Life happens in the kitchen!
For most of us, quality time with family and friends revolves around the nurturing and sustaining activities involved in food preparation and enjoyment. Socializing and meal preparation are nearly inseparable. No other room has a greater effect on the aesthetic and psychological feel of a house than the kitchen. A custom kitchen must be at once welcoming, functional and durable. And, in our opinion, should not conflict with its purpose of providing health by containing toxic materials of any kind.
The new standard set by the kitchen cabinet industry, like so many other industries, is sheerly a profit driven model that has resulted in a lack of good carpentry and in the use of sub-standard materials. This is evident in that a factory custom kitchen will look best when brand new, and will then degrade steadily in appearance as well as function. The current statistics show that the average lifespan of a new factory-built kitchen to be about 7 years before being replaced. A kitchen made in a factory- large or small- can be milled, assembled, and finished in the space of only a few hours. Thus, a very small percentage of the cost is represented within the final product. The cost is in the production overhead. Customers purchasing a custom kitchen from me, conversely, will be paying only for the materials- hand selected by me to be the finest available- and for my expertise as an artisan. Additionally, all of those materials are sourced locally (whenever possible) and sustainably. I have no showroom, no sales staff, no “free” high-tech gimmicks. My objective is to build cabinets at least as permanent and durable as the house in which they are installed using time-tested methods of craftsmanship.
Clients have a wide variety of looks from which to choose. Some custom kitchens and cabinets have been designed by me, in other cases clients have wanted me to match existing new or antique cabinetry and have chosen me because of my ability to replicate both historical and contemporary features. Some clients prefer reclaimed wood, others hand-selected, highly figured stock. Several custom kitchens have been made with custom made wooden drawer and door pulls, while in other cases the clients preferred metal hardware. I prefer to use full-length tenons on all doors, a now nearly unheard of practice in custom kitchen construction, as opposed to the inferior stub-tenon, which is now standard. I use full ¾ inch thick cabinet plywood- formaldehyde free and made in the U.S.A. or Canada. (For those who are interested, please see my article on formaldehyde in plywood on this website.) I build both European style and traditional face frames. Traditional face frame cabinets can be fitted with full-inset doors, which require a level of precision such that most custom kitchen manufacturers avoid this method, even the so-called “high-end” custom kitchen companies. A custom kick-base for the cabinets is fitted to the house. (Most other cabinets are installed by supporting the cabinets with dozens of shims.) I use only the most well made hinges and drawer slides available. A hand rubbed oil finish gives my cabinets luster and warmth.
See our work in the gallery.