Cabinets Part I - Basics
The important thing to consider
when designing any cabinet no matter what its use, is to always talk at length
with your client about not only what he or she intends to use the cabinet (s)
for but also who else will use the cabinet (s).
last three years I have had numerous contact from consumers inquiring about the
cost of true custom cabinets. These consumers aren't interested in buying
semi-stock cabinets, they want personalized cabinets, i.e. truly custom cabinets
that will more closely fit their stature, lifestyle, and personality. One such
cabinet and furniture design that grows in popularity with each passing year is
Inlay work. Inlays are generally done with exotic woods such as teak and ebony
where the cost for these exotic woods could make a millionaire faint at the
price to construct an entire set of cabinets. Inlays as the term suggests are
wood inserts, usually narrow strips, that are inserted into the main wood and
fitted with precision making the insert appear as though it grew there. See my
example of a cabinet with
wood inlays. See examples of my kitchen designs.
cabinets are bad news for the semi-custom cabinet manufacturers but great news
for woodworking hobbyists and small cabinet shops throughout the country but,
then again if you are a true woodworking craftsman, then business, however
little or as much as you undertake . . . . . . . . is already booming!
you have a client who has contacted you and decided that he or she wants you to
design their new custom kitchen. You have agreed on how much compensation that
you will receive for your design.
I and all
really good designers no matter what the product they are designing need some
design parameters and cabinets are no different. To design a fully functional
and aesthetically pleasing kitchen, you need some parameters (information) from
your client. For a true custom kitchen, you will need:
Homeowners name, address, city, state, zip, phone, fax, and email info
occupants in the home
two cooks? or more?
Footage of the home
plans for the home
heights, arm reach, & inseams.
the main cook or cooks?
construction level - Basic, advanced, or exotic
cabinet will be used
storage the homeowner needs.
have talked at length to your client, it's time to create a design. When a
potential client contacts you inquiring about custom cabinets, your client will
expect certain things from you. An exclusive design tailored to their wishes and
lifestyle. They want their kitchen to be seamless. Besides the aesthetics or
look of true custom cabinetry, you need to be prepared to come up with a design
that will separate your design from anything available in the commercial market.
know that stock and semi-stock cabinets are boxes basically placed side by side
or grouped together to form a row of cabinets. The problem with these is that
they look like they have been placed side by side. Find out from your client
what their exact wishes are. This will cut down dramatically on your design
first actual design criteria that I need is the make and model of the
dishwasher. That's right, I said the dishwasher. I know you are scratching your
head thinking what in tarnation (not sure if that's actually a word or not) is
this boy thinking? Trust me and pay attention. There are three appliances in
most kitchens that have adjustable heights, the cook stove, the refrigerator,
and the dishwasher. One of these appliances can either make or break the
aesthetics of your design and consequently make your client ecstatically happy
or butt ugly mad and trust me you don't ever want to make a client mad. Give
knew you knew it was the dishwasher but why the dishwasher? The dishwasher can
make or break your design, and can make your design appear seamless. The reason
is the toe kick panel. Appliance manufacturers have never agreed on a set height
or depth of their toe kick panels and since most dishwashers are mounted
somewhere in the middle of a bay of cabinets, it's really obvious when the
dishwasher toe kick doesn't match the toe kicks on your cabinets. The other
dishwasher dimensions that you will need will be the control panel height. You
will need this dimension as this dimension will likely be used for your drawer
you are saying refrigerators have toe kicks too. Yes, I know they do but
refrigerators are stand alone appliances and unless your client is specifying a
sub zero or some other monster refrigerator, then it's inconsequential unless .
. . . . your client tells you differently.
lesson then is about gathering information from your client, their stature, arm
reach, inseam, their taste, and their appliance information.
tuned for Part II