Not Just Any Cabinet

by Lauren Setum

Today, I’m jumping back in to the kitchen design I posted a few days back. As I’d mentioned, a custom cabinet could be a great solution to the needs for more storage and an aesthetically pleasing view from the dining room. While purchasing an existing cabinet and refinishing it could also be an option, there are a few reasons why going custom might be more desirable:

  • Going custom allows you to to specify the exact size of a piece. This is especially useful when you have a slightly awkward space; the spot where this cabinet is placed falls under that category (although there is some wiggle room if the homeowners decided to go with an existing piece).
  • While the nuances of vintage finds can be charming, the lines of that existing piece might not be exactly what you’re looking for. With a custom design, you can ensure that features will be in keeping with your aesthetic concept.
  • A kitchen for true cooks will likely require storage space for larger and more specific tools (i.e. stand mixer, wok, etc.). Custom pieces, like this cabinet, allow you to design a space specifically for those pieces. You’ll notice in the concept sketches below that I notated roll-out shelves for items such as these, making them more accessible. Before submitting a final cabinet design, I would be sure to measure the items the homeowners would like to store in the cabinet.

The board below shows a couple concept sketches for a custom cabinet that would work well in this particular kitchen. Also, check out the paint progress; the new kitchen color is looking fabulous so far!

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You’ll notice in the perspective drawing below that the cabinet features a geometric cut-out design. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see that this shape is used in the entry way as well. Repeating shapes and forms throughout the spaces in a home serves to unify them and (dare I sound like a broken record) make them feel cohesive.

Also, I love the idea of removing the existing cabinet hardware from the current cabinetry and using it on the custom cabinet. The piece is designed to look like a separate piece of furniture, not a built in or extension of the current kitchen cabinets; using different hardware will make it feel even more special.

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Counter space is precious in this kitchen so getting the microwave into a place of its own is key in getting the kitchen to function to the best of its ability. This is where a custom design comes in handy! I included a spot for it in the lower half of the piece. You’ll notice in the CAD drawing below that I adjusted the design of the upper half of the cabinet from the original sketch. Once I put the drawing in the computer and got it to scale, I preferred just two cabinet doors on top with no cubbies for baskets; sometimes simpler is better.

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Drab to Fab!

by Lauren Setum

Back in September, I wrote a post entitled Your Sofa is Ugly. Subsequently, I received some feedback from defensive sofa owners…you know who you are. While I fully intend to stand my ground (sorry folks, I’m calling it like I see it), this time around, I’m taking a slightly different approach. And it’s good news! If you have tired, old furniture, there may be hope!

This past weekend, I spent Sunday afternoon perusing Hunt and Gather, a vintage and antique store in Edina. If you’re looking for wall decor, jewelry, furniture, lighting, or quirky accessories, I highly recommend checking out this store. Bear in mind that their stock is continually changing since they offer one-of-a-kind items so go in with an open mind. I’ve purchased several lounge chairs from here that I intend to reupholster. Which brings me to the point of the post. Instead of buying completely new furniture, consider breathing life into old pieces that have semi-hidden potential and character. Take a look…IMG_2075

A sampling of all the unique items you’ll come across at Hunt and Gather in Minneapolis. The vintage metal Tonka trucks in the upper left-hand corner would make great accessories on built in shelves!

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Left: Antique door knockers. There were about six of these available…they’d make fabulous wall art when all grouped together.

Right: Vintage wood bins. Decorative and functional!

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This freestanding ‘locker/amoire’ of sorts caught my eye. I can see it in the laundry room, mud room or guest bedroom of a mid-century home. So fun and unique.

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This round end table could be the ‘pop of color’ in a room…just add this Ruby Red paint from Benjamin Moore (or any other color of your choosing).

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This pair of chairs was my favorite find of the afternoon. They have a great shape, and I can definitely picture them in a home office. Reupholster in this ikat fabric from Schumacher and ta-da!

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This side chair is so unique, and honestly, could probably suffice as is. But, if you are looking to spruce it up a bit, consider reupholstering in this fabric from Zak + Fox.

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These case pieces are also lovely (and more ‘antique looking’) as is. For a modern twist, consider a painted yellow finish using Bold Yellow from Benjamin Moore.

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This settee has great traditional lines, without being stuffy. Make it a statement piece using a bold upholstery fabric from Harlequin.

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This retro barstool would look fabulous in any one of these color ways from Pollack

A WORD TO THE WISE: If you have the urge to reupholster yourself…resist it. Contact a professional. The end result will be 100 times better, and it will last 100 times longer. No offense or anything. Happy hunting!