Book Case/Display Cabinet, Credenza and China Display Cupboards

This project posed some interesting challenges, which involved designing and building a bookcase/display cabinet, china cabinets with glass doors, a credenza, and kitchen cupboards. The display case (left) stands directly next to the credenza (right), which has the china display cupboards above it. 

I designed the left-hand unit to house objets d'art in the upper section, and books or other objects in the lower one: 


Xenon lights, recessed into the top, provided lighting, with tempered-glass shelving that allowed the lighting of the middle shelves.

Although the asymmetrical layout of the shelving posed several technical challenges, the construction itself ended up being fairly straightforward.

This book/display case is 14 inches deep. The credenza portion of the built-in (below) is flush with the front of the bookcase. However, the credenza cupboard sections were also set into a half wall, below a granite breakfast counter top. They were actually 22 inches deep. That meant building them to fit perfectly into the space below the counter, while also aligning them seamlessly with the display case.

Also, I had to angle the right section of the credenza to meet the wall at the end of the knee-well. Off course, the difference in depths created a 6½ inch space to the left of the credenza that could only be 14 inches deep. What to do with that wasted space? Well, a narrow cupboard between the two units, to store 6 bottles of wine!

Lastly, I covered the door panels with rattan caning, much as you’d find on a chair. And yes, it was all done in-house.

The greatest challenges involved the original maple pass-though cabinets over the breakfast counter, which did not match the new walnut and pecan built-in on the living-room side. But new walnut cabinets in the kitchen would not match the maple kitchen cabinets on the other side of the pass-through. The solution? Build walnut cabinets, but apply maple veneer to their kitchen side.


Finally, I had to build the side cabinets in a way that would not reduce precious space for appliances on the kitchen counters. Look closely at the cut-away behind the left-hand cabinet to see what I came up with.

Walnut-veneer plywood, pecan hardwood, rattan caning, glass, and antique brass hardware.

Built-Ins & Cabinetry   Custom Furniture  Closets
Architectural Woodworking   Repairs & Restorations 
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