The clients had unusual storage needs. They recently had a multi-fuel stove installed in their dining room and were looking for something to store the logs in. They didn’t want the usual basket solution and thought some kind of shelf arrangement in the empty alcove would do the trick.
On visiting their home I found that they had stripped the plaster from the chimney breast, revealing interesting brick work and they had a traditional, varnished (slightly rustic-looking) dark wood display cabinet in one of the alcoves.
We discussed their requirement in greater detail and it transpired that they also needed additional storage in the dining room for dinner party accoutrements. They had been looking for a piece of furniture to stand in the other chimney breast alcove but faced two problems with that approach. The first, typical of their situation, was that they could find nothing which would quite fit the space and also match their existing furniture. The second, far more unusual, was that they could find nothing to resolve their log storage requirement.
The idea of a bespoke piece of furniture was born. I produced several drawings of design ideas but the clients had some difficulty visualising the finished article from the page. I demonstrated how the life-sized piece of furniture would look in situ, by use of a simple wire frame, and the design was agreed. I then showed the clients several pieces of wood which were stained and varnished so they could choose the look they wanted and the best match for their existing display cabinet.
I built the cabinet, from good quality spruce pine to keep costs down, using traditional frame-and-panel methods. The dividers between the cupboards and drawers were constructed from a much thicker plywood in order to withstand the day to day knocking from storing logs. The leading edges were dressed with pine battens to give a high quality finish. Pairs of half round trims were fixed top and bottom and the front plinth shaped to match the clients’ existing display cabinet. The doors were also constructed using the frame-and-panel method and the drawer fronts were cut from a single board ensuring the grain pattern flowed across the whole piece.
The only screws used were to fix the back panel, the hinges and the door and drawer knobs. Finally the piece was stained and varnished to match the clients’ existing display cabinet.
The clients now have a unique, useful and matching piece of furniture that solves their log storage problem. In addition it perfectly fits the space available and provides plenty of useful additional storage. It looks good and, being of robust construction, will last several lifetimes.