceiling Paint Finish: Flat vs Eggshell Sheen Results.

Image of a ceiling halfway painted with white eggshell sheen paint.

Check out 14 Best Ways to Renovate A Living Room on a Budget!

Image of a Living Room with text over it. Text says: 14 ways to update a Living Room on a budget.

Or this post with the 21 Cheap And Easy Ways To Make A Home Office Look Better!

Wall to Wall cabinets and bookshelves in a home office with tons of storage and great home office decorating ideas.

You might also like 24 Great Ways To Repurpose an Unused Dining Room.

Image text says "24 Great Ways To Repurpose your Unused Dining Room".

Feeling inspired? That’s it for ways to upgrade cabinets that you don’t use! Let me know if you have questions.

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