© 2014 syd

Caswell Media Cabinet

My clients approached me at a studio tour after seeing some of my works on display. They have been looking for a designer to come up with a solution to their music equipment storage needs. The husband is a music lover with music being a huge part of his life. His wife wanted something that covers up all of his equipment in an elegant and charming way. They came to me after being disappointed with other designers who couldn’t think outside the box- literally. One of the first things they told me was that it should have some curves and it should fit in with the rest of their house with all the art they have collected from years of going on trips.

The cabinet bows out in the middle creating a soft curve in the front. The solid wood doors follow that curve and have a slight concave surface. The concave curve is subtle enough that it’s not immediately obvious what’s going on. It’s only after you walk around and see the light wrapping and bouncing off the surface that you notice something is going on. Upon closer investigation, you notice the curves outlined on the bottom of the cabinet like gentle waves.

It’s a subtle thing, but the boards in the center are slightly narrower and the boards wider towards the outside so that as the curve stretches back, the boards look similar in scale to the others. To get a nice crisp line where the random sized boards meet, but keep the same depth of curve on the surface of the doors, I created a hand plane with a radius on the blade and sole so I can fine tune everything so it’s just right. The idea of doing things by hand appeals to me since people can subconsciously pick up on small irregularities that machines (robots) can’t reproduce- creating a warmer and friendlier piece.

The doors are hung using offset knife hinges. These discreet hinges don’t break up the clean lines but offer the ability to swing the to almost 180 degrees (or 270 degrees on the sides). Since any knobs or pulls would also break up the clean lines, we opted to go for the magnetic push latch handles. Just press on the door and pop, the door opens enough to get your hand behind the door.

The shelves are all adjustable and also follow the same convex curve as the cabinet front so everything is integral inside and out. The feet also has a gentle tapering curve to create unity but most importantly, the feet give the whole piece a human or animalistic feel. (not square and sharp like many modern furntiures out there).

I had my go-to finisher, Ken Boone, do some color matching to darken the cherry up a little bit, and then topped off with a lacquer finish. I delivered the media cabinet to a very happy client. – “Every time I walk in this room, I just take a long look at it and smile”

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