When designing your custom bookcases with you, we want to be sure that your project will meet both your functional needs as well as your stylistic requirements. We start by determining your functional needs, followed by choosing an overall style / look and feel. We combine these elements with your space to determine the physical layout of your project, and finally we choose the details for the project to give you the perfect look, feel and function for your home.
Design Step 1: Function
We first want to determine your functional needs and how you plan to use your new bookcases beyond beautifying your home. We want to determine if you will need File Storage, Media Storage, To Display or Hide a TV, to put items on display, Electronics Storage, a Workspace, Book Storage, Enclosed Storage. We can then incorporate those functional needs into the design.
Design Step 2: General Look and Feel
Once we know what purpose your custom bookcase project will serve, we want to determine the general look and feel, or style, of your project. This is influenced primarily by your tastes and the general style you have, or are looking to achieve, in your space in your home. Below are several examples of some general styles, but remember that each project is custom designed for your tastes and your space, and we will be sure to work with you to design your project with all details that work best for you. If you haven't yet taken a look at our portfolio, you will find hundreds of projects, each one custom designed.
Simple Traditional / Transitional Style
With clean lines and minimal detail perhaps raised panel doors, traditional styled moldings add nice detail without being "too much" this style ideal for a clean look with an emphasis on the form. With some slight changes including perhaps a cove style crown molding and a mitered door style this look works great for a simple transitional look as well. Click on any image to see more detail.
With a few more details, such as fluted or beaded columns, and a arch or valence, along with traditional styled moldings, this style works well with nearly any traditionally styled space. Click on any image to see more detail.
Ornate Traditional Style
This style has a traditional look with lots of details. Fluted columns, with carved or molded capitals, arches with or without a keystone, and traditional or more ornate moldings. Click on any image to see more detail.
This style is defined by clean lines and smooth surfaces. There are no carvings or adornment and the doors, and moldings are very clean and modern. Light, clear grained, naturally finished wood or a clean paint color finish this style off. Click on any image to see more detail.
Whatever Style You Like
We are a custom shop, and you aren't limited to any particular style. These pieces are examples of projects where we worked with a client to give them exactly what they were looking for. Click on any image to see more detail.
Design Step 3: Layout
With the function and style in mind, we will then look at your space with you to determine the best layout. How many walls, or how much of the wall will your bookcase project cover? How wide do you want your shelves to be, and how deep? How many bookcase units can fit and which option is best? Where might you want a workstation to be, or where are your files best stored? Don't worry, we've "seen it all" and will help you answer all of these questions so that your bookcases will be the perfect combination of form and function for you. Below is a simple illustration of two layouts for the same room.
3 Bookcases Wide
In this 9x12 space a 3 unit layout might be better for a more open look for putting items on display on the shelves, or perhaps set a tv on the countertop. This is also the more budget conscious choice.
4 Bookcases Wide
Here, the same 9x12 space has 4 bookcase units. This choice might be better if the shelves are going to be filled with books. The narrower bookcases provide a better form for organizing and storing many books.
Design Step 4: Details
During the final step of the design process we will choose the details that finish off the look of your project. This includes the specific trim moldings, to match or compliment your existing trim, column styles, door styles, carvings, lighting, and hardware. We will also work with you to choose a finish type and color to complete the look.
We can paint your custom piece to match any paint color from any manufacturer. We spray on a premium acrylic paint in our shop and then apply a thin touch up coat once the work has been installed.
Painted Finish with Glaze
For the popular glazed look, we paint your project with the specified color, then glaze it, then apply a protective clear coat to maintain the beauty and durabilty.
We have developed our own proprietary finishing process to deliver rich, deep stain colors, with a durable, environmentally safe, protective finish.
Stained Finish with Glaze
When a glazed look is chosen our finishing specialist artistically applies a glaze to enhance the depth and character of your project.
Stained Finish Samples - Click to see larger view with labels
Stained Wood Samples with Glaze
Stained Maple Wood Samples
Stained Cherry Wood Samples
Stained Oak Wood Samples
Engineering & Construction
Once the design of your project is finalized, it is engineered down to the smallest components. The proper materials and hardware are chosen. Precise Shop drawings are produced using CAD software. Specifications are developed for each part and the drawings and specifications are double checked and then turned over to our specialists in the shop so that we may begin crafting your custom bookcase project.
Anatomy of an Artisan Custom Bookcase
Cabinetry Case Construction
The cabinet case (the interior box), is the backbone of our cabinetry. The case components are constructed from premium, all wood veneer plywood. We never use particle board. The advantage of using all wood core plywood is that for larger parts like the case components the parts will never warp or crack with changes in temperature or humidity that the woodwork experiences on a seasonal basis. We use traditional dado joinery that is screwed together this locks the cabinets in place for extra strength and stability.
Cabinetry Face Frame Construction
Traditional face frame construction is used in the construction of our cabinets because it provides additional strength and stability over frameless cabinet construction. The face frames are attached to the case with hidden screws and glue for strength and beauty. There are no fasteners visible and the cabinet is exceptionally strong as a result of the all screw construction.
Milling and Carvings
All molding and carvings are solid wood lumber. Many of our milled profiles are completed on special machinery that we custom made for our shop. This translates into a higher quality results as well as reduced time in your home during installation. Our carvings are hand carved by old world European artisans.
Door and Drawer Hardware
The doors and drawers receive the most abuse on any bookcases and this is why we only use the highest quality hardware to ensure smooth reliable operation for the life of your cabinetry.
Our shelves are 1" thick, all wood veneer sheet stock. They are 33-100% thicker than industry standards for cabinet shelves, dimensionally stable and very sag resistant for even the most demanding loads. The fronts of our shelves are reinforced with ¾" thick solid wood that is custom milled in our shop with a beautiful profile. This is really nice accent over a typical square edge shelf. Shelves that are wider or anticipate a heavier load are reinforced with one or more decorative supports. Our shelves are so strong; we were able to park a car on them
Sanding and finish prep
Once all the parts are cut, milled and assembled, they are carefully sanded and inspected under a careful eye before finishing.
Over the past several years we have developed our own proprietary system. Following wood selection and construction techniques all created with the finished look in mind, your project is ready for finishing. In our in-house finishing facility, our finishing specialist applies a painted or stained finish in a systematic 7-12 step process depending on the specific look and application. The result is a finish that is both beautiful and durable.