California Closet With a Rustic Twist

I recently completed a huge all-summer-long remodel of a great barn style house.  The house is a two story red barn with full-length porches on the front and back hidden on 18 acres in a rural area.  This house was just on the border of how far I am willing to travel for a project.

I’ll have several posts under the “BarnHouse Renovation” Tag so check it out.

Today I’m posting the California Closet I built in the master bedroom.  We went through a few designs before landing on the finished product you see above.

Most of my designs start in Sketch-up.  While I’m far from a master user of the program it helps everybody get on the same page.  We can talk proportions, dimensions, and layout, and calculate very accurate material costs and cut lists.  The better I get at using this program, the better value I can provide my customers.  Here’s the first design.

You can see this is very different from what we built.  It’s always hard for one person to communicate their vision to another, by doing a three dimensional, to scale, drawing we were able to clearly discuss wants, needs, space limitations, and costs. This is the final design that we built.

Even here you can see the final product was a little different.

The process of building cabinets is always the same: build a box, customize the box. Rinse, Repeat.

It all starts at the portable shop.  I’ll break down cabinet grade plywood and start with the boxes.  I then built the face frames out of solid lumber and attached it.  You can see that the big box is starting to look like cabinetry.

The next step for this closet was to build the header to support the wieght of the barn door and tie the unit together.  I love, love, love working with this premium radiata pine.  It is perfect for paint grade projects and paints beautifully.  I prefer it over Poplar for many reasons. I also really like it clear coated for cabinet interiors and drawers.   It also stains well but has large growth rings that some don’t like when stained.

The drawers are made with the same Ratiata pine.  I installed all the drawers then went back and installed the face frames.  This insured that if something was off, I could square the face frame with the cabinet so nothing was out of alignment. The drawers are made with solid lumber, with 1/4″ captive maple plywood drawer bottoms.  Full extension, soft-close, ball bearing slides provide a silky smooth drawer that can handle a lot of weight.

If, in the future, they decide on a new style, the drawer faces can be swapped out for a new design.  Refacing cabinets costs significantly less than all new cabinets.

The upper cabinet uses shelf pins to provide adjustable shelving and features high quality concealed “euro” style hinges with a soft close mechanism.  The hinges and soft close are easily adjustable to maintain alignment and speed of closing.  For the Hanging clothes area we decided to skin the back wall with 1/4 maple plywood.  This was one of those small things that really enhances the look of the cabinet system.

Barn Doors. We used a total of seven barn doors in this house.  Finding the custom sized doors we needed proved expensive.  I bought the doors used on the closet from one vendor and they were over $600 each.  The home owner found a guy who made barn doors for significantly less, but once you factor in shipping costs for something that size, they weren’t any less. They chose to pick them up instead.

After seeing these “Homemade” barn doors I figured out how I could make my own cost effective doors in the future.  In fact, I now sell barn doors here: Custom Barn Doors.

The finished product.  I didn’t paint the cabinets. Most of the time I do, but the customer had their own painter do all the finishing.

I’m very pleased with how this project turned out.  It was a great opportunity to showcase my skills and do really fun custom work.

Dailey Woodworks serves the Bryan-College Station Area, and the Greater Brazos Valley.  We do custom furniture, built-ins, and cabinetry. We also can handle full remodels.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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