The Bungalow Philosophy emphasized creating a space that was easier to clean and keep organized. Built-in furniture played a large part in accomplishing these goals.
Built-In Furniture is an explosion of ideas for any home owner...not just bungalow owners.
This explains why you will read about the history of the built-in and be treated to sketches and old photos on one page, and still get some "new ideas on an old concept" with a few more contemporary designs.
My love affair with built-in furniture began in the playroom of Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois.
Tolpin sketches out the perennial favorites: nooks, cupboards, breakfast areas and such. But he doesn't leave out the very simple (creating a small built-in shelf)...
...or the very clever and more complicated. Like this shoe cubby stairwell.
It's the usability paired with the design that draws me back to this book again and again for ideas. If you are a bungalow owner, it will help to have the ability to visualize how to alter an idea to fit the patterns in your home. With so MANY ideas to choose from in his books, this is very rarely a problem.
In terms of the execution of an idea, Tolpin will assume that you already have some basic woodworking skills and will provide a rough sketch of the plans.
There are a few step-by-step drawings of PARTS of plans, but this is not a step-by-step guide to building every idea pictured here. However, if you ever wanted to see sketches of how to create sliding panels and bookcases, dumbwaiters, veneered panels, pivoting desks, convertible window seats and Murphy-Beds, you will be as fascinated with this book as I am.
Tolpin does sneak in some important woodworking basics for the novice: how to install a straight built-in on a slanted floor; how to scribe a built-in tightly to a wall; how to create a header in a load bearing wall; and so on. But it is the photos and before & after room layouts that keep me flipping through this book again and again.
And it is the lack of open space UNDER built-in's (eliminating my dusting abd sweeping frustrations) that keep me dreaming of a new philosophy of housekeeping and design.