I'm on track with my next commission and am currently in the process of designing it as I mentioned in the last post. The client has given me free reign over the design with only some dimensions to follow, namely the height and width. This will be a cabinet on stand and somewhat different than the previous jewelry armoire. The proportions are based on more of a showcase , with a wider stance and lower height. The client specified a few drawers in the design, but the location of the drawers within the cabinet is not important, sufficient space for art objects, etc... is important however. The color of the cabinet is intended to be of a light color with darker, contrasting detail. The stand for the cabinet will also be in a darker wood. Since I can design as I please, I thought I would give myself a challenge in the process. I have the design of the cabinet front incorporating a large drawer opening with four drawers.
Blending the front door panels with drawer fronts becomes a challenge in that I intend to have a seamless transition from door panel to drawer fronts with minimal reveal between them. The drawer fronts themselves will have a lower lip which hides the drawer divider between each of the drawers. My intention is to have nothing but four drawer pulls, the two door pulls and some detail elements on the front or facade of this cabinet. The location of the door pulls has not been finalized and I am also considering mounting them in the upper center of the doors. This is all secondary to the design at this point.
Unlike the previous jewelry armoire, this cabinet will have full panel doors, most likely veneered doors. I do have available some light colored solid beech which is almost quarter-sawn, bordering on rift-sawn. The expansion coefficient for European beech is 5.5 when quarter-sawn, and this will definitely be a factor in my decision whether to use either solid wood panels or veneered panels. I also need to consider that the two cabinet doors expand and shrink individually, therefore this 5.5% rate increases the movement to 1.3 inches from .6 inches in absolute terms for a 24 inch expanse of panels. At this point I'm focusing on the design however, and in the next few days will have a better idea on how I will proceed. My next step is to formalize some drawings and present them to the client for approval. I'll also mock up the cabinet front for a better idea of the proportions and scale of the unit, once I have an approved design in hand.
The stand itself will either be integral with the cabinet or detached and give the semblance that the cabinet is floating on the stand. Putting a design on paper is an excellent exercise, it allows one to visualize how the components of a piece of furniture blend in together. This is one of the first steps in creating a piece of furniture after some preliminary sketching.