Our kitchen cabinets were custom built by SuCasa Cabinets, a really fantastic local cabinet company. Rick deserves full credit for putting up with my unusual requests during this project, and I am sure that at times he thought I was crazy (don't worry Rick, I won't hold it against you!)
The reason we wanted plywood cabinets was twofold... we thought it would reduce the cost of the cabinets (turns out we were wrong), and we loved the unconventional look of them. I have always been a fan of flat-front cabinets, but solid wood is tricky because of warping and cupping. Veneer looks great, and plywood is just a very honest and industrial version of veneer. Especially with the edges exposed!
From a cost perspective, it turns out cabinets like these are actually a little bit more expensive than standard cabinets... the reasons for this are:
- There is extra labour involved every step of the way. Screwing the boxes together, finishing all the exposed edges, leaving the frame exposed, cutting out the handles, oiling everything by hand.
- The Appleply plywood was more costly than standard ply, as well as an upcharge for NAUF glue.
- Hardwax Oil isn't cheap either
But, now no-one has a kitchen quite like ours. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Here are a couple of inspirational photos of cabinets that I love. I took these with me when I went to meet with Rick to see what would be possible.
|inspiration: image from dwell|
|inspiration: kerf cabinets|
I then sourced some plywood called "appleply" through Upper Canada Forest Products. It is a type of plywood with extra layers so that the edges can be exposed without fraying. It's made with NAUF glue and domestic white birch, and then Rick finished it with hardwax oil (I know, that all goes without saying at this point.. and yet I feel compelled to mention it yet again). The boxes of the cabinets are screwed together wherever possible (instead of glued and nailed) and are constructed of NAUF birch plywood. And so without further ado here is our finished kitchen!
|detail of drawer interior|
|detail of lower cabinet cutout|
|detail of upper cabinet cutout|
You can see in the detail shots the lovely striations of the exposed plywood edges. The ends feel just as smooth and satiny as the fronts. We decided on the cutouts instead of hardware because to me if feels very organic to have the handle integrated instead of applied. The look is unusual for sure, but that's what we love about it!
|Soapstone counters by Canyon Soapstone.. more later!|
|The open shelving - a first for me.. would you do it?|
I am getting used to the open shelving, although because I like to have everything just so I am feeling a strong desire to replace my motley crew of mugs with something more appropriate... and handmade. I have two by Meghann Hubert which I love, so I think I will add to the collection!
I am so thrilled with the finished kitchen.. the cabinets function beautifully, the finish is durable, and the interiors don't smell like new cabinets (in fact, they don't smell at all!).
I have too many photos to show you all at once, so you can look forward to seeing the islands and the bathroom cabinets in upcoming posts!