Ask the Experts: Custom Cabinetry

Ask Richards1Paul D. Richards
Housewright LLC
603 679-5034
What inspires your custom cabinetwork?

By far, the majority of my clients own houses that date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The quality of workmanship these early carpenters and joiners employed caught my attention at an early age, and I strive to emulate their work through my own. I get great satisfaction from working with clients to produce an end product that is appreciated by both parties.

What are the current trends in cabinetry?
As in life, all is cyclical and the same is true with woodworking. What is out of date today will be back in style probably within your lifetime. The biggest changes have been in the delivery of finishes that are water based.

What kinds of sustainable cabinetmaking practices do you use?
You can tell a lot about a builder just by observing the construction dumpster outside the home being worked on. I am appalled at the amount of good usable material(s) that get thrown away during a remodel or new construction. Having mentors that taught me to forward think and reprocess leftover materials has been helpful in keeping environmental impact to a minimum.

What makes your custom cabinetry unique?
In every piece that I create, I keep in mind two words: form and foundation. If the piece is made well and totally utilitarian, then it will survive to become an antique or at the very least recycled. Is there anything more rewarding than creating something that you have made well enough to be passed on to future generations?

 

Ask Jones1Jeff Jones Maine
Coast Builders
207 363-7426

What inspires your custom cabinetwork?
Most of our inspiration for our cabinetry comes from our client's vision. The unique ideas of our clients, along with a good collection of photos and pictures from magazines, give us the basis for our cabinetry design ideas.

What are the current trends in cabinetry?
One of the most recent trends our clients have been leaning toward is the Shaker style, choosing between raised or flat panels. Another favorite is the bungalow/Arts and Crafts style. Some prefer painted wood, but natural finishes bring out the beauty in the woods we use, such as mahogany, cherry, and maple. Recently, we built a kitchen out of hickory that is absolutely beautiful.

What kinds of sustainable cabinetmaking practices do you use?
We use FSC-certified wood and plywood [Forest Stewardship Council] in our kitchens, and the paints and finishes are water based.

What makes your custom cabinetry unique?
The attention to detail and durable construction of our cabinetry make it unique. Our association with our sister lumber company allows us to grain and color match the woods we use. Our cabinets have a solid plywood carcass, hardwood face frames, dovetailed drawers, and modern tenon joinery on our doors—all to assure our customers a solidly built product that will last a lifetime. 

 

Ask Sawler1Oxland Builders VideoBradford Sawler
Oxland Builders
603 772-2260

What inspires your custom cabinetwork?
The quality and design often found in older homes inspires me. In older homes you will find one-of-a-kind, built-in cabinetry well suited to the space with a marriage of design and function. That is something I can provide today by working closely with homeowners to identify their vision while addressing their needs; that's something you can't get with stock cabinetry.

What are the current trends in cabinetry?
I find that what people are looking for most is clean, streamlined design. Trends are moving away from face-mounted doors that hang outside of the cabinetry toward cabinets with inset doors or frameless cabinets. These styles create a single, uninterrupted plane for an uncluttered, polished look. This is well suited for use in any room in the home.

What kinds of sustainable cabinetmaking practices do you use?
By using software and computer-controlled machinery, we minimize waste during production. We also use quality materials, including sustainably harvested domestic hardwoods and formaldehyde-free hardwood plywood made with soy-based adhesives that won a Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for innovative material design that is better for indoor air quality.

What makes your custom cabinetry unique?
Because Oxland Builders is not just a cabinetmaker but a full-service remodeling company, the custom style and quality of the cabinetry is carried right through any room in the trim details and project design. With this unique combination, our customers benefit from having the eye of the craftsman applied to all aspects of their project.

 

Ask Gowing1Jamie Gowing
Jamie Gowing Cabinetry
603 436-0429

What inspires your custom cabinetwork?
Our custom cabinetry is inspired by a true passion to create beautiful, unique, highly functional pieces that integrate seamlessly into the lives and homes of our clients.

What are the current trends in cabinetry?
At Jamie Gowing Cabinetry we are always reading, exploring, and refining new design, construction, finishing techniques, and material uses. While we are still seeing high demand for top-quality traditional styles that reflect the heritage of the area, we are also seeing an increased interest in contemporary designs featuring the use of metals, glass, and traditional materials formed in organic and geometric forms.

What kinds of sustainable cabinetmaking practices do you use?
We use FSC- [Forest Stewardship Council] and LEED-certified materials and practices in our cabinetry. We dig deep to find out where our materials come from, what they are made from, and how their use impacts the environment. We use finishes imported from Italy in order to get the best, most advanced finishes available. We are always looking for locally sourced materials whenever possible.

What makes your custom cabinetry unique?
Our design experience and wood technology knowledge allow us to create unique and beautiful cabinetry. We draw upon historic, traditional, and contemporary themes to create details and overall designs that fascinate the eye. We are constantly innovating new content and construction. New ideas in storage, technology integration, and environmentally friendly finishes are a top priority for our clients and us.


Ask Paul1Joel Paul
13 Stars Gallery
603 817-6667
What inspires your custom cabinetwork?
The Shakers! Wood and its color grain and texture. The harmonious effect that a well-designed, well-made piece has on its environment. I take comfort in knowing that I can create items that will stand the test of time. As trends come and go, solid, simple, traditional-based lines will always be in favor.

What are the current trends in cabinetry?
Darker woods, such as walnut, are popular right now, but this is always subject to the specific customer's preference. Natural finishes, such as milk paint, oil/varnish mixes, and oil and wax, are definitely in at this point. They have a more organic look, are easier to repair, and can even be applied by our customer.

What kinds of sustainable cabinetmaking practices do you use?
Utilizing reclaimed materials is one of the principles our company was founded on. We work with local antique wood dealers to obtain chestnut, a beautiful wood that is rare today, but many of the colonial-era buildings were made from it. We also offer, through our partnership with Cornerstone Tree Care, the ability to have pieces made from local wood, milled and air dried.

What makes your custom cabinetry unique?
The fact that you can have a cabinet or table made to the exact specifications of a particular space using local, reclaimed, or domestic wood and composed for the effect you desire. We specialize in building pieces that are unique, custom-designed for our customer's particular space using the natural properties of the wood to create timeless and harmonious heirloom treasures.

Ask Hawkes1Nathan Hawkes
Hawkes & Huberdeau Woodworking
978 388-7747

What inspires your custom cabinetwork?
Generally, my inspiration comes from the enthusiasm and energy of our clients. I love feeding off of their initial ideas, then blending the design with functionality. Ultimately, they come to us to help bring their style and taste to life. When you walk into a client's home, you have a unique opportunity to take in their personality and family culture.

What are the current trends in cabinetry?
The current trend seems to be influenced by European cabinetry, which is a more contemporary style. We are starting to see more wood tones and high-gloss finishes. We have been most recently designing millwork that combines both the European style and the traditional New England style face-frame cabinetry. As for wood, there also has been a surge in using reclaimed lumber.

What makes your custom cabinetry unique?
We always try to use reclaimed and certified lumber/stock. As a company we set periodic small, environmentally friendly goals throughout the year. This allows us to stay focused on our practices and how they affect the environment. Proper recycling is probably the most important practice any wood shop could do.
Our craftsmanship was born from building pipe organs. We traveled the world while developing our skills, which allowed us to work with very talented woodworkers. This allowed us to learn firsthand how they would tackle difficult problems and has given us great insight into proper design and attention to detail. This awareness is reflected in the quality and longevity of our casework. 

Tags: Jamie Gowing Cabinetry, custom cabinetry, cabinets, 13 Stars Gallery, Hawkes & Huberdeau, Housewright, Maine Coast Builders, Oxland Builders, Ask the Experts

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