Entries in entertainment center (2)


Southwest Native American Entertainment Centers

For most of my commissions, the people involved in hiring me agree on the style they want in their home. But once in a while I meet a couple who have very differing opinions on what they want in the way of design and style.

I met one such couple who had recently moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California, and were remodeling the home they had just purchased. He is French, recently moved here from the Czech Republic, and he imported computer technology for a living. She is from England, and was a fashion model. Here comes the design problem: He loved very contemporary styles and she was fascinated by Native American Indian and Southwestern styles. My solution was to design contemporary furniture and built-ins with carvings of Native Americans and Southwest motifs. I started with one piece and went on to make six pieces of furniture along with their entryway.

The first piece, pictured above, is a TV stereo cabinet in the master bedroom The border is solid macassar ebony, the doors are solid birdseye maple, and the Native American woman is in solid maple. I used concealed hinges and a touch latch so no hardware would disrupt the feeling of the woman walking away to some unknown place. The contrast in the ebony and birdseye is stunning. 

The second piece, pictured below, is the entertainment center in the living room, made of solid Australian lacewood and Honduras rosewood. The Native American woman, sitting deep in thought in the lower right corner, is carved in Honduras mahogany. Also note the inlayed arrowhead design in the doors just below the top. The tambour doors in the middle cabinet allow the TV to be viewed from any part of the room since the doors don't block the TV. And the very top section was designed for artwork, in which my clients placed a beautiful Native American pot.

It can be challenging to accomodate more than one design style in a single piece of furniture, but I am always up for a challenge, it's what makes my job and my life interesting!


Americana Style Entertainment Center 

My latest project, an entertainment center, was for a client of mine that I have worked with in the past. The last project we did for him and his wife, a number of years ago, was an underground wine cellar below their garage (see my October, 2013 blog, For The Love of Wine), and I knew from working with them in the past that this would be another fun project. They love fine workmanship and beautiful wood, and appreciate the attention to detail my shop provides. 

The project, a TV/Stereo/Display cabinet was to replace an existing one. They wanted to put in a large new TV that wouldn't fit into the current space, and they also wanted to add some upgrades to the cabinet. Their home is a New England colonial style, filled with 18th and 19th century American and English antiques and quality reproductions throughout. 

I have an extensive collection of reference books. In my collection is a book used by auction houses and antique dealers on Americana furniture. From that reference I was able to create the feeling and sense of design that would work with their home and how the furniture piece was to be used.

We decided to use mahogany. I went to one of my suppliers, who lets me go through the hundreds of boards he supplies so that I can match color and grain. I found some incredible matching boards with quilt, feather and ribbon grains, enough to build the whole piece. Since we make everything, including all mouldings and crown, even those were figured.

The finish is a aniline dye for most of the color, used for hundreds of years because it enhances the wood without covering it's natural beauty. I then applied a light glaze to highlight the details. We re-framed the opening for the larger cabinet and installed it. All the effort from design, construction, finishing and installation done in my shop was well worth it. It turned out to be a truly beautiful piece.