I can't resist starting with the "After" on this one.
My latest customers called me soon after they bought a relatively new home here in Asheville. It was in one of the nicer subdivisions, and the builders included a beautiful fireplace with an empty niche next to it.
It can be tricky to find the right piece of furniture for little nooks like these. The prior owners had used a large armoire which was too bulky and dark for the room.
My customer's choice of pre-fab shelves was a little less overwhelming, but it didn't offer much storage.
We worked together to design a simple built-in entertainment center with cupboard doors that could hide the kids' toys.
Above the doors, we added two semi-floating shelves for books and decorative objects. Then we painted the whole unit to match the trim.
The end result is probably what the architects had in mind when they left that empty space.
I did most of the construction in my workshop...
... which minimized the disruption for the homeowners.
The doors were handmade for the unit to ensure a perfect fit. I used oak stiles to resist warping and twisting.
The upper shelves were made with a double thickness of plywood to resist sagging. This is a big difference between handmade shelving and the mass-produced stuff: a factory made piece might be built with thinner material.
The final piece looks like it was built with the house.
The homeowners also had us repaint the room in a light, fresh gray which coordinates beautifully with the white cabinet and mantel.
If you've got an empty niche and need a place to hide your AV equipment (or your kids' toys) give us a call. We'll be glad to help you design a custom storage solution that's right for you needs.
I'm Arthur Teel, a craftsman who builds custom furniture in Asheville, North Carolina. Give me a call to talk about your next project!