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Shop Drawings for Built-ins & Furniture

Everything beautiful and/or well built starts with a great design. I did not really think about this or realize the importance of good design until I started building things myself! To me, good design is simple, balanced, proportional--but functional first and foremost. I love "pretty things" as much as anyone else. But at the end of the day I want cabinetry to "work" more than I want to gaze at them in awe and wonder...

Side view of custom bookcases with window seat bench for Vivian Thien Kha in the historic Eastwood area of Houston. (Side views and top views are as important as front elevations when we build the cabinets as they show us the exact and relative depths of each section and other important details.) Custom Cabinets Houston

Custom bookcases with window seat bench for Vivian Thien Kha in the historic Eastwood area of Houston. (1930s house so we went with a more period correct look / English style cupboard with inset, flat-panel doors (Shaker style) and integrated the built ins into her existing baseboard, crown moulding, and window trim.

Simple pencil drawing in a fairly close scale for a tall entertainment center / built in for Vincent Scurria in Houston, TX. Paint grade. Flat panel / Shaker style doors. Radiused (arched) opening at the top. Flat screen will mount on back wall and pull forward, flush with front face frame, with about 1" of clearance all the way around.

Good cabinet drawings don't have to be perfectly to scale. They only need to show the maker everything he needs to know in order to make the cabinets the way you want them made. The "front elevation" is the most basic, key drawing we need. This drawing--of a butler's pantry addition--was provided by the client--who has some cabinet making / cabinet installing experience. With one quick look I know exactly what the project entails and I can bid it (and build it) quickly and accurately.

Shop drawing for built-in desk and bookcases for Jason and Holly Miday of Fulshear, TX (Cross Creek Ranch subdivision). There are two sections; this is the main section--with the desk. Raised panel doors and drawers (knotty alder with Jacobean stain). (drawing by Irini Kotelou / Custom Cabinets Houston)

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas

Basic shop drawing for simple bath vanity cabinet showing all details. This image shows both a front "elevation" and a side "section". The only thing it does not show is the "plan" view--which is on a separate page. For most cabinet projects, if we have an accurate plan view, front elevation, and side section, we can built it quickly and accurately. (drawing by Irini Kotelou / Custom Cabinets Houston)

Detailed shop drawing for a fairly simple built-in for a recessed niche next to a fireplace in a new house in NW Houston. We get this type of project all the time. This particular cabinet will have an articulating TV arm mounted to the back wall so that the TV can pull out and tilt and pan and then go back in when they are not watching it. So we have to beef up the back wall for the mount and allow for cables / wiring running back and forth as cleanly as possible. (drawing by Irini Kotelou)

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas

Custom laundry room cabinet project for Terry Ruppe in Katy, TX. (design by Tony Tripoli) This one drawing shows the upper cabinets (above the washer & dryer) at the top... and then upper & lower cabinets that go on the opposite wall (at the bottom). These were standard paint grade, overlay, flat panel / Shaker style doors with tilt-out laundry hampers. (drawing by Tony Tripoli / Custom Cabinets Houston)

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas

Simple built-in design for entertainment center for Andrew Brooks in Montrose (Houston, TX) (drawing by Tony Tripoli / Custom Cabinets Houston)

Jennifer Prather closet / wardrobe design. This is basically a very large armoire that is attached to the wall of a bedroom that does not have adequate closet space. It is deeper than a typical built in (24") to accommodate hanging clothes. Has deep, full extension drawers in the lower middle section. The upper doors open up and are supported on locking arms that hold the doors up.

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas

Drawing for custom media built-in for John Lopez in the Humble area (Houston). This cabinet is going inside a "niche" next to John's fireplace in his living room. His home has similar elliptical arched details in the doors and windows so we are playing off those so that the piece appears to be original to the house. (drawing by Jared Meadors)

Final version of design for custom media cabinet for Vanessa Chase in the Heights (Houston). The multiple drawers in the middle section are scaled to hold as many CDs as possible (client has over 900). Upper center section scaled to accommodate 55" flat screen TV (most common size today) though client does not have a TV quite that large. Doors and drawers to be simple, flat panel, Shaker type (site is turn of the century / Craftsman type home).

"Plan view" drawings are vital for showing the depth and shape of the various sections of a custom cabinet, media center, vanity, or piece of furniture. Here you can see that the lower section is deeper than the upper section and that the middle section is deeper than the side sections. This is not discernible from the typical two dimensional elevation drawings.

Typically I'm not a big fan of the fluting but if done right and in moderation, it can be a nice detail on a traditional / neo-classical piece. This basic form is pretty much the defacto layout for a typical entertainment center in today's home. It's shallow (15" deep base cabinets / 12" deep up top) because today's flat screen TVs are so shallow. It has no toe kick. It has no drawers. The shelves are adjustable. The crown and base should match what is in the house already.

This is a down and dirty drawing for a Stickley / Mission style custom gun cabinet that I am working on at the moment. It is going in a master bedroom so we are building it to look like the existing suite of ebonized Craftsman-ish furniture in the room. Husband wants a gun safe; wife says no go to having a big chunk of iron sitting in the bedroom; this is the compromise. So, from the outside it will look like a typical antique armoire... but I am designing it to be uber-strong.

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas

basic plans for large, contemporary entertainment center with inset doors & drawers... for townhouse in Rice Military area (drawing by Irini Kotelou)

Pen & ink sketch for built-in dry bar. Client: Jeff & Rebecca Tapick (Houston, TX) (drawing by Irini Kotelou)

Shop drawing for custom cabinetry for Nick Dehnel in Sugarland, Tx. This piece will be executed in stain grade alder with a medium brown stained finish. (drawing by Jared Meadors / Medusa Properties)

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas

Simple line drawing for built-in bookcases and TV. (Client: Terry Wheeler) Center section is up on feet and bumps forward about three inches from the flanking bookcases--and also pops up six inches in height from the line of the flanking doors. Existing, original art glass window sits roughly in the middle. Height of center section is scaled perfectly so that top of TV is just blow the bottom piece of trim around the window.

Custom Cabinets and Trim Carpentry, Houston Texas