22 May, 2019

Can’t I Rely on a Cabinet Shop to Design My Custom Cabinets?

Can’t I rely on a cabinet shop to design my custom cabinets?

At LiLu Interiors, when we design an interior, it often includes cabinets and millwork that are designed just for the room or home. We like to design the cabinetry because we will keep in mind how all the parts of your room relate to each other.
On Monday we shared a peek at a project entitled “Why Does No One Use This Room??? As part of a larger remodel project we were asked to give new life to a porch that wasn’t being fully used anymore. Our client’s intention is to fully use their home to its best advantage. Read more about the problems and solutions for the entire porch here.
One of the problems was the porch didn’t really have a purpose. In a home with many spots to sit and read, the porch needed a reason to be beyond just a sitting room with a great view.
We spoke at length with our client about the things they wanted from their home at this stage in their lives and one thing that came up was a spot to sit and enjoy a drink with a small group of friends in an intimate setting. Adding a bar to the porch seemed to be the perfect solution.
When a couple of friends stop by it’s a perfect spot to have lemonade in the afternoon or a cocktail in the evening while taking in lovely views of the lake.
There was a built-in in the space already that was originally designed for a television by the previous homeowners. Since our clients had always used the porch as a quiet room the built-in was just a storage spot for throws and games.

First Step Concepts

We decided to use the same niche to create a new swank bar. To start we showed our client three concept sketches for the bar. They all incorporated similar amenities and worked with the architecture of the home but had little details that could give the room a slightly different vibe depending on what concept was chosen.
custom cabinets bar concept? custom cabinet bar concept sketch? custom cabinets concept sketch three?

Construction Drawings and Elevation for Custom Cabinets

Once the client chose the concept, we moved from quick sketches to complete construction drawings. In order to make sure that the cabinet shop understands the details and that the different sub-contractors can coordinate the pieces of the puzzle to ensure that the cabinet is executed to our clients expectations. Sub-contractors? Multiple…for one cabinet? Yes…it’s true. One cabinet may require several trades to be involved. In this case, it is a glass fabricator, the cabinetmaker and an electrician. Sometimes it could involve more than three trades. It's amazing all the detail involved in designing and building custom cabinets
The detail in the drawings is important first we draw an elevation showing the cabinet from the front with notes to share the material and dimensions we have specified.
Custom cabinets Elevation for bar?

Plans and Details for Custom Cabinets

The plan view shows how the cabinet will be fitted into the space. In this particular case, the old built-in set back into the niche. Now with our new purpose of a swank bar, we wanted to set the cabinet forward to allow it to be the star of the show. We also needed a spot for the switch for the new lighting and an outlet to plug in an appliance in case blended drinks were being served.
Details are drawn because they matter. We want to ensure the subtle details that take a cabinet from pedestrian to fabulous are executed correctly. Since we had decided to design a SWANK bar. It couldn’t just have any ordinary details.
custom cabinets plan and detail?


The section of the custom cabinets shows what we expect to happen on the interior of the cabinet and how it will function. We all like to see how pretty something will be but the function needs to be there for storage and other needs we’ve defined with our client. In this case, a straight forward shelve will house liquor.
custom cabinets section bar?

Other Custom Cabinet Inspiration

Take a look at some of our project that feature custom cabinetry.
A home office for a married couple to share
A condo that was an empty dry wall box
Custom cabinetry for client who inherited collectibles

Comments on Can’t I Rely on a Cabinet Shop to Design My Custom Cabinets?
  1. Leslie Carothers says:

    I love posts like this where I learn about the details of design. 3 drawings + the coordination of 3 trades – for one cabinet? No wonder it came out perfectly for your clients – you didn’t take any shortcuts and the communication was so clear.

  2. Janet Lorusso says:

    THIS is why good design is invaluable – you have 1.) thought through all the functions, 2.) incorporated all the solutions into an aesthetic that works for the function AND looks great in the room, and you have 3.) communicated the design intent completely with all the trades so nothing is left to chance and the result is exactly what is needed! Beautifully done – thanks for a stellar example of the design process!

  3. Leslie Price says:

    Fabulous sketches — it really gets the point across! Love this post!

  4. Jill Laine says:

    So thorough and detailed from start to finish with this design concept, I’m sure your clients must be thrilled as they were able to collaborate with you in the choices you provided.

  5. Sheri Bruneau says:

    This is a great example of why people should hire the professionals. Thank you for taking us through your journey of creating this space with your clients.

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