Category Archives: cabinetry

Kitchen annex

kitchen annex                             The maple ApplePly and black walnut cabinet is adjacent to a kitchen and provides a variety of functions: shoe storage, device charging and storage, kitchen overflow, dog walking accouterments storage, and display space.  The kitchen was designed by engage:ARCHITECTURE and had been completed in 2011, and it was important that the annex connect well with the kitchen.  The clean lines of the mitrered ApplePly boxes contrast well with the inset black walnut doors and drawers (and accent white laminate drawer front).  Push-to-open hardware negates the need for visible pulls and adds to the simple, unified look of the annex.  The layout of the upper cabinets and glass shelves extend the skylight element and take advantage of the natural light.

Cherry House

One of the larger projects to come out of the shop, this included cabinetry throughout the home as part of an extensive remodel.  The house is set into a steep lot, and the remodel design by Nir Pearlson Architect took advantage of abundant natural light, and turned a challenging multilevel floor plan into a living space comfortable for day-to-day use that is also open and inviting for entertaining. Kitchen                               Dining room buffet- Buffet                               Master bedroom wardrobe- A design of David Schmitz, the wardrobe features a mixture of drawers, open shelves, and clothes hangers concealed behind cherry sliding doors.  It was a minor miracle to have found a single piece of cherry for the bottom row of drawer faces (thank you Tree Products), and the continuity of the grain unifies the base of the wardrobe. Wardrobe                           Wardrobe2             Master bath vanity- Mbath                               Appleply laundry cabinets- Laundry    

Cherry and mirrors

mBath2                             A bathroom remodel, designed by engage:ARCHITECTURE, that features mirrored medicine cabinets backlit by LED's, and cherry vanity cabinet and tub panels.  The lighting design is outstanding; and in addition to the visual element, the toe kick lights enhance nighttime accessibility by lighting the floor with a low-intensity source. mBath

ApplePly art studio

StudiocornerThe client had been working on the conversion of a garden room into an insulated and heated art studio.  The room would still retain the functions of garden tool storage and candle making area, but she also wanted a dedicated space for her multiple mediums of art and where supplies could be stored at close reach. Studio ApplePly, manufactured right here in Eugene, was an easy material choice.  The eastern maple panel faces are perfect for slab doors and drawer fronts, and the uniform laminations make a distinctive exposed edge; and, without any need to face the edges, the cost savings helped keep the budget down.  Osmo Polyx oil and wax finish brings out a warm glow in the maple, and creates a durable coating without the high VOC's of most other finishes.  Angle iron from the scrap yard was repurposed as drawer and door pulls, and the weathered steel texture is in subtle contrast to the ApplePly.

Harry Potter Nook

HPcubby     Thankfully, Harry Potter had more room under the stairs than this; and though the space is fairly small and asymmetric, it needed structure.  This nook had been used for stereo equipment, but as the homeowner pointed out: a stereo system composed of multiple components connected by wires is quickly becoming an anachronism.  Nothing against solid state electronics.     HPdrawers The design is a balance between making efficient use of a relatively small space and creating something that gives the impression of symmetry in an asymmetrical space.  The nook is in a hallway, but is adjacent to the kitchen and adds a bit of needed storage for things that don't need to be close at hand.  The layout is a mixture of double drawers (one big drawer with an over sized drawer front and a small drawer tucked in above) and a couple doors with adjustable shelves.  

Bathroom Vanity

IMG_5656 (502x800) Who puts carpet in a water closet?  Not the current owner, but it was like that when they moved in and it must have been original to the house.  The master suite has a open floor plan and the photo(9) (428x640)bedroom and bath spaces share a room, but are separated by a bank of closets.  The floor plan gives a spacious feeling to the room, but the lack of more obvious boundaries (such as doors) to delineate the various spaces within the suite made it difficult to decide where to draw the lines.  The project budget ultimately decided how far to go with the tile; and I replaced the carpet with tile in the water closet and in front of the vanity for a nice update to the master bath, not to mention a more sanitary and practical floor covering for such a location.  The layout of the new maple cabinets was basically the same, but tweaked to accommodate a second sink with drawers worked in below the plumbing for added storage.  The client and I picked a manufactured stone remnant at a local yard and had the sinks under mounted.   IMG_5658 (505x800)

Before and After Bath

Panorama A before and after image of a small bathroom remodel (pictures taken from different perspectives).  The homeowner wanted to update the look of the small guest bathroom by adding tile to the floor, wainscot to the walls, and custom vanity cabinet and medicine cabinet trim.  To the left of the vanity, aHiddenPanel panel door on a push latch opens to reveal a bit of hidden storage. The homeowner liked the look and space saving of using a one-piece vanity sink/top, but we were both unimpressed with the quality of the off-the-shelf cabinets.  The cabinets we found were made overseas using materials that would not hold up well in the moist conditions of a bathroom.  The prefab cabinets look nice in the show room, but after a few years of being exposed to normal use in a humid environment, the mdf (or whatever the fiber press board material) begins to swell and flake the paint, and the hardware begins to loose its grip and pull out of the doors and face frame.  As they say, the cheap becomes expensive.  This vanity cabinet was made with poplar grown right here in Oregon, and finished with a high quality, low-VOC alkyd paint that will wear well in a bathroom.  All three drawers are usable to maximize storage capacity, and the top two are U-shaped to accommodate the the plumbing drain assembly. In a small space like this, sneaky storage goes a long way to making things feel bigger than they really are.  

Cherry Kitchen

Whenever I deliver work, I will often tell clients that the first time they see it completed will be the "worst" that it will look, under the logic that, with time, the color and visual depth of the wood will only improve.  If that is true for most woods, cherry stands out as one that takes years (or at least many months) to really develop its full depth.  With a good quality oil or wax based finish and no stain, cherry will develop a rich red-burnt brown color on its own.  For this kitchen, the client wanted the final color to be less dark than a natural finished cherry, and to be orange without being identifiably orange.

Saylor Painting worked up an array of samples, and we decided on a finish that started with a deep yellow dye-stain, followed by a more orange-brown pigmented stain, and topped with a couple coats of water-based lacquer.  This method yielded a bright red, orange-but-not-orange, tone.  With the water-based lacquers, which tend to have somewhat less depth of color and luster versus their solvent-based cousins, it is especially difficult to achieve a deeply toned color to the wood; but Saylor really made nice work of it.

The south facing wall of this kitchen is framed by two sets of corner windows that shower the space with natural light; and now that the cabinets have been in place for nearly a year and the color has developed, the wood simply glows.  Aside from the stain on the cabinets, I can claim no responsibility for the color scheme in the kitchen; and all that credit goes to the client.  The combination of creamy walls with the black granite counters and the black, white, and grey glass tile backsplash allow for the cabinets to really stand out.

A set of three pull-out pantry cabinets were a solution to the problem of limited wall space, as there was no feasible location for a large wall pantry cabinet.  (There was little available space for upper cabinets, perhaps the downside of two corner window sets, two passages to adjacent rooms, an outside door, and a pass through, all in a modestly sized kitchen).  In base cabinets, items stored towards the back are often forgotten, or at least can be frustrating to access; and, the pull-out pantries bring the storage out into the open for easier access.

The kitchen island (pictured below) functions as a work space, prep area, and central location to mix, pour, and sample a well deserved cocktail.  Plus, the storage underneath is perfect for larger cookware that usually clutters a standard sized lower cabinet.

Larry of Nova Woodworks made the butcher block top.  He has the machines (most notably, the dual head wide belt sander) to handle a larger, 36" wide top; and besides the basic dimensions, my only instructions to Larry were that the client wanted a maple butcher block with a cherry "rally" stripe.  She was thrilled with the top, especially with the matching cutting board that Larry made (for fun) with some of the off-cuts.  Butchen block counter tops are another one of those things that get better with age, and it is all the spills, stains, scratches, and scuffs that create a patina and improve the appearence.

 

The Professors

Parts of two new faculty offices that were conveniently just a couple doors down from one another, both in Oregon white oak.  The offices were recently renovated; and the two new faculty occupants were in need of space efficient cabinetry and furniture that provided good function without taking up valuable floor space.  Offices on campus are typically small (the larger of the two measures about 14' x 14'), especially in the aged Condon Hall, where offices were chopped up and made into even more offices.

In the first office, bookcases with built-in space for a fridge, small counter with room for a tea kettle and accoutrements, and a microwave (not pictured); and a small Prairie-inspired meeting table and set of three chairs of white oak with a Polyx Oil finish.  Osmo Polyx Oil is a low-VOC, hand applied finish made from plant-based oils and waxes, and has become my favorite to use on most furniture and some cabinetry.  It soaks into the grain and dries hard, creating a durable finish that brings out woods natural beauty.  Plus, it is apparently approved for use on children's toys in Germany, so if German kinder can chew on it, then what more reason do I need?

With chairs, so much of the effort is spent setting up each operation during the building process.  Even with a fairly simple chair design, as these were, each chair part needs to be touched eight or ten or twelve or more times just to get it ready for assembly.  And with so much time spent on the set up, rather than making three, I made ten.  (Plus, I needed new chairs for the kitchen, because the several times reglued and reupholstered hand-me-down dining room chairs were just about spent).

In the second office, the client wanted space for books, a locking drawer, and places to set photos and plants.  In order to keep the cabinet from being too dominant in the office, I staggered the heights of the sections and left plenty of space around the window.  (The office has nearly 12' ceilings, which is two feet taller than the office is wide, so if the cabinet were too tall it would quickly diminish the light scattered by the upper walls and cause it to feel more closed in).