Sunday, December 22, 2013

580 Fitted beach kitchen

Here a small beach house on the Washington coast that has gotten a nicely fitted kitchen done in natural fir.  Designed by Tom Chartrand, executed by Tom Chartrand and Jeff Axtell.  We (Buck O'Kelly) built the kitchen cabinets. 
Here is an antique baker's table that Buck modified so that it would fit in this small alcove and function as a cooktop.  The table was too low for comfort, so Buck added length to these turned legs.  Because it was too deep, Buck subtracted material from the table and drawers, and lightly refinished the piece to preserve its patina.  

Another view of the dough table -- Tom added a sleek and functional cooktop to the surface.  

Another view of the kitchen
Showing granite countertops, and all the builtins in the sink area and stove area.  Nice deep drawers.  The tall narrow element is meant to be for cookie sheets and other flat items.  You can see a row of brass rods down the center to keep the items in order. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

553 Gustavian cabinet

Here is a beautiful Swedish style bedroom cabinet with clean lines and great proportions designed by Laura Baker of the Uplifters in Santa Monica for a client in Manhattan.
The piece needed to fit inside a freight elevator, in a building with a rather convoluted hallway system.  You never know what you will get in Manhattan.  We decided the safest bet was to have the piece come apart in 9 sections.  The piece assembles and disassembles easily, and the joints between the sections are undetectable to the eye.  The joints between six of those nine sections are captured here in this photo, and each section was finished separately from the others; yet when assembled, the piece appears seamless, as it should look.
Close up view of finish details showing slight aged crackle effect.  

Showing drawers -- these are guided using handmade wooden undermount guides - giving the piece an old school look and feel, and yielding maximum drawer height. 
Drawer detail:  Undermount wooden guides

These are pullout shelves in the lower cabinet sections.


My personal favorite detail:  zig zag shelf supports.

Simple off the shelf hinges seemed perfect for this style.

I love the profile of this simple crown.

Each of our clients gets a selection of finish samples in the mail from which to choose.  The only right way to look at finish samples is in your own home and in your own lighting.  Samples are then sent back to Portland so that we can make sure the piece matches the sample you choose.  Shown here are the two finish examples chosen for this piece.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

555 Ash Round w. Leaves

Here is a small (45 inch diameter) solid ash pedestal table with turned pedestal and foot plate.
With the addition of the two 12 inch leaves, it becomes a nice oval.  Look closely where the foot plate contacts the floor, and you will see levelers at the very edge of the foot plate.  These are threaded and turn in and out.  There are about a dozen of them equally spaced around the edge.  They will provide stability on any floor no matter how uneven.  

Showing top - needed to be, in this case, a pristine finish (I.E. no distressing).

Showing top texture and color

Showing apron detail.  Ash has a beautiful and very prominent grain.

Top detail.  Ash is extremely hard, mills beautifully, has a rich and interesting grain pattern, comes in thick stock - a furniture maker's dream wood.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

556 Ivory Sideboard

Remember the turquoise dining room from before?  Well, this is the second sideboard for that room.

This turned out to be one of my favorite pieces, and the family it belongs to has plans to hand all of the dining room furniture down to their children.  There are beautiful inscriptions done on the undersides and backs showing the names of each family member and space for future generations.  

The second sideboard is going right under that dark blue art piece. 
This is a fine example of a bespoke piece made for a family who owned two of our other pieces in the same room.  The trestle table shown above, and the "Gustavian sideboard" in ivory and blue shown below on the opposite wall. 
The family liked the curved elements that were used elsewhere in the room, and wanted this next sideboard to have curved and rounded details too.  I liked the idea of making a "companion piece" that would harmonize with the Gustavian sideboard yet not appear as part of a standardized "set" (using the exact same details applied to multiple pieces).  Instead, we wanted the look to appear harmonious yet eclectic, as if the furnishings for the room had been collected over time. 

and we all loved the idea of a faux marble top.

More faux marble
More faux marble
And more faux marble!  I can't get enough.  I decided to call this "faux faux-marble".  

They wanted the second sideboard to have a lower open shelf and two silverware drawers above.

Fluting on the legs collects our "dirtyizer" (to mimic age and yellowing of the paint)
The turned legs on this sideboard are the same diameter as those on the Gustavian sidebard.  The delicate drawer pulls, we found on ebay.
Other elements were inspired by the arches in the room and on the backs of the ivory chairs, and the painting above the mantle. 

 The drawers needed dividers, and are lined with a layer of silver tarnish cloth underneath the velvet shown.
As a practical real-life mom, I felt it was essential for the dividers to pull out such that the drawers could be more easily cleaned, or the felt replaced after years of use.  Each set of dividers is a whole box, which simply friction-fits into each drawer, and each divider in each box can unscrew for re-felting.  
Another fun element to this piece:
It has two secret compartments, one on each side.
Shhhh... nobody's supposed to know this.

Monday, May 20, 2013

550 Rustic Farmhouse Table

Best ever antique finish.
Close view of the end; this is not reclaimed wood.  Reclaimed wood has issues and must be used very selectively if at all.  There is the ever-present risk of ruining tool knives on hidden staples, nails, birdshot and who-knows-what.  Also, reclaimed wood is not as dry as kiln dried wood and hasn't had water forced out the way only kiln-drying will do.  Wood that starts out having too much moisture content will shrink, crack, distort, and do funny stunts over time; also, if extra moisture is present, finishes will not penetrate as deeply.  Therefore the bulk of our wood we use is new and from a trusted local source.  The "cracks" and other texture marks you see here were done by hand; wood is solid alder and is newly harvested and kiln dried.  
We use alder for a great many of our "antique" pieces because it is readily available, inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and can do a great job of imitating antique fruitwoods.  
Two secrets to an authentic look.  1)  texture 2) color variety.  This is a "green" or environmentally friendly living, penetrating finish; food safe, and performs like crazy.  You will not need to use coasters or placemats but instead freely serve wine, gravy, ketchup and coffee.  Staining substances penetrate reluctantly, and most of the time will blend with the pre-existing distressing.  Liquids penetrate reluctantly, but will also leave the finish (breathing in and breathing out water vapor) without becoming trapped under a crust.  Trapped water vapor under a crust finish  is the source of unsightly rings.  Since this is a penetrating finish, rings are reluctant to form, only doing so under conditions more extreme than normal dining.   Damage is expected as a result of living -- all incidental damage should blend in with existing distressing.  Any damage that is bothersome or more severe can be easily and inexpensively repaired in-home.  
Alder is easy to plane by hand.  This table was hand planed, and the tool marks are worn away so that they are barely discernible.  Alder is easy to coax into an aged fruitwood look when the right colors and effects are applied.  
Showing apron detail and corbel at leg joints.  
Note the round pegs at each joint.  The boards look like separate pieces of wood, and in fact are separate distinct boards; however they are tightly joined together so that spilled liquids do not run through to the floor below.  They may look as if there is a space between them, but the space occurs only at the top edge, not all the way through.