A wood countertop kitchen project like this is nice to take on every now and then. The customer knew exactly what they wanted and I did not have a problem with any part of the concept. For them to work directly with me, a local cabinet builder and woodworker circumvented inevitable lapses in communication and accountability when too many people or entities are involved in the design-to-installation process common with other kitchen cabinet firms. The choice of oiled walnut for the very-large-for-this-space island bar top is unusual and bold; it adds warmth and a craftsman’s touch that you can’t get … Read More →
My client, ‘Kim’ from Palmetto Bay, Florida commissioned this solid walnut liquor buffet cabinet, describes the project best: “I needed a free-standing buffet cabinet to fit a particular area and that would coordinate with our other furnishings. We had an initial discussion about the function and style, and photos of other furnishings / finishes. This was fairly quickly followed by an initial rough sketch, which helped us finalize details such as the width of the drawer column, and refinements to the design and quote. In the design phase, I was particularly impressed with the distinctive integrated wood handles for the cabinet doors and … Read More →
An historic landmark of Coconut Grove, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a splendid place to explore the treasured home that was once an opulent private hideaway surrounded by a pioneer wilderness, far from the civilization that inspired it’s architecture. When asked to help reconstruct a feature of the formal gardens it was a chance to test all I know about building for longevity in the intense weather environment of South Florida. The job was in fact a re-due of some other woodworking business that installed what looked like a solid piece of trellis but for some small but fatal shortcoming, … Read More →
I wanted to post this project because it is an example of how small details makes a big difference. This elder couple of this home needed a media cabinet and going out to the Thomasville store would not do. The house has mostly old pieces of traditional Early American wood furniture, solid wood of course, with indications of hand-crafted origins. Though this is painted, it’s possible to see whether a piece is made from some modern composite board or in this case real pine wood boards. As I prepared the parts I used a hand plane over the surfaces … Read More →
I repair all kinds of chairs and wood things that are old, broken by accident or abused by a moving company. I draw from many techniques to restore the original look and retain the patina of the items age and craftsmanship. When it is one or two chairs of an heirloom set of dining chairs its obviously worth fixing.
Winter Woodworks also makes furniture for exhibitions and trade shows, as in this retail table cabinet. This company that needed our services make software for cruise ships and marine industry. The 10’ oak veneer table will have several tablet computers for browsing the interface they provide corporate clients around the world. Though large the table is assembled as 3 parts and each are very light for ease of transporting and storage.
These are before and after pictures of a built-in bar counter that the owner needed to have changed from this light maple wood to dark mahogany. I was able to veneer over the maple with real wood veneer that I pre-finished and glued to the fixed piece on site along with the milled and curved trim.
Some of the items made at Winter Woodworks are simple outdoor furniture. A rustic wood backyard bench can be made easily of 3 pieces of exotic wood coated with a good spar varnish. A sturdy picnic table and benches were provided to a family who wanted wood they could paint themselves and enjoy sitting together banquet style. Two or more of these tables can be joined end-to-end for really big gatherings.
This specially built cabinet serves as a base for an aquarium. But instead of fish the residents are turtles. Aside from needing to look good the aquarium cabinet has to conceal all the pumps and other equipment to regulate the environment inside the tank. As with many other aquarium owners, this tank was custom made for them. Each cubic foot of water contained in it weighs 62 pounds and my job was to make sure the cabinet was build more than strong enough to handle that much weight. The walnut exterior surrounds an inner frame of plywood and 2X SYP … Read More →
Another reason to commission custom wood furniture is to get quality wood. I endeavor to use only FSC certified wood harvested from properly managed forests. Mahogany is one of the best furniture woods and has been logged in an un-sustainable way for too long. Industry scale furniture companies have worked around this problem by substituting a different but similar looking wood and applying a ‘mahogany’ finish. The designer who commissioned me for this lobby mahogany table liked the design she saw perhaps from one of those big name companies. In truth I was supposed to match the finish of the … Read More →
An example of a wood and exterior paint finish window restoration seen here with this set of casement windows from an early 20th century mansion. For the most part, even after a century exposed to South Florida sun and rain, the condition of the wood was good and where it was not I could scarf in fresh wood. The architecture of the English Tudor cottage themed home- with cedar shake roof resembling thatch- consists of many odd-sized windows with hand-rolled glass panes. The majority of the labor was to remove the loose paint and prep for the primer and latex … Read More →
This is a cabinetry piece built to display items on thick glass under LED accent lights, an HDTV in the center and concealed equipment behind doors. It was required to fit on the wall they designated then left the designing of the piece to me. With a view of the Coconut Grove waterfront and Dinner Key marina outside the window I decided to work with brushed stainless steel, teak, blue tint glass and a white paint finish such as what you would find on a yacht as a way to bring one of the benefits of living at this location … Read More →
A home renovation included new master bathroom and these two bathroom vanity and make-up counters. This design was taken from Houzz.com and sent to me by the client. The bath is an intimate space that an architect can’t always draw for the customer, even while responsible for the rest of the house. With woodwork adjacent to the shower as in this case, its important to anticipate the effects of moisture on the joinery. I have seen doors like these with pre-painted trim applied on the door. That kind of mass-production short-cut will result in a door with peeling paint and … Read More →
Each year I am commissioned by art galleries who need items built as part of an exhibition within ART Basel on Miami Beach. The things requested could be anything that is too big or bulky to take with them on the airplane from whatever city they are based. These are not intended to be temporary items but ‘museum quality’ and will accompany the ‘art’ when sold. If the objects are not sold the pedestals etc are discarded at the close of the exhibit by the individual gallery. Aside from these support items I have also been asked to build desks … Read More →
For families who host a lot of dinners and do not have a convenient place for all the utensils and linens, triangular dining cabinets such as these two fit the bill. Often there is not enough space in the dining room for a rectangular cabinet so this couple asked me to design and construct a pair of triangular shaped ones, specifically for silverware and the other for the linen, candles, etc. At first this looked simple enough to do as long as I follow the principle of form following function. I started by getting approval for the concept sketch emailed … Read More →
There are customers occasionally who live in other cities where furniture trends begin. Such novel designs are available in New York City, Berlin, Bogata, etc. and the customer would like the piece for their condo here in Miami. They want the exact style but not the trouble of shipping (and paying customs duty) the items to their other home in Miami. These people contact me by email and attach a photo of the pieces they want made, found on websites like Houzz, and include preferences on size, color etc. I reply with a free quote and can follow-up with an … Read More →
This kitchen has no windows to the outside. Perhaps because of that, the owner liked the kitchen cabinet doors-as-windows idea and as much indirect lighting and white surfaces as possible. He started with the French country kitchen motif and rustic wide oak plank floors and built on that. He stayed involved with the cabinetry of the room being a creative idea man from start to finish, choosing the details of the window mullions to the finial leaf hinges on inset doors to the dovetail maple drawer boxes and oversize crown moulding. Having been involved with custom woodwork for my entire … Read More →
This project was based on a pre-design from California Closets given me by the new customer, the cabinet company that uses fake wood in their custom units. That image was emailed to me and from that I was able to provide a fixed price to built, finish and install this large wall unit in the high-rise condo unit. Once the price was accepted over the phone, I visited the home to meet with the customer and accept the initial deposit, took precise measurements of the customer’s wall and and in a few days drew up a plan for their approval … Read More →
This is a custom made door for an office building under renovation. It was made to match existing doors in the office using solid maple. This is a great example of why a custom interior door has to be built instead of ordering one from a door manufacturer. I had to copy the existing doors exactly, including using these SOSS type hinges. They are not adjustable and installing them requires precise cutting with templates. Every detail down to the wood grain, color, glass and door entry set had to be exactly like the existing. The door stop is integrated with the … Read More →
This design came about by collaborating with the client who happens to be a financial adviser but formerly a woodworker himself. It was first conceived as an idea derived from an amazing tree with buttress-like roots that may be a baobab, Adonsonia. The desk faces the rooms entrance and we needed to create a front panel. I have a carving technique that can be done fast so I offered this to keep it interesting and organic. The small drawer is shown partially extended. The desk does came with a stand to elevate the computer tower a few inches off the … Read More →
This is a desk I was commissioned to design and build using locally grown wood from Miami, salvaged from hurricane damaged trees. These blocks in the foreground are the pieces to be used for the custom executive desk. Each chunk of wood will be sawn into lumber. This wood has verious names, Albezzia, West Indies Walnut. After being sawn the boards are planed and sorted for the next step of laminating and other joinery. Any pieces that possess especially pretty grain will be placed for the best visuals. This is one side of the desk after assembly and before the … Read More →
This custom job involved taking a favorite living room cabinet and adapting it to a new, large HDTV. This picture shows the new wider center section for the new TV, rear panel and shelves for the cable box, components, and base. The top crown piece remained as I loosened it and slid the two existing side towers farther apart. Here you see the piece before the changes. Oftentimes a cherished piece of furniture will need to be changed (more than once) along with our changing technology. The equipment can now be transfered. I took care to color match the new wood pieces … Read More →
If you happen to own an enormous yacht, perhaps as in this case used as a charter business, and the original interior trim is showing its age, here is an example of how to make a couple of small improvements that make a big difference. The work shown is onboard an 85’ motor yacht built in a factory where perhaps fine woodwork artisans were in short supply and it was necessary to cut costs wherever possible. This is the pilot’s station now trimmed out in rich, lacquered wood, replacing factory installed plastic vinyl. After removal, this is some of what … Read More →
I enjoy making desks, even if they are not made of wood. The customer who came to me sent a picture of one he saw in a magazine. We changed the size a bit and used tanned leather instead of cow’s fur(?) shown in his photo. The frame structure is welded rebar, something you normally would not see outside of reinforced concrete. The beveled edge of the deep drawer produces a nice solid thud sound when it closes. I used an entire hide to completely cover the cabinet and it gives of the familiar pleasant odor of tanned leather into … Read More →
Here is another home work station that I designed and built for some nice people in Coral Gables, Florida. In this case it is painted a low sheen, brilliant white. The customer specified to include louvers to match those in the room already. This image shows the wall unit behind the clients desk, with added display art and wall mounted TV. The chair is swung around from the big desk and keyboard pulled out. You can see the computer monitor now revealed behind the louver doors but the tower.
This is a little project which I was very happy for Kitchen Cabinets Refinishing to resolve for the customer. I was referred to this couple by an old customer who owned a sailboat. Boat interiors always need clever ways to use very limited space inside. Before these glass shelves and accent lights existed, the customer had two dead space cavities behind fixed kitchen cabinet panels. They new what they wanted and just needed someone to have the same vision to build them. This is the 1st of two kitchens in the same building, the Grovenor in Coconut Grove, that I … Read More →
With this bathroom remodeling project, the interior designer, Paradigm Interiors, wanted the cabinet suspended off the floor and the drain pipe exposed. There are only 2 cabinets with a shelf and drawer connecting them. Yes, there is a 3rd drawer in the middle that is fitted around the pipe. I installed a strong board from wall to wall to provide support for the heavy stone countertop, as well a a very shallow shelf behind the faucet.
The customer who called my workshop for this project is retired and loves to read. I know this because 6 years before I had built 18ft long, floor to ceiling bookcases for him. He buys a lot of books. The only problem with that is there’s only so much wall space in his condominium for both his framed art and books, so it was time to get creative. The only wall left for bookshelves was this curved wall. He asked me, “can you make curved shelves?” to which I replied, “I’m a boat builder, so, yeah, I think I can.” … Read More →
Here is a 18th century piece that had serious problems with the rosewood veneer. I completely removed the old rosewood veneer but not before tracing the delicate marquetry design to reproduce it with new wood. From this close-up you can see how the original rosewood design is intact, and the way the artisan selected the grain direction to emphasize the image. However, all of the pieces had extensive damage and too far gone for any of the original rosewood to be saved. Internal pieces had been removed to be retouched and the new veneer faces are being assembled before bonding … Read More →
For this house interior, a master bedroom, I worked with a designer and a purveyor of hand-carved architectural wood details from northern Africa. My job was to fabricate everything but the imported wood tiles, pre-finish and install. The wood I used was American poplar and applied a custom blended wood stain and several coats of varnish while in my workshop, not at the client’s home. Here is a close-up of the beautifully carved wood tiles. This project went well and the only difficulty was the 14ft tall ceilings and climbing up and down the scaffold. And a shot of the … Read More →