Case Study: Mid-Century Custom Cabinetry

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This architect designed mid-century modern home featured existing hemlock cabinets that needed restoration, plus a client who wanted to expand square footage and increase the utility of the space for entertaining. Versatile refinished and modified the original kitchen cabinets to house new appliances and fabricated a new bank of cabinets that matched the existing style and hardware, concealed the new refrigerator and expanded the available storage.

Project Goals
To restore and expand the kitchen with as little impact to the original fixtures as possible while modernizing the appliances and integrating them into the existing architecture.

Challenges

  1. The unusual species of the wood in the existing architect-designed cabinets required a careful exact match of wood and hardware in order to blend the new elements seamlessly with the old.
  2. Integrating contemporary appliances into a space designed for the 1960s without distracting from the period style of the space required extremely precise fits on the surrounding cabinets.

Uniquely Versatile Solutions

  1. Research of the architect’s work and a deep understanding of the principals of the original architectural style helped identify creative but architecturally appropriate solutions to the integration challenges.
  2. Precise measurements and good communication with the contractor during the design of new cabinets ensured a seamless installation.

Client’s Reaction

We love our home and think often about the wonderful job you have done for us.

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Block House Café: Case Study

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In the heart of historic Dayton Oregon, The Block House Café recently moved into the 1886 First Baptist Church on Main Street. Working alongside architect Paul Falsetto and Fackler Construction, Versatile created a large back bar with surrounding cabinetry, wait-station, and tabletops from old floor joists in the building.

Block House Café Goals:

To create a large, functional, and aesthetically pleasing back bar that hides the seismic bracing. Re-purpose original floor joists to create tabletops and a bar top.

 Block House Café

Block House Café Challenges:

The biggest challenge we faced with the back bar, which included 10’ high walnut pieces, was installation to conceal three alcoves that were created by updated seismic structuring. The tabletops and bar top proposed a few challenges. They were created from wood salvaged from the original floor joists from the building. We were concerned about the tabletops cupping or warping. We needed to create a flat, smooth surface on the bar top as there were many wormholes in the wood.

The Block House Café

Block House Café Uniquely Versatile Solutions:

We worked around installation problems of the bar by pre-building it in 3 separate pieces. Along with some tolerances to allow for variations in the walls when it was installed on site. The three pieces overlapped once installed to look like one piece of furniture while hiding the bracing behind.

To address the tabletops potentially warping, we added a dovetail key underneath to tie the planks together. By attaching the key to the middle plank only, the planks could expand and contract naturally, but not warp or cup. And finally, to create a smooth, flat surface on the bar top. The wormholes were filled with clear epoxy rather than a colored putty. Since the natural color of fir changes over time, the clear epoxy will make a smooth surface without worry that the wood color would ultimately shift away from the color of the putty. Versatile’s experience and expertise allowed us to anticipate potential issues and create solutions before they became real problems on site.

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Cabinet & Drawer Inserts

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Kitchen design by Arciform senior designer Chelly Wentworth.

There are seemingly endless options for cabinet and drawer inserts. At Versatile Wood Products we always try to select the top of the line products to compliment our high end cabinets. Here are some of our most used options.

From Rev-A-Shelf:

Waste container pullouts

Rev-A-Shelf - 5149 series waste container

This series is our first choice when it comes to waste storage. They are mounted on the bottom of the cabinet, and on the back of the door, making it easy to pullout and close. They are sleek, soft closing, have a nice slide and are very sturdy. Available in a single or double (one or two waste containers) door mount system and have an anodized aluminum frame. The bins are available in silver and white.

A less expensive option is this wire tray version:

Rev-A-Shelf - RV series waste container

This system can work with a swing door, and has a wire tray that pulls out. Unlike the first series, this requires a wider space to allow for the hinges. This is not a soft closing option.

Tray dividers

Rev-A-Shelf - 597 series tray divider

These are great for organizing baking sheets, dishes and trays. No more clanking around in your drawers for that cookie sheet! They are available in chrome and white, and can be spaced according to your preferences.

Tip out trays

Rev-A-Shelf - 6541 tip out tray

The perfect way to keep your sponges out of eyesight, and off of your new counters. This is available in stainless steel and a variety of sizes to fit under your sink.

Cookware organizer

Rev-A-Shelf - 5CW2 cookware organizer

This is a great option to keep your pots and pans organized, and easy to grab, available in stainless steel.

Pullout pantry

Pullout pantries are a great way to utilize cabinet space, while having it blend into your kitchen. Your pantry items are easily accessible from either side, and nothing gets left in the back of your cabinet. Versatile’s top two choices are below, the biggest differences being sizing options and shelving materials. These pantry systems mount at the top and bottom of the cabinet, making them extremely sturdy. They are sleek and soft closing, hidden behind a cabinet door.

Rev-A-Shelf - 5200 series pantry pullout

This series is available in three heights and two widths, and have adjustable maple shelves with an anti-skid transparent coating.

Rev-A-Shelf - 5700 series pantry pullout

This option is available in four heights and various widths, has wire racks and a chrome finish.

Rev-A-Shelf - 448 series pantry pullout

For a less contemporary look, this maple and plywood system is also a less expensive option. This is a lighter weight pullout as it is only mounted at the bottom of the cabinet. It is available in three heights and four widths.

Spice trays

Spice trays are the perfect way to save cabinet shelf or counter space, and are a great way to organize your spices.

Rev-A-Shelf - 4SDI spice tray

We really like this wood insert. This is a great, sturdy option and it can be customized to fit various drawers.

There are two polymer options that we also really like.

Rev-A-Shelf - ST50 spice tray

This is a tiered insert, 50″ x 21″ and can be trimmed down to fit in any drawer. Available in a glossy or textured finish, and white or almond colors.

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A smaller version is above, 16″ x 21 1/4″, that can be trimmed to fit. Available in a glossy white finish.

Rev-A-Shelf - 432-BFSC spice pullout

Another option for spice organization is a base cabinet pullout. Available in 3″, 6″ or 9″ models, have wood shelves and are soft closing. As this is a narrow pullout, it can be hidden behind a decorative cabinet.

Lazy susans

There are a few options to choose from when it comes to lazy susans. We typically select the half-moon or kidney-shape shelves as they are not attached to the door. Door mounted (attached to the back of the door) units are available only with inset doors, thus limiting cabinet options in your kitchen. Both units below are base mounted (attached to the bottom of the cabinet).

Half-moon shape

Rev-A-Shelf - 6882 Lazy Susan half moon

To maximize a deep and long base cabinet that might not be used to it’s full potential, this half-moon shape shelf is a great option. The shelves pivot and pull out, allowing for easy access to those items in the back of the cabinet.

Kidney shape

Rev-A-Shelf - 6472 Lazy Susan kidney shape

For a larger, corner cabinet, this kidney shape shelving unit swivels, providing easy to access to all items in the cabinet.

Pie shape

Rev-A-Shelf - 6942 Lazy Susan pie cut

This pie shape shelf is a good option for an inset door. The shelving unit is attached to the door and rotates to allow access to all cabinet items.

All three options are available in polymer, which is durable and easy to clean. They come in almond and white colors.

Another great insert option are the trays made by Versatile Wood Products.

VWP pullout tray2

These trays are made of bamboo, with dovetail joints,  available with or without a scoop handle. They are a great option to add some organization to your cabinets.

All of these inserts can be included in your custom cabinetry design when you work with Versatile Wood Products.

Versatile’s cabinetry specializes in traditional face frame construction and includes bamboo drawer boxes, soft close hinges and ¾ inch plywood boxes as standard features. Each design is custom manufactured to the unique specifications of your kitchen without the scribes, fillers and compromises that some other cabinet manufacturers use.

There are endless options when it comes to cabinet and drawer inserts, so speak to our Cabinet and Custom Product Specialist today for more information and to decide which options are best for your project, rex@versatilewp.com

Stay tuned for cabinet door material insert options!

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Project Case Study: Custom Wood Island

Turned legs, maple butcher block featuring end-grain detail and a mixture of stainless steel and wood elements come together to create an unusual and challenging design puzzle for the Versatile Wood Products team as they work to create this custom kitchen island for a client in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

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Here you see how the end grain has been integrated into the maple butcher block counter, creating a durable cutting surface and a beautiful checked pattern.

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Here’s a longer view of the counter, showing the unusual scale of the piece. A stainless steel prep sink and counter will be integrated into the triangular notch shown here, with extremely close tolerances needed for the end result to be flush on both edges. Versatile Carpenter Jeff Vasey has needed to customize each surface that intersects with the stainless steel counter to ensure a smooth transition between the two elements, resulting in at least one edge that tapers simultaneously in two different directions. You’d never know it to look at it, but some serious hands-on engineering goes into translating an architect’s design into a durable and high quality finished product.

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Here’s the stainless steel counter that will fit into the notch. It is still wearing its protective plastic skin while they finalize work on the counter surface.

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Here you can see the 10 turned legs that will form the base of the island. Electric outlets will be integrated into the island using a hollowed out  leg to hide the wires.

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Versatile Drafter/CNC Operator Rex Vaccaro creates detailed shop drawings for each custom cabinet we construct in our shop to ensure that the carpenters have all the information they need to successfully interpret the designer or architects vision.

We can’t wait to see that vision turned into a completed reality.

We’ll keep you posted.

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