It's been a few weeks, but remember the mail organizer which I teased on my last post about the entryway cubby bench? It's finally done!
We were waiting for the countertop company to fabricate a piece of custom quartz for the top. And it was totally worth the wait. They did a great job. They even drilled a small hole to one side so that the desk doubles as a phone charging station.
Before we got started, this area was nothing much... just a little unused nook off the kitchen. It tended to collect gym bags and such.
However, it was centrally located in a high-traffic hallway between the front door & mudroom area, the kitchen, the coat closet (the door to the right), the master bedroom and the main floor bathroom.
Lots of homes have a spot like this near their kitchen. It's almost like the architect intended for it to be filled in with something. Well, that's what we're here for!
As I mentioned before, we had already built an entryway hutch to catch everyone's coats and shoes as they came in the front door.
However, the homeowner wanted a secondary place away from the door where everyone could safely stash things like phones, purses, mail and keys instead of piling them on the kitchen counter or breakfast bar.
I measured the nook and then had Faith draw up the design. I like the way she included a space in the middle for larger pieces of mail. There's always that one big envelope from the insurance company, that doesn't fit into your typical mail organizer.
Underneath we added a bulletin board which will serve as a rotating art display for the kids (or a place to keep restaurant take-out menus).
As usual I pre-assembled most of the pieces in my workshop. Our dog Silver was there to keep an eye on the proceedings.
We included a couple of extra semi-floating shelves high up on the wall to make the most use of the space. It might be a good spot for those papers that you can't throw away but will probably never need. (Or am I the only person that seems to collect that stuff?)
As I mentioned, this is right at the hub of the home, so you can get dressed in the morning, walk out of your bedroom, grab your keys and phone... and be ready for the day.
The little girl in the family was really excited about this project, because this area will also serve as her art desk. She left me some candy in the drawer as a "Thank you" present. Cute kid. Little things like this are why I love my job.
Any odd little kitchen nook can be turned into a multi-functional entryway mail organizer that keeps important little things from getting lost in the daily shuffle.
So give us a call to get organized!
Spring is here (at last) but as any long-time Asheville resident knows, it's not time to put away your coats and boots yet. By local tradition, we still have several "winters" to go until we hit the last "blackberry winter" in late April or early May.
I dropped by to see one of my customers, and she had still coats on the new entryway cubby bench which we recently installed for her.
Before, she only had a narrow space in her foyer for guests to take off their coats. There wasn't really even room to set down a chair. This is when fitted furniture is a great idea: you can turn a tight spot into a useful area.
This reminds me of a project I did years ago for an attorney who moved into an office that also had a narrow entryway. The previous lawyer had chairs in the vestibule, and clients were always tripping over one another's feet when they came in. The new bench was narrow, with no chair back to get in the way, so it made for more leg room.
Anyway, back to our current project...
Before I started work I had my wife, Faith, draw a model of the entryway cubby and bench so the homeowners could see what we planned to build for them.
This was helpful because it gave them a chance to visualize how high the various elements should be installed. The family ranged in height from little kids all the way up to a tall Dad, so we had to place the hooks where everyone could reach them.
On the other side of the entryway was the home office, which was separated from the rest of the house by a column.
We installed a pair of French doors with trim that coordinated with the existing door and crown molding. With these two projects done, the whole foyer was transformed. As the Mom said, it was surprising that a such large piece of furniture could make the room seem bigger.
This bench is mostly for guests. There's another coat closet near the kitchen which the family uses for coats and backpacks. So our next project will be to transform an empty niche nearby into a catch-all for mail, wallets, purses and keys.
(Plus an art desk for the little girl in the family. She's very excited!)
If your foyer seems "too small" to hold all the stuff it needs to hold, give us a call. We can turn even the slenderest space into an organized entryway... so you always have a place for your coat and keys.
... ESPECIALLY if you already love white rooms.
But before I show it off, allow me a quick comment. In the past decade or so we've seen a lot of people paint their furniture, especially those who prefer airy, contemporary rooms in a neutral palette. And don't get me wrong... I love painted furniture and some of my favorite projects have been painted plain white.
But dark, rich brown wood has its place in light-colored rooms. It makes a beautiful foil against the white walls, and it can have complex grains which bring texture and interest to what would otherwise be a bland space.
Walnut is one of my favorite dark woods. It's got a chocolatey purple undertone and a grain pattern which, while subtle compared to oak, can often include arched patterns that add an Art Deco touch.
Case in point: our latest project.
A custom built-in AV cabinet in a bright, contemporary living room.
Or do you like it better without doors?
It's really hard to capture the beauty of this wood in a photograph, because grain patterns move with the light. They glimmer and shimmer.
But here's my best attempt:
There's a satiny ribbon effect that really catches the eye.
By the way, the shelves are adjustable in height to allow you to store larger items like stereo equipment or a hidden TV. I love the versatility of this piece. It could be a pantry, a clothes closet, a display case... you name it.
And it's eight feet tall and four feet wide, so it's much more substantial in real life.
If you've got a modern room that needs a little architectural interest, give us a call. We'll help you design a piece that changes your space... and lets you store all your stuff out of sight... so you can live a clutter-free, stress-free life.
I recently finished installing a pantry that's more like a sculptural assemblage than a piece of furniture. I'll show you the glamour shot first:
A retired kitchen designer recently contacted me for a little help hanging cabinets in her own home. She had recently purchased her house, and the kitchen didn't have much storage.
Since the sink is on a peninsula overlooking the living room, there's a whole kitchen wall that doesn't have upper cabinets, so she had to come up with a storage solution on one of the other walls.
Her plan began with a bunch of cabinets from IKEA's LIXHULT line. These are like sleek little metal storage lockers, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. Here they are on the IKEA website. Note the rail on the inside of the door. Perfect for holding recipe cards and notebooks!
We created a collage of fourteen cabinets, which turns out to be a generous amount of storage space.
Although IKEA cabinets are well-known as a "DIY" brand, this particular installation wasn't for amateurs. A cabinet like this is heavy when it's full of food, and that means that each cabinet must be fastened to a stud in the wall. That's tricky with such small boxes like these, since a stud isn't always where you want it to be!
If you'd like to try this look in your home, give me a call to get it done safely. I love this stuff!
I'm Arthur Teel, a craftsman who builds custom furniture in Asheville, North Carolina. Give me a call to talk about your next project!