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   CUSTOM WOODWORK The Appearance Booster
2009 - Fall Edition
Interior Design
Custom Woodwork
Article:  Joe Burgess
            Charlotte Tallman
Photos: Bill Faulkner
            Russell Bamert
            Joe Burgess
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Custom woodwork for ceiling beams, posts, framework, doors, and cabinetry for entertainment, kitchens and bathrooms can definitely provide an impressive boost for the appearance of your new or remodeled home.

In this economy, justification of desired features boils down to paying close attention to every design and construction detail and carefully prioritizing your home expenditures. If you love natural wood, do not be afraid to chat with your builder, interior designer or cabinetmaker about justifying the cost. Hand-tooled and specialty-crafted pieces can make all the difference in the world for the interior of your home. Today, everyone needs to control the cost of their home, and there are ways of accomplishing that without compromising your overall goal of enjoying a beautiful home.


A-1 Kitchens by Sierra
3012 E Yandell Dr
El Paso, TX 79903

C & D Southwest Lumber
500 N 17th Street
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Classic New
Mexico Homes

2155 Dona Ana Rd
Las Cruces, NM 88007

Closet Factory
4584 Ripley Dr
El Paso, TX 79922

Rawson Building Supply
2355 Nevada Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Renaissance Woodwork
1885 W Boutz Rd
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Fine Wood Design

7410 Remcon Circle
El Paso, TX 79912

Trails End Woodworks
6400 Pony Express
Las Cruces, NM 88007

W. Kowalski
Fine Woodworking

410 N 17th St
Las Cruces, NM 88005
The main benefit of custom woodwork is that you can get exactly what you want. Once an idea leaps out at you from a magazine, a web site or a dream, it can usually be duplicated. Three-dimensional computer programs at your designer or cabinetmaker can help you visualize the outcome.

Product quality is always a good reason to lean toward the custom woodworkers. European cabinet framework versus American, for instance, is important for long-term quality as the American style moved toward thinner interior walls following World War II. The thicker European walls, dowels and screws instead of staples and tacks will always provide more versatility for later changes and developments. Hardware like rollers and guides, snap-loose hinges, and adjustability are key factors that will affect your long-term satisfaction with the product.

Finally, there is nothing more depressing than receiving that carefully chosen mail order piece that doesn't fit the space. Of course, a good carpenter can make anything fit, but the integrity may never be the same. And the color…it just isn't the same as it appeared in the catalog. Your designer, custom cabinetmaker or cabinet dealership will be considering the colors you have chosen for walls, floors and furnishings and guide you toward a coordinated match that fits the space.

After determining that your home will lean toward Tuscan, pueblo, rustic or whatever, bring your appliance information, entertainment options, and personal ideas to the experts and open your mind to a frank discussion about finishing your dream home with intricately-carved woodwork. It may well be the difference between liking your home and being absolutely passionate about it.

Conversations with the Experts

How should woodwork be incorporated in the home?

Most woodwork choices are up to the client. I try to advise the client but usually when the client views the various choices, they know exactly what they like. –Anne Steele

Woodwork in a room is as important as the correct frame for a picture. There are a multitude of profiles, sizes and materials available to use. The most dramatic projects we have done were accomplished through the use of a combination of shapes and sizes of moldings creating a one-of-a-kind design. Anytime a project involves woodwork, we always think through every detail before we begin. We have even gone so far as to shift a doorway to make sure the molding was "balanced" when the project was completed. –Lynda Power

I recommend custom woodwork where it is needed for function. If you fit a family room with a custom bookcase for the television then you could have a costly white elephant as technology changes. I try to be selective where I use it so it is not outdated too quickly. –Fran Timbrook

For me, the walls set the palette for the space. They can completely change the feel of the room by the use of texture and color. –Fran Timbrook

How do you determine what type of wood should be used in cabinets, shelving, etc.?

The species of the wood is at times not as important as the choice of stain color. I like to use medium to deeper wood stains for the most part. Rich wood tones support a stronger presentation of multiple, deeper, hued colors. You don't look at individual colors, but rather see color as a blending of many colors balanced in an appealing collage. There is an overall vividness that is balanced to the eye. I'm also comfortable with lighter, more understated wood tones when developing a spacious, open sunlit feeling. Subtle transitions in color using a combination of warm and cool tones create a pleasing atmosphere, whether in full sun or night shadows. –Connie Hines

Ten years ago the trend was the use of light or white washed woodworks. Now the wood tones are warm, mid to dark tones, which are a very rich contrast in most southwest, old world, Tuscan style homes. Some homes have painted woodworks that are a tone lighter or darker than walls. –Bernadette Valdes

The style of the décor is what sets the type of wood for me. A more contemporary room calls for clear figure woods such as walnut, teak, sapeale or unusual exotic woods. Traditional rooms call for cherry or alder woods. –Sherry Franzoy

Can woodwork fit with nearly any design style? How?

Woodwork can be incorporated into any and all design styles. The presentation is unlimited: clean and sleek for contemporary styles, chiseled and distressed for a rustic southwest feel, deeply carved and hand hewn for Old World or European styling… and so on. –Connie Hines

Woodwork is the finishing touch for virtually any style room. Size, design and finish are the variables that provide the balance needed to punctuate the design. A lodge look may require a more massive and rustic treatment while a Traditional theme would finish out best with a moderate size and style painted or stained to compliment the color palette used in the project. –Lynda Power

Woodwork can be used to decorate a design style. I look at today's popular television show "Madmen" and see how the décor of the office with its wood accents gives the show its style. It is the same way we can set the tone of today's homes. –Fran Timbrook ///
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