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Designing a Mission Style Fireplace Mantle

They had a mantle made by the carpenters who trimmed out their place a number of years back. It was essentially three boards with molding applied to the face & a shelf. Like many facades, it lacked substance and girth.

They wanted a mantle that was substantial but had clean, bold lines, no fine detail or filigree. I rendered a corner of the proposed piece that I felt had those qualities. It ended up as ‘Mission Style’, in  appearance.

DSCN6040

Here is a shot of one of the columns being assembled…

0609142218a

We wanted to appreciate that it was made from wood but to stain it very dark… so I was able to use poplar & maple ply.

arts n crafts mantle

As I write this post, we have just finished doing two rooms in wainscot & a wine storage wall unit for them, all in the same style. Seems they liked the way it turned out.

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

 

Designing a Mission Style Fireplace Mantle

They had a mantle made by the carpenters who trimmed out their place a number of years back. It was essentially three boards with molding applied to the face & a shelf. Like many facades, it lacked substance and girth.

before

They wanted a mantle that was substantial but had clean, bold lines, no fine detail or filigree. I rendered a corner of the proposed piece that I felt had those qualities. It ended up as ‘Mission Style’, in appearance.

DSCN6040

Here is a shot of one of the columns being assembled…

column from base

We wanted to appreciate that it was made from wood but to stain it very dark… so I was able to use poplar & maple ply.
As I write this post, we have just finished doing two rooms in wainscot & a wine storage wall unit for them, all in the same style. Seems they liked the way it turned out.

finished mantle

russell hudson / hudson cabinetmaking, inc.

 

Building and Installing Wainscot

The house was over a hundred years old and was situated in a very up-scale neighborhood. Any investment in a good quality, home improvement was a wise one.

Their dining room & foyer, staircase & hallway… were the first places that were seen when you entered their home. We were asked to build wainscot to adorn all of these walls.

They wanted a more formal, frame & (raised) panel wainscot, not simply bead board with a cap, as seen in many ‘turn of the century’ country homes. We created a sample of the wainscot 34″ high but only 4″ wide  … based on their approval of the final profile drawing (showing the cap & base sections).


We had three radiator covers to make. Each had to ‘ fit ‘ within the wainscot very well … (both in terms of size & style). We first created the covers faces in the shop and sealed them well, backside & front.

 

 

 

I usually do a drawing of the frame & panel placement right on the walls. This verifies the sizes of the panels to be made back in the shop  …but it also helps the client to envision what this ‘wall covering’ will look like. This becomes even more critical for those diamond-shaped panels climbing the staircase.  Here are 2 shots of the staircase being installed.

 

 

 

Our installation time was somewhat limited so we began installing panels while our painter began placing a final coat on those sections already completed. Here are two walls in the dining room freshly done.

 

 

 

The only way to see the whole job is to show this short video I managed to grab when I returned two weeks later to do another project for them. The good work payed off, it seems.

http://youtu.be/imOwgRz07P4

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking

 

An Exquisite Interior

I don’t usually post a blog of another’s blog but the sheer volume of labor involved in this building had my head spinning.
Houses of worship (churches, synagogues & mosques) are most aften the premier  examples of the man’s most elaborate architectural work but… this was, actually, one of the first Loew’s movie theaters / it is located in Queens, NY

The Queens Movie Theater You Will Not Believe

 

 

A Cabinetmaker’s Bathroom

When we bought the house, the old bathroom had a Formica covered vanity and a linen closet which occupied a fifth of it’s interior space. When I finally got around to it, we gutted the entire room and could now start from scratch.
We wanted a turn-of-the-century look so I built wainscot from beadboard to surround the room.

I made a small door (to the left, in the shot above) that gives me access to the shower fixture & plumbing inside that wall (as long as I was at it, I thought I’d do it right).

Bathrooms can be somewhat sterile so we hung pictures and small objects to warm it up.

As there’s never enough room to hang towels, we shopped around for some cool looking hooks and used the back of the door.

Radius-edged tiles were used for the shower and the vanity’s counter top. Here you see a close-up of the wainscot meeting the tile.

I fabricated a towel rack and tissue holder for a strictly functional, turn-of-the-century look.


We purchased a medicine cabinet with mirrored doors. I sunk it into the wall and wrapped it with casing to make it appear like a framed mirror. I used the space inside an adjacent wall to give us more storage and made a special little door for it.


With the linen closet removed, I now had a long wall to build a serious vanity along. Drawers are so much more useful in a bathroom than door cabinets so I built it with fourteen drawers and a single door for the sink cab.

The larger drawers I built as pull out shelves so we could place cloth lined baskets within.

Any cabinet that holds a sink invariably has a door with a single, false drawer front above it (to hide the side of the sink). A while back I had saved one of the hand carved panels from a folding room divider (which I disassembled to use in a kitchen). I finally found the perfect place for this little beauty.

After we did the floor tiles, we placed one of my wife’s floor cloths (painted canvas) to make it easier on bare feet during winter mornings. The used a light mustard color paint for the walls and a dark green for the wainscot. It’s a handsome little room now with lots of storage for all the things you’d ever need in the bathroom.
Russell Hudson / 5/25/12

 

Extremely Fine Woodworking

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), they have a display, (a small room, actually / maybe 10′x10′?) inside of which are the reconstructed walls and ceiling treatments of a highly-figured room that must originally have come from a palace, castle, royal estate, whatever… (15th, 16th century?)
As you can see I’m guessing here… because I have these photos I took when I was there but I can’t recall the description written on the placard sitting adjacent to the ‘rooms’ entrance. (I’ll get this info when I re-visit and edit the post.)
Anyway…
I wanted you to see (what must have been) a monstrous amount of work AND a great deal of time from planning through finish.
I can’t imagine what it was like to dedicate yourself to such a project nor how satisfying it must have been when it came together.
The pictures speak for themselves…

corner where walls meet ceiling

ceiling's center

At the time this was made, there were no power tools… so you can only imagine the sheer volume of hand carving involved.

Dedication / love of craft / a pleasure to see…

Russell Hudson / 4/12

 

How to Make a Family Room for the Whole Family

Our client’s family (two adults and three children) wanted a room in which all their different activities could take place. Their TV and stereo components, video games, the computer(s), the home’s business area, library shelving and additional storage (for all those small things that would clutter every surface if not put away)… were all incorporated into the plans for these built in cabinets… Our plan was to create a room that had a place for everything and look great at the same time.
Although they wanted built-ins that were richly appointed, they expressed their wish to maintain the appearance of ‘hand wrought’ craftsmanship. I knew they didn’t want ‘rustic’, but I felt that perfectly straight-grained, ‘select’ boards and veneers wouldn’t portray enough character for their tastes.
So… we decided use cherry but made sure to include some great looking imperfections, so you might get a sense of the actual trees from which this furniture was made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve included my renderings so you can appreciate how our plans became realized.

 

where the children do their homework

 

 

 

 

 

 

her antique desk sits in front of this piece that has 5 hanging-file drawers

Although labor intensive, the right details make a world of difference.

full beading on vertical corners, side walls paneled

 

create a thicker counter top with a routed profile

 

We’ve done many built-ins that were difficult to get a good picture of…
…and there are some that just seem to be made for it.

 

click on this master shot for full screen / it's crystal clear, 4,368 pixels wide

With smart design, honest craftsmanship… and a great client… it’s hard to go wrong.

Russell Hudson / 4-12