Free Standing Cabinetry

Recently, I had quite a response when I posted this image of a restaurant designed by Alex Van de Walle on the Wilson Kelsey Design Facebook page.

Restaurant Design by Alex Van de Walle

It first caught my eye because of the millwork design of the bar. The millwork junkie in me sat up and noticed.Then I took in the rest of the picture – floor, lighting, colors, textures and realized how inviting and intimate it felt. The space invited me in. I wanted to go there. Interestingly, Van de Walle has no website, so it took some time to find more images of the restaurant. It was well worth the search. The following is a “walking tour” of the restaurant’s interior.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

I can’t decide if the floor is tile/stone or painted concrete. Fabulous blend of antique and contemporary light fixtures. Love the exposed brick behind the shelves.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

View from the table above.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

Wainscot detail at a banquet. The attention to the littlest thing is phenomenal!

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

The cabinet doors are SO discreet! Note the wainscot in the background.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

I decided this was in the basement.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

Stairs to the upper level to what appears to be a large function room.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

I am drawn to the mix of modern architectural forms and the whitewashed old structure. The overall effect is very contemporary. Even with the high ceilings, the lighting creates a sense of coziness.

Restaurant Design by Alex van de Walle

I  hope to visit in person some day in my travels.

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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Since our Paris trip, Sally and I have had opportunities to use what we learned and and absorbed in a number of our projects. (Posts can be seen here and here.) We have designed a paneled living room, and a chinoiserie style mud room, a Hall of Mirrors powder room, several hidden doors and pieces of furniture. Today, I will stick with a china cabinet. It was designed for a project in Chestnut Hill. Sadly, the two pieces that were commissioned were not built. So…, if you know any one…

For inspiration, we drew from a hutch we had seen while visiting Petit Trianon. Particularly it’s cabinet doors, fiches hinges and hardware.

Petit Trianon; photographer, John Kelsey

Petit Trianon; photographer, John Kelsey

 And the stepped corners from this display case in the Louvre.

Louvre, display case; photographer John Kelsey

I drew two different sketches. One showing the cabinet in the context of the room setting. The cabinets show the stepped corners. One aspect of the design I was looking at were the esthetics of two doors (left) vs one door (right). The one door solution was selected.

french style cabinet a & b; Wilson Kelsey Design

I then drew larger partial elevations to prove to myself that the stepped corner worked visually and to check it’s proportion.

french style cabinet a & b; Wilson Kelsey Design

The base cabinet door was a raised panel door. The door panel trim on the left wold have been exquisite, but a custom knife needed to be made in order to mill the shape of the trim profile. The cost proved to be too much, so we settled for the style on the right, using a slightly modified panel trim profile I was able to find thru a local cabinet making shop.

With an approved design, I prepared a set of construction drawings, which the cabinet maker used to price the project. If the commission had gone forward, shop drawings would have been produced by the cabinet maker. Shop drawings are important because they provide an opportunity for demonstration of the cabinet maker’s understanding of the designer’s intent. Questions can be asked back and forth, details worked through, etc., such that there is  a clear understanding by all parties as to what the final piece will look like and how it will be built.

You can see that the upper cabinet door was tweaked, giving the piece an updated feel. Yet the idea came from the circle at the top of the Petit Trianon hutch above.

french cabinet construction drawing; Wilson Kelsey Design

This is an example of one of the horizontal detail sections I drew at full scale in order to sort thru the finer points of trim profiles, hinge clearances, etc.

fiche hinge detail, Wilson Kelsey Design

At any rate, since the cabinets were never built, I found myself wondering what if the finish were jazzed up a bit, a la Grange. Not sure exactly how, maybe inside the upper cabinet interior with it’s glass doors? Pop the trim between the base and upper cabinet?

One inspiration idea from a Grange piece Sally and I saw in the Paris Grange showroom window. Liking the high gloss black paint as a finish, too.

Grange Sideboard: photographer John Kelsey

Or possibly a wallpaper theme…

Wall paper and screen; photographer John Kelsey

Any thoughts?

Enjoy,

John

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Sally and I have been so busy this summer that we really haven’t taken/had time to appreciate the pleasures and opportunities that only summer can offer. Several weeks ago, we agreed we needed to make time to smell the roses. So… last Sunday we  went on a garden tour, visited the Sergeant House Museum in Gloucester and concluded the evening at the Rudder in Rocky Neck.

The tour offered access the several private homes’s gardens that one would normally never see. We chose the tour in Beverly because it was on the way to Gloucester and it touted 7 acres, much of which was restored to New England meadow. You arrived and parked in front of the main house, recently renovated/restored by the North Shore architectural firm, Carpenter & MacNeille, whose work we hold in high regard. Somewhat formal, but casual enough to not be intimidating. We immediately spotted several species plants we would love to have in our yard. (Uh-Oh…)

garden tour, Wilson Kelsey Design

The tall columnar Arborvitae in particular caught our eye.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Idealic walkway…

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

As you turned the corner of the house you came upon a lovely informal patio overlooking a casual rambling shade garden.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

LOVED the boat shape picnic table!!!

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Found several partial sun/shade loving plants to dream about.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

I think this is a variety of Milkweed.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

As you walked past the informal flower garden they landscape transitioned to a classic New England meadow. Tucked in it’s midst was a vegetable garden.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

And as we completed the tour we came across this tub. We both found ourselves thinking, Montana ski lodge…

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

By then it was 3 PM and we hurried to Gloucester to pay a visit to the Sargent House/Museum, “built in 1782 for Judith Sargent Stevens Murray (1751-1820), a philosopher, writer and an early advocate of women’s equality”.

the home’s exterior is classic Georgian/Federal Period Architecture.

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

For such a diminutive structure, it is a powerhouse of classical details. The foyer stair, with its complicated turnings reminds me of the stair found in the now restored Shirley Eustis House in Roxbury, MA.

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

tour 17Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

Fabulous how the window lite brings daylight into the interior.

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

High Federal Style was carried through the front bedrooms.

Sargent house, Gloucester, Ma; Wilson Kelsey Design

Sargent house, Gloucester, Ma; Wilson Kelsey Design

Then it was on to dinner on Rocky Neck, home of one of America’s oldest art colonies.

Rocky Neck, Gloucester, MA; Wilson Kelsey Design

You can not go to Rocky Neck without stopping at The Rudder for dinner…

The Rudder, Gloucester, MA; Wilson Kelsey Design

And finally, sunset on Niles Beach overlooking Gloucester Harbor.

Niles Beach, Gloucester, MA; Wilson Kelsey Design

I wonder where we will go next Sunday?

Cheers,

John

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