Viola Davis and Julius Tennon's display cabinetry is 'worth every cent' for the value it can add to a home

Use bespoke open shelving and cabinets to introduce delightful decorative moments to your home

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon
(Image credit: Getty Images / Paras Griffin / Stringer)

In a living space or home office, storage should restore calm, provide display space, and be suitably chic. The home of the actor-producers, Viola Davis and Julius Tennon prioritizes both functional storage and quality craftsmanship. But why should you invest in a bespoke piece of living room shelving? Well, the final result speaks for itself.

Like a tailored Tom Ford suit, a bespoke piece of living room storage should fit perfectly, function beautifully and look fantastic: some go as far as to dub it ‘interior couture’. Like their catwalk counterparts, artisan-designed solutions are an investment, but they offer standout and esoteric results. 

Commissioning a bespoke piece of furniture or shelving is a chance to have something completely individual, tailored to your tastes as well as helping to support a rich tradition of furniture design and craftsmanship

Commissioning bespoke items can appeal to those who don’t want recognizable items in their houses. ‘It can answer design challenges, too,’ says Mike Fisher, founder and creative director of Studio Indigo. ‘Sometimes it’s simply impossible to find the right piece at the right price, finish, or scale – going bespoke allows us to create the perfect piece.’ But it also attracts those who like the idea of supporting the arts and craftsmanship, as well as the satisfaction of owning an original piece that will endure.

‘There’s a growing awareness of sustainability and things made with integrity that will be passed down the generations,’ says Bruce Hodgson of Somerset-based bespoke joinery firm Artichoke.

In this space, the beautiful wall of bespoke joinery has been painted in a soothing, on-trend cream hue is hugely characterful and provides plenty of open storage and display space. The finishing touch was the lighting. Without the right living room lighting, it could end up looking almost 'invisible' during the evenings, so a blend of wall and overhead lighting was needed to create the right balance of atmosphere and practicality. The lights add to the overall ambiance.

When commissioning a piece of bespoke joinery, consideration is needed to ensure that the cabinetry style complements the room’s aesthetics as well as being of the correct scale and proportion, says cabinetmaker Ed Keyser. 

‘Built-in shelving or cabinetry is not only an investment and will hopefully add value to your property but is also personal to you as you will be living with it every day.'

Finally, when creating storage, consider how it will be used and make sure you think about shelves versus drawers to make sure it doesn't become a dumping ground for items you don't know what to do with.

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.