two projects of mine are ever exactly the same. While I have made
furniture in the same style for different people, all dimensions are
custom calculated based on the new owners' needs. For example, while
most coffee tables are a standard height, end tables are best
sized based on the surrounding furniture. Height should be
determined by the sofa or chair it will sit next to, and width and depth
can also be manipulated to make the best use of existing space. (For
more on the design process of an entertainment unit, follow this
Selecting a wood and finish is also an important part of the custom process. If we are trying to match existing furniture, then we will be limited by what is already in place, however many times a client simply wants "A dark finish", for example, in which case we can select based on the natural colour of a wood, or we can choose a wood that will stain easily.
While the final decision about the finish of a piece is ultimately left up the the client, I always recommend that, where possible, a natural oil and varnish finish be considered as it brings out the beauty of the wood with very few drawbacks. For example, if one is interested in a dark final colour and subtle grain pattern, then building with Walnut and finishing with oil and varnish will accomplish that. Alternatively, Oak could be used for it's noticeable grain and then stained darker. A warm brown finish can be achieved by using Cherry with an oil/varnish finish. An oil/varnish finish over Oak gives a lighter, honey brown hue. Incredible grain patterns can be achieved by using Quatersawn white oak. It is very easy to make multiple test samples of various woods and finishes before a final selection is made.
All projects begin with a needs analysis. Have you seen a piece you want copied, either on the internet or in a store? What do you need it to accomplish? Do you need storage? Will it store books, blankets, papers, files? Open shelves, or drawers and doors? How tall is the surrounding furniture? Is there a theme in the room that needs to be maintained? Are we matching existing wood and finish? Are you interested in keeping kids out or giving them access? Drawers for looks or functional strength? Solid wood? Plywood veneer? Oak? Cherry? Mahogany? Walnut? Pine? Entertainment units need to take into consideration TV size, speakers, components, accent lighting, storage, accessibility to connections, etc. etc. When the important decisions are made early on, we avoid potential problems in the construction phase, however, minor changes can sometimes be made during construction.
Please feel free to contact me via email or phone (519) 474-6848 if you would like more information.
More details on the design process can be found here.