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Customized Cabinetry

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

The kitchen is an important part of a living space— an area for cooking, cleaning and congregating. Personal style is expressed through colors, backsplash, countertops, tea towels, and even essential storage elements like cabinetry provide an opportunity to showcase culinary aesthetics.

Various styles of kitchen cabinetry.

Cabinetry has come a long way from its rudimentary beginnings. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, cabinets as we know them today – compartments with doors – were first used in Italy during the Renaissance; France and England began incorporating cabinetry by the 16th century. Decorated with ornate carvings and inlays, cabinets were luxurious furniture meant to be admired. Cabinet style continued to evolve over time, with glass used for doors and shelving to show off the cabinet’s contents.

A "china closet," one of the first forms of cabinetry, was used to display exquisite possessions.

While the cabinets of today are less about intricately carved patterns and displaying expensive china, cabinetry selection still requires careful consideration. Fôrt + Hōm worked with Manhattan, MT-based L2 Millworks to create the custom cabinets for each of the O'Rourke’s units.

"We could have gone with a big-box store like Home Depot or Lowes, but working with a local company was a better option for this project. With the building being as old as it is, none of the units are identical in size, so each of the kitchens measure differently. We essentially needed 12 individual sets of cabinets. The L2 Millwork carpenters were able to stop by the project during the initial design process and rough-in to ensure each cabinet would fit properly. We love being able to support local vendors which in turn supports the community," says Danielle, the head designer of Fôrt + Hōm.

This rendering of a unit in the O'Rourke shows Danielle's plans for the kitchen cabinetry.

With ceiling heights of 9’-10’, the Fôrt + Hōm team went to great lengths to redirect plumbing and ventilation during construction to prevent interference. Danielle took the cabinetry design a step further by selecting different colors for the upper and lower sections, noting that utilizing two tones is a cost-effective way to accentuate the ceiling height. The upper cabinets and walls are similar in color, creating a visually smooth, fluid transition from the base cabinets to the ceiling. A different color for the upper cabinets would interrupt this flow and create a sort of visual choppiness because the cabinets don't extend to the ceiling.

The cabinets for the O'Rourke sit in the M2 Millworks shop ready to go.

The cabinets also have a textured wood finish, an added touch that “creates a subtle depth between the similarly-colored upper cabinets and walls,” Danielle explains. Best of all, the color and texture added no additional cost and will transform the room, elevating the design and aesthetic. "This was one of the few design areas I could create a more elegant feel without going over budget." Details can make or break a space— and cabinetry details are rooted in its history, after all.

A close up of the cabinet texture.

Watch the install tomorrow morning on our YouTube channel.

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