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A High-End Mudroom

We have done work for them before. Their home is large and very well appointed. When you first enter the house from their garage, you pass through this small room before taking the stairs up to the main floor. The New England states have their share of rainy and snowy days so they wanted this to be a mudroom. It would have cabinetry to keep their hats & coats, gloves & boots AND they wanted this space to be every bit as rich looking as the rest of their home. They care about their place, have very good taste and I’d always found them a pleasure to work for.

As our previous projects had turned out well, they asked me to design everything from scratch. I elected to create wainscot to wrap the walls & climb the stairs… and to have it blend well with the built-ins.

Here is my sketch recommendations for the wainscot. It shows two panel configurations, an elevation profile and the detail of the ‘cap’.

 

Here’s a shot of the wainscot where a vent needed to be incorporated

 

 

This is the rendering for a closet to hang coats with baskets to store gloves, etc. and a seat to put on/remove shoes with a lift top for storage beneath. I wanted to use a ornate cast-iron bracket to act as a corbel for the cantilevered top section. Also notice how the lower section works with the wainscot.

 

 

And here it is after painting (although without the mirror & other wall hangings)

 

 

They decided that we’d need more shoe storage so we added this a third of the way into the project. Here is that sketch…

 

 

This is how the paneling looked climbing the stairs

 

 

Here is a wide angle shot to give you a better sense of the overall look / clicking on this shot will bring it to full size…

 

 

I’ve built larger projects and quite a few incorporating more detail but this is a favorite of mine. I really like how these built-ins work with the wall panels …as much as anything else I’ve had the pleasure of making.

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

 

Photographing the Difference – Final Picture Group

This is my third and final post about before & after pictures. This could be considered ‘during and after’ pictures as a fewof them are half way towards completion but… you get the idea. IFor what it’s worth, this isn’t a blog about photography. I’m simply trying to show how our woodwork can improve the places we live & work in. (It’s hard enough to find the time to go back a month later to photograph some work after it’s painted, much less be able to spend three hours lighting & dressing ‘the set’.)  Hell, I’m even showing some that were shot & sent to us by the client.
Anyway…
These first two pics show a section of the front of my house before & after painting. The white on white had become grungy looking (not to mention boring) so we went with a beige and did all the trim in a dark green. An understanding of color and a ‘fresh coat’ can really renew a setting.

Here we made a custom vanity for a very skinny bathroom. It needed to hold their sink, enclose a cast iron radiator & provided some open shelving. The way we had to make these cabinets in order to 1) be small enough to come up a very small, turn of the century stairwell 2) fit around all the existing plumbing and 3) leave access to all the valves… was somewhat disconcerting… but the interior decorator (Cottages to Castles, Inc.) & client were very pleased when all was finished.

I really should go back & try for a better shot of this arbor. The final shot was taken at night with pool lights… hence the grainy look. I designed a rather different looking arbor here. Although difficult to explain, the placement off this arbor in the backyard’s corner required me to give up a basic rectangle with the opening on one of it’s sides (which would have made it’s construction simple). and create one that was open on one of it’s corners. The pair of rafters running up the center are fastened to a pair of rafters running parallel to the pool house’s face though attached from underneath. Not your typical arbor construction.We created the panels at the bottom of the posts to enrich what would have simply been posts otherwise. After the painting was accomplished, it all ‘came together’ nicely we thought.

The next two are of my own foyer where I removed a cast iron railing and found a salvaged, old Victorian banister made from solid walnut (well over 100 years old) that I got at one of those huge flea markets / I had to do some retro fitting & make two additional newels for the upper landings. All those spindles were dovetailed into the tread’s ends. This has improved the look of our foyer ten fold.

Lastly is a wainscot and coffer-ed ceiling adornment we did for a client’s rather formal dining room. This required that we perform furniture quality work ‘on-site’. We created all the walnut panel, coffers, installed the trim and had our finisher come in and stain it all to this very dark value. A louvered vent was fabricated (of walnut) in one of the corners to handle the home’s central air.
A large dinner party was thrown two weeks thereafter and the owners expressed their pride to me… which in turn, of course, made me proud.
My sons and I did fairly meticulous work in this good sized home (calling it a mansion wouldn’t be much of a stretch) and there isn’t a single seam to be seen where all these pieces of solid walnut join one another. We love being commissioned to do high-end work, … projects that allow us to show what we can do.

And I’m glad we have the pictures to prove it.

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc. – 1/10/13

 

 

Saws

I was helping a friend the other day with a little problem he was having. He needed enabling because he was saving tools. Now Karl probably has more tools than me, which is saying something. Karl also probably has more cool old tools than anybody I know. [Well except for the cast iron machinery shrine [...]