Custom Hand Made Furniture & Cabinets
Walk into a local store and find a piece of furniture or a cabinet that you think you might like to have in your home. Then find a sales person and ask them if it can be made a bit narrower so it will fit perfectly in that little space next to the recliner in the family room. When you don't get a reaction, ask if it can be made of solid black walnut instead of plastic veneer and particle board. Then ask them if they can add a small drawer to hold the remote control. Does this sound like a crazy concept to you?
Mass production has all but eliminated options for customization on the retail market. If a feature doesn't fit into a manufacturer's factory operation, it simply isn't an option. So today's retail furniture and cabinet shopper is stuck settling for generic, overpriced imported junk that will likely be put out to the curb within 5 years of purchase, so that they can start the unsatisfying process all over again. As consumers, we've been conditioned to accept that this is just the way it is. But it doesn't have to be that way.
By commissioning a piece of custom hand made furniture or cabinetry, you get to make all the decisions. There are no standard dimensions, base models, or limited options. The custom hand made process starts with a blank canvas, and your needs and desires. Do you want solid American cherry? I can do that. Does it need to fit into a certain space within your home? No problem, I can dimension it to fit any space perfectly. Would you like the doors to have solid wood raised panels, or divided hand made glass? The design is limited only by your imagination.
The Design Process
Every piece of custom hand made furniture and cabinetry starts with a design meeting. The goal of this meeting is to assess the space available for the desired piece, your specific tastes and style preferences, and the specific functional requirements. Based upon our discussions, and your budget for the project, I will recommend several design solutions.
After a basic design idea has been established, I'll prepare several rough sketches to help us both visualize the concept. These sketches will be modified and refined through additional discussions, providing ample opportunity for you to make changes and provide input on specific design features. After the design specifics are agreed upon, a final set of working drawings is prepared and provided for your approval. These detailed drawings provide a near final rendering of the piece and a better representation of the overall appearance.
The finest custom hand made furniture and cabinets can only be made from the finest raw materials. From the hidden interior components, to the primary exterior show surface, solid wood is the best material choice, and consequently, it is the only material that I use. Even veneered surfaces (which are preferred when rare or expensive woods are chosen) are created from solid wood veneers attached to stable solid wood substrates.
Being a natural material, every tree, and therefore every board, is unique. Even boards from the same tree can have slight variations in color and character. This inconsistency in the material is what makes furniture and cabinets made from solid wood so much more beautiful and interesting than furniture and cabinets made from manufactured materials. However, it also presents challenges to the builder in terms of matching color and figure between different parts of the finished piece. Great care must be taken well before the finishing stage to ensure the best possible color and figure match between boards. Dyes and stains, and other artificial toners can only correct so much, and only for so long, because the color of many woods naturally turns darker or lighter as they age.
A beautiful, consistent finish starts with careful selection of the raw materials. In order to minimize color and figure variation between boards, pieces requiring more than a single board are built from boards that were consecutively sawed from a single tree, whenever possible. The boards are meticulously inspected to ensure that they'll be the perfect match for a particular project. Such careful attention during the raw material stage all but ensures a more beautiful finished product.