Archive for the ‘Built-Ins’ Category

Built-In or Free-Standing Cabinets?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

“Why Built-Ins?” VideoIt's always a tough call: Should you go with Free-Standing or Built-In Cabinets for that [insert needed item here: bookshelf, office, entertainment center] that you've been needing? Free-Standing will always win on cost, but it's your home and Built Ins would be so nice…

Free Standing Custom CabinetsFor a little extra, a custom cabinetmaker can make a built-in so that it can be moved like a free-standing unit. But this presents some problems:

  1. If a cabinet can be moved somewhere else and look just as good, it wasn't a “truly great” built-in. To understand what makes for a “truly great”, you'll want to take my free built-ins course. A one-sentence summary would be: (more…)

Getting Beyond the Just-So Magazine Pictures

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I found a refreshingly honest article at the Nova Scotian Chronicle Herald. One weird thing is that, although the entire article is written in the first person, no author is listed on the page. Anyway, good stuff:

I tend to find the [glossy home] photographs misleading in some ways. Like how clothes look on runway models. Yes, you might be able to purchase the outfit, but what will it look like on a normal-sized body?

You’ll never be able to achieve a successful space by copying these design photographs if your room is a square box, so you are already at a disadvantage before you even begin.

Don't you hate that? But if there was a magazine that showed real solutions for normal homes, would anybody buy it? (more…)

Create More Storage Space in your Kitchen

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

From the Oklahoman:

If there's one room in the house that's never big enough, it has to be the kitchen. Wouldn't it be great if there were a simple way to “cook up” extra space without an expensive (and messy) remodel? For do-it-yourselfers, this kitchen island project is an easy, attractive and inexpensive way to add valuable storage and work space.

The article goes on to recommend that do-it-yourselfers buy plans for a kitchen island.

But how realistic is that? (more…)

Ranch Remodel Godsend

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

After writing my previous post, it occurred to me what a godsend this built-in cabinets series is going to be for owners of Ranch-style homes. There are bazillions of them out there and I'm one. We really struggle when it comes to making this kind of house into something really special that we want to grow old in. In the past, our options have been: (more…)

Are Built-In Cabinets Space-Wasters?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I've been producing some in-depth videos on built-ins. Check it out if you haven't yet.

Anyway, the video series has provoked an important question:

“By creating additional wall features or thickening existing walls in order to create beautiful nooks for built-ins, aren't we wasting a lot of space inside the walls?” (Talking about voids in the wall that were once part of the living space and are — for aesthetic or practical reasons — not able to be captured by the built-in cabinet. So, effectively, that space is lost to the homeowner.)

My first answer is to say that a clever designer will waste only a negligible volume of your house inside those wall cavities.

My second answer is much more intriguing… (more…)

If you screw a bookshelf to the wall, does that make it a “Built In”?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

While “fastened to the structure” is one of the definitions of a Built In (or, Builtin), most of us expect a built-in cabinet to do and be much more than that.

I've been creating a series of videos on built ins . If you have any interest in built ins, you'll want to look at them soon and make comments (I'll make it worth your while). They will only be available there for a limited time.

House Plans Woodwork Upgrade

Monday, September 4th, 2006

The House Plans industry has taken off over the last decade as more and more Americans build custom homes. Increasingly, I've seen add-on services offered to accompany these plans. For example, get your house plans modified by a professional kitchen designer, home theater expert, etc.

Well, I think the time has come for a built-in cabinetry add-in service. (more…)

Custom Cabinet Cost Sticker-Shock

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Sticker shock is very common among those confronted with the real cost of a custom cabinet project. Most folks understand that custom work won't be priced like something available from Office Depot, et al., but they fail to anticipate the large difference in the pricing.

Custom cabinet cost, surprisingly, is driven mostly by the design and interaction time required. Think about it… (more…)

Built-In Cabinets: Why White Rules

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Update: Click here for some enlightening Built-Ins Videos.

In the first year or two of my custom cabinets business, it really grated on me that so many people wanted white cabinets for their built-in casework. Stained wood just seemed so much more rich and interesting to me, but time and again I was asked for white. I think I even had a mentality of white = generic, and resented that my portfolio was so tilted toward white woodwork.

But I've had a change of heart on this. Here's how it happened. (more…)

Cabinets vs Furniture

Friday, August 25th, 2006

We are a mobile society, so there is something to the idea that furniture is better than cabinets because we can personalize it and take it with us.

On the other hand, furniture designed for a specific house (like the massive dining room table at my in-laws which was built in that room and couldn't easily be removed — let's call them “Stuck ins”) or even fastened to the house (“Built Ins”), also seems to be the future. (more…)