Wood, as opposed to woodgrain melamine, might be considered overly extravagant for use in a simple closet, but for a built in in your den or family room, you can achieve a beautiful look, stained to your specification. Our designers will meet with you to go through options for moldings, 5-piece door and drawer profiles, wood species and we will even have a sample door stained with the colour of your choosing for you to approve. Here we’ll show you a couple of stained wood built ins we have installed in the past year, so you may see exactly what it’s all about!
Here we see the main walls of a stained wood built in for a den. The cabinets run wall to wall, and stop short of the right hand wall as there is a full height window there. The backs of the cabinets are, in this case, painted MDF, which the client had painted to complement the remaining wall colour, as well as the antique rug. The back panels help anchor the structure physically, but also visually, and the dark stain applied to the wood accents the room beautifully.
On the left hand side, the cabinetry extends over top of a doorway, providing additional overhead storage and bridging the space to the left, which was a shorter wall, so it received a shorter version of the cabinet on the wall opposite. You can see it in the image below.
Below are a couple of looks at trim details on this project. You can see that the cabinets and crown went right to the ceiling, and on the left side some tricky corners were mitered and applied. Where sections of shelves and doors are divided, we used a combination of wide and narrow fluted columns.
This next project was for a home office in a spare room with unusual angles. We designed two separate wood built ins for this couple, essentially a His and a Hers home office. The His side was larger, and the two adjacent walls met at less than a 90 degree angle, which would have made the interior corner of the desktop unusable. So we actually installed a false wall across the corner, bringing the end point further forward to allow the cabinets to wrap the corner more effectively.
On the opposite side of the room we installed a smaller version of the desk arrangement, again wrapping the corner and going to the ceiling. On both structures we used a combination of details – fluted columns, crown molding, baseboard ogee moldings on shelves and 5-piece constructed drawer fronts and doors. (You’ll notice that the profiles on this home office differ from the doors used in the den project shown earlier.)
We also created finished end panels on the cabinets using applied moldings. An added challenge on this project were the finishing details top and bottom: the crown was brought right to the ceiling, which was finished with a “popcorned” stucco, but our craftsman, Joe, performed this perfectly. At the base of the unit, which can be seen in this detail closeup, the cabinet baseboard is obviously not the same size or profile as the room’s own baseboard. Again, the pieces meet beautifully, another challenge successfully met.
Another nice accent on this project were the screen panels added to some of the doors. Screen panels are often used in radiator covers or entertainment centers to obscure a piece of equipment, but in this case the antique copper panels provide a nice accent to both cabinets, and break up the facing with some extra depth. The antique brass knobs and handles bring everything together.
Both of these projects used similar materials, but clearly they were able to achieve very different results. For wood, most often maple is used, but different species – such as walnut, or ash – are available, which can produce dramatically different results in terms of grain and color. Panels used as sides of cabinets and shelves are most often wood veneer applied to a particle board or MDF core; this keeps costs manageable yet still provides a real wood appearance. Moldings are solid wood, so that they may be milled to their patterns and profiles. Drawer fronts and doors are made in a 5-piece construction, meaning they literally have 5 pieces to them: horizontal pieces top and bottom, vertical pieces left and right, and an insert piece in the middle. When things are stained, the natural variances in the wood are often revealed, and it is this genuine aspect of working with wood that you simply can not achieve when using laminates with prints.
A stained wood project does mean a longer than typical turn around time – usually at least 6 weeks rather than the more typical 3 to 4 weeks that most of our work requires. The installation of projects like these can take longer too; both of the projects featured here took a little over a week each to complete, as many things need to cut and fitted on site. The results speak for themselves.
If you are interested in exploring a stained wood solution it’s time to get started with an in-home consultation, or visit our showroom at Bayview and Eglinton.