Undercover Architect

How to preplan your joinery needs for your renovation


Joinery can be a costly element in your design process, but Undercover Architect Amelia Lee provides some invaluable tips on careful preplanning.

Amelia defines joinery as the process of building in display and storage areas instead of using furniture. Common examples of the joinery would be:

  • kitchen cupboards
  • cupboards and wardrobes
  • shelving and storage nooks
  • built in office furniture including bookcases and shelving

Amelia explains that good joinery design can create an uncluttered and integrated feel within your home.  Choosing similar materials for the joinery throughout the house, perhaps used slightly differently between say, wet areas and other rooms also helps create a seamless flow between the rooms. This flow also can be applied from inside to outdoor areas.

“We can go overboard on the amount of storage that we provide for our homes and I think you just need to do it intentionally,” she said.

Here are Amelia’s top 4 tips for pre-planning your joinery:

  1. Ask yourself what you need to store and where.
  2. Consider your ‘level of intention’ which is what you may need to access often and quickly, versus more permanent storage
  3. Plan for easy access to everyday things. For example having a specific place/storage for car keys to schoolbags can create less chaos in your life.
  4. If your budget doesn’t allow for built in joinery and a piece of furniture will suffice, then allow space for future additions to your display and storage areas.


About Amelia Lee – Undercover Architect

Amelia Lee is the architect behind Undercover Architect. Undercover Architect operates mainly online to help homeowners (especially women) design and plan their future new homes and renovations. Think of it as your secret ally in getting it right, and saving time, money and stress – whoever you’re working with to create or transform your home.

Watch more from our interview with Amelia

I’ve got an Undercover Architect on the job!

How did the Undercover Architect journey start?

How do you select the right architect?

Do I need a project manager for my renovation?

Should you move in before renovating or renovate before you move in?

We ask Amelia Lee: How do you select the right builder?

Cutting costs. What are Amelia Lee’s non-negotiables?

How to balance your champagne tastes with a beer budget

How to ask the right questions so you’re on the front foot with your builders and architects

How do I know if I am being taken for a ride?

Undercover Architect project cheat sheet

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