Remember these offset library shelves with the integrated brass lights and the flip-top windowseat?
Well, I got the chance to stop by and take a few photos with all the books in them, and they look fantastic. Move over, House Beautiful!
The shelves now house a themed book collection containing biographies of every American President to date. And of course, a comfortable chair with a reading light so you can peruse them at your leisure.
On the other side, the homeowner has added cushions to the windowseat:
(And a very nice light fixture overhead.)
I'm always gratified to see how my customers style my furniture once I leave. People in Asheville have such good taste.
If you're ready to transform a room to something you might see in a magazine, give us a call. We'll help you take your home to the next level.
I know, that was a lot of exclamation points, but I do get excited about this stuff.
Right now, I have a handsome stack of walnut boards on my kitchen table. They're the unfinished boards on the left.
In case you can't tell from the photo, the boards have a deep violet-brown color that reminds me of chocolate. My wife joked that she wants to chew on them.
The boards on the right are spalted ambrosia maple with a gloss finish, which is what my tabletop is made of. Normally the maple steals the show, but this walnut stands up to it.
Notice how the walnut has a straight grain pattern, while the spalted maple has an arched "cathedral" pattern. (Don't let the spalted pattern fool you... it's the result of a fungus and doesn't follow the grain.)
I searched out a special variety of very straight walnut, because these boards are destined for a tall cabinet door.
This is actually our first draft... the top pair of cabinet doors in the illustration are about four feet tall, but the real doors will be about six feet tall. That's a rather long stretch for a cabinet door, and I am concerned that the wood would warp if we used the standard boards which you can get from the hardware store.
This is particularly important because the cabinet has a fireplace on one side and big glass doors overlooking the French Broad River on the other side. It will be subject to a lot of changes in temperature and humidity, which are perfect conditions for warping.
I also considered "sapele" wood, which is a more sustainable cousin of mahogany and very beautiful. The wood is fairly stable, and it has a wonderful red color with lots of pattern in the grain. Here it is on an "mbira" musical intrument (via Wikipedia).
In the end, we went with the walnut for its restrained violet-brown color and superior stability.
Dark wooden furniture is coming back in style, and it makes a nice contrast against the white walls that are so common in modern homes. If you'd like a custom cabinet with beautiful wood like this, give us a call.
We're starting a fun new project this week: built-in dining room banquette seating in a home in Montford.
Check out the interactive 3D model which we made for our customer. Click and drag to rotate it.
For those of you who can't load the model, here's a still picture:
The banquette is for a writer who loves to do her work in coffee shops and would like to have a similar set-up at home.
This is the first draft, and the final version will have a few small changes. One feature which we're definitely going to include is a hidden fold-out "secretary" on the back to hold books and papers when they're not in use.
The seats will also have flip-top storage which will be perfect for larger items such as blankets or wifi equipment.
The extra storage allows this dining room to double as a home office, and it will also be a great place for our customer to meet clients.
If you have a room that needs to serve several functions, custom furniture may be the best option to maximize storage and get exactly what you're looking for.
This was a small job with a big impact: open shelving for a chef who was updating her kitchen. Let's start with the glamour photo so you can see what we made for our customer.
We actually built these a few months ago, but we've been waiting to get a photo of the finished kitchen.
Check out the "before" photo. Wow, those cabinets sure are orange!
Our client was already remodeling when she called us. She had installed a new tile backsplash and was about to paint her kitchen cabinets.
She also wanted to expand the kitchen peninsula to include an end unit that would hold small appliances like her stand mixer. Since she couldn't find what she needed online, she had us build the custom piece which you can see above.
Soon after we installed the cabinet, she replaced the countertop with a larger slab that extended over the new shelves.
As you can see, the kitchen also lacked open storage for spices and ingredients, which is important when you need to quickly grab a pinch of something to spice up a recipe.
We worked together to design a wall unit that was just deep enough to hold a row of Mason jars, but not so deep that it would get in the way when people walked through the room.
It was still summer time when we built these, so we took advantage of the sunny weather and worked outside.
Faith recorded a video of me making the final touches to the cabinet finish. This is the difference between custom made furniture and the stuff you get from a factory: I personally go over every surface to make sure the finish is perfectly smooth and all of the joints are seamless.
Even in a closeup photo, you can't see any seams at the joints. It's one solid unit.
If you need a special storage unit and you just can't find what you need online, we can design and build a piece that's just right for your home.
Remember the plans for the inglenook fireplace benches we showed off last week? They're all done, and they look great.
As you may remember from our last post, the home had an original Craftsman-style fireplace, but the benches on either side had been removed. The space looked forlorn without them.
We drew up a plan for new benches with a stepped-in trim detail to mimic the fireplace. Our 3D design was very helpful to the homeowner. It helped her visualize what she wanted, and she made a few minor changes to the height and depth of the piece.
The new benches integrate seamlessly with the home, and they look like they've always been there. You couldn't get this from store-bought furniture.
It was a pleasure to restore this stately fireplace to its original glory.
If you'd like to have a pair of fireside benches in your home, please drop us a line. We'll be happy to design something that looks like it belongs there.
I'm Arthur Teel, a craftsman who builds custom furniture in Asheville, North Carolina. Give me a call to talk about your next project!