Archive for Motorized TV Cabinet

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 16) – Final Photography

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2011 by johnwiggers

After the installation was complete JLT was generous enough to allow access to his office for a day of professional photography. The resulting high resolution images are versatile enough to use not only in blogs, emails and websites but also printed media such as magazines and books.

As you can see from the full room images, the completed office looks magnificent.

The walnut on the Herman Miller sofa in the foreground nicely complements the East Indian Rosewood used on the other furniture pieces.

The desk is the focal point of the room, although the mass of the 108″ long top is visually lighted through the use of a deep undercut bevel and the inlay of over 250 pieces of mother-of-pearl around the perimeter.

The drawer pedestal on the desk has 2 box drawers over file drawer.

My favorite detail is the one which is barely seen – namely the point on the back side of the desk where the undercut bevel transitions into a vertical plane.

A total of 3 grommets were inlaid into the tops of the desk and credenza, with great care being taken to align the grains of the wood to make the grommets looks as unobtrusive as possible.

I love the sweep of this curve…

The credenza was custom fitted into the corner, with the curved edge of the top ending exactly at the edge of the window.

A single key enables all drawers to be locked at one time.

At first glance this looks like an architectural wood panel set into the wall.

The panels are actually doors, which conceal audio/video components above…

….and a safe down below.

The A/V components are mounted into a custom pull-out rack system, to allow for ease of installation and maintenance.

The Scotch Bar.

Showing the detail of the faux ivory inlays as they frame the satin nickel pull.

The split shells on the Scotch Bar pivot open to reveal a function interior, which provides a granite mixing surface as well as ample storage for beverages, glasses, ice bucket and accessories.

The corner detail of the Scotch Bar.

The motorized television cabinet, as viewed from the back.

The wedge shaped cabinet has 2 doors for access to storage. These doors also provide access to the lift mechanism for service and maintenance.

The motorized television cabinet, as viewed from the front.

The television raised; shown facing the sofa.

The television rotated 90 degrees so that JLT has the option to watch while sitting at his desk.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this office is how all of the electronics and lighting that has been integrated into this space can be easily controlled using little more than the touch screen of an IPad.

Hopefully these features will be properly demonstrated in an upcoming video.

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 14) – The Audio/Video Guys Do Their Thing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by johnwiggers

With the custom furniture now installed in JLT’s office it’s time for the Audio/Video guys to do their thing.

This image was shown in the previous post. Although the woodwork to the right looks like an architectural panel designed to complement the furniture in the room, it’s actually a built-in closet with doors to conceal storage.

The lower door provides access to a hidden safe, while the large upper door has shelves for storage plus a built-in rack mount system for holding the audio/video components.

Although it’s difficult to see from this photo, there are multiple slots in the ceiling of the cabinet to allow for ventilation of components.

A veritable plethora of tools, components and wires….

The motorized TV lift mechanism needs to be interfaced with the Savant control, using cables that have already been prewired through the walls.

The flat screen TV is mounted into the lift basket, and secured on the adjustable mounts. (The finger prints that resulted from lifting the TV are optional).

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 15) – Accessories

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 13) – Another Road Trip !

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by johnwiggers

With the jobsite now ready to receive our work, it’s time for another road trip.

The truck is ready to load.

Kevin wrapping pieces in protective tissue, then blankets.

The truck’s almost loaded. Time to gather the tools.

The office appears as a blank canvas – ready to receive our work.

Installation starts with the credenza, in the far corner of the room.

The cantilevered top fits perfectly between the wall and the window.

Kevin assembles the desk, while Heath works on the motorized TV cabinet.

There’s a reason for the cabinet angle – to be explained in a subsequent post.

The lift basket showing built-in mounts to receive the flat screen TV.

The Scotch Bar: Closed

The Scotch Bar: Open

Executive Desk and Credenza.

JLT especially loved the detail on the inlaid wood grommet.

Desk, Credenza, Scotch Bar, and Television Cabinet.

Although this looks like an architectural wall panel, it’s actually a built-in closet. This cabinet will be shown in greater detail after the audio-video guys are finished doing their work.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 14) – The Audio/Video Guys Do Their Thing

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 9) – The Finishing Process

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by johnwiggers

When it comes to wood finishing the most critical part of the process is sanding and preparation. Doing this properly requires a great deal of care and patience, but seeing the end results makes the added effort totally worthwhile.

At various stages in the previous posts it was apparent that a great deal of sanding work was already being done during the actual woodwork.

The desk top in particular required considerable filing and sanding while fitting the mother-of-pearl.

Since East Indian Rosewood is a naturally oily wood, it is necessary to wet and brush the pores to remove excess build ups. Once the wood has thoroughly dried the fine sanding work can begin.

Starting with 120 grit sandpaper, the sanding progresses through ever finer stages until a 240 is used to remove marks left by the coarser papers.

After the sanding work is done multiple coats of protective finish can be applied. In his book “Sam Maloof – Woodworker” the late Sam Maloof provided a detailed recipe for his unique finish that combines tung oil, linseed oil and shredded bee’s wax. (Be forewarned that it will take a great deal of trial, error and experimentation to find the appropriate ratios between the oils and the wax. Everyone will have to find their own balance that works best for them.)

320 grit sandpaper is used between coats to progressively smooth the finish.

This is a view of the finished desk top.

A detail view of the desk top showing mother-of-pearl inlays.

This is the main exterior shell of the pop-up cabinet.

Check out the faux ivory inlays on the split shell of the Scotch Bar. These inlays literally “pop” in contrast with the Rosewood.

A detail view of the dovetailed drawer boxes.

This is the credenza top, showing one of the inlaid custom wood grommets we made. I challenged Kevin to find a piece of Rosewood that would match up with the pattern of the top, and then to cut it in such a way that it would align as closely as possible with the existing grain. As you can see: he nailed it (figuratively).

The base of the Scotch Bar will take a little longer to complete, since multiple applications of vinegar and iron solution are needed to sufficiently darken the wood. This mixture is one of the traditional ways of ebonizing wood, and time must be allowed for the wood to progressively darken.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – (Part 10) – The Renovation Nears Completion

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 8) – Hardware

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by johnwiggers

The previous post was focussed on the woodworking aspect of the motorized T.V. cabinet being made for JLT’s office. Today’s post will showcase some of the cool hardware and technology that’s also being integrated into this project.

This is the keyboard tray that will be mounted to the underside of the desk. Made by Accuride, this unit has integrated wire management and holds a keyboard and mouse, along with added storage for pens, pencils, and DVDs.

This satin nickel pull will be the focal point of the Scotch Bar. Since wood is the predominant material being used on the custom furniture we are making, it felt prudent to introduce other materials and textures as well.

JLT liked the idea of using simple, yet substantial, metal pulls for opening the drawers and doors. After tremendous research and experimentation we finally found the perfect balance with these satin nickel pulls, designed by Adam Laws of Australia.

The photo above shows the custom pull-out/rotating mechanism that will be the heart and soul of all the electronics going into JLT’s office. In addition to the audio and video components, this rack mount system will also house all of the lighting controls as well as a state-of-the-art Savant home automation system.

What is a Savant system?

Let’s just say that if James Bond had an office, he would be getting “Q” to trick it out with a Savant.

This video will explain it better.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 9) – The Finishing Process

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 7) – The Motorized T.V. Cabinet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by johnwiggers

The previous post provided details of the custom Scotch Bar being made for JLT’s office. This next post will show the work in progress on the motorized T.V. cabinet being made for the same space.

Since the T.V. needs to be angled into the room, this special triangle shaped cabinet had to be made. This cabinet will house the electronics, with the openings in the back meant to receive access panels that will allow for future service – if required.

This is the main cabinet that will house the T.V. lift mechanism. The cabinet exterior is crafted from East Indian Rosewood panels that have been secured together with glued rabbet joinery. Once the glue has dried some inlay beads of solid Rosewood will be precision fit into the corners.

This image shows the two cabinets joined together. The vertical channel at the back left of the cabinet allows the cables to move freely with the lift mechanism as it travels up and down.

These images show the lift mechanism going through a dry run. Cut outs for outlets and data cables have been added to the left gable, based on site measurements taken earlier. The recessed base will be clad in stainless steel, and a black granite top will be made for the triangular cabinet.

This shows the T.V. cabinet from the opposite side. The lift cabinet enclosure will be finished in satin black lacquer, with its removable front panel being shaped as a template that will be custom fit around the T.V. after installation.

By the way, did I mention that the T.V. also rotates?

It does, but that’s not the best part. It turns out that the coolest feature of this project is the Savant wireless control system that’s being installed which will allow all electronics in this office to be run off an IPad.

Technogeeks should stay tuned for the next post, because it’s going to include a video previewing the Savant system going into JLT’s office. (It totally rocks!!!)

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – (Part 8) – Hardware

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 6) – The Scotch Bar

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by johnwiggers

Yesterday’s post showed the work in progress on the custom desk and credenza being made for JLT’s executive office. Today’s post will feature the Scotch Bar.

The inspiration for the design of this piece has its genesis in the Gentleman’s Valet Stand we displayed at the 2005 Interior Design Show in Toronto. It was here that JLT first saw my work, and I remember him saying how much he liked the idea of making the Valet Stand into a Scotch Bar. I kept that idea in the back of my mind for several years, until it came time to design the furniture for his office.

Since JLT also shares my appreciation for the work of Art Deco furniture maker Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, I also wanted to incorporate a subtle “Ruhlmann” feature into the design. Rather than copy or try to imitate Ruhlmann outright, I sought to create something original that still managed to give a respectful nod to the master.

Hopefully this was achieved by incorporating some faux ivory diamond inlays into the face of the exterior split shells. The image below shows the inlay being fitted into place.

The design of the apron and leg assembly supporting the main cabinet was inspired by the work of the late James Krenov. The flared curved legs were milled from 8/4 solid cherry, while the solid cherry aprons were fitted to the legs with mortise and tenon joinery. A pair of elevated cross ribs between the front and back aprons support the upper cabinet, while creating the illusion that it floats over the base.

Although the apron and legs are shown as natural unfinished cherry, the intent is to darken them during the finishing process with a traditional ebonizing solution of vinegar and iron. The idea is to keep the base as simple and utilitarian as possible, so that the visual focus can remain on the upper cabinet.

The interior of the Scotch Bar will feature LED lighting, a bronze mirror back, glass shelf, granite slab surface, a pull-out tray for serving, plus a utility drawer for utensils and accessories.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 7) – The Motorized T.V. Cabinet

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 3) – The Renovation Begins

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2011 by johnwiggers

In my previous post I described the initial site meeting with JLT to discuss the parameters of the furniture designs for his office.

Shortly after this meeting took place the actual renovation work began.

In the photo above you can see the aluminum studs in place for the extended wall section going in. The big screen television will back onto this wall.

JLT and I both agreed that the desk and credenza should be set into the far back corner of the space – between the windows. There is a funky piece of wall angle bridging that corner which seems to be hiding a conduit of some kind. This will be integrated into the final design so that it all but disappears from view.

At the opposite end of the space a private washroom (with shower) is being installed. To achieve this the concrete floors had to be cut to allow for the necessary plumbing to be brought in. To the right of this photo you can see a small niche space that has been created to house a built-in cabinet for storage. In addition to general storage this cabinet will also be the “brain centre” that holds all the electronics for audio, video and lighting control systems.

By this stage the overall dimension of the room were mostly determined, which made it possible to clarify the approximate size, location and shape of the desk, credenza, storage cabinet and motorized television cabinet. The inclusion of a Scotch Bar was not yet a certainty, since a suitable location for it had yet to be determined.

As the details of the furniture designs were being clarified, JLT worked with his interior designer to finalize the selection of carpet and wallpaper for the office. Based on these samples we narrowed our range of wood finish options to Chestnut Ribbon Sapele, Macassar Ebony, Madagascar Rosewood, Ipe and East Indian Rosewood.

Although JLT really liked the Chestnut Ribbon Sapele sample we showed him, I cautioned against it because of how the Chestnut stain would likely “bleed” into any inlays such as mother-of-pearl we might use. Macassar Ebony was deemed to be too dark, and the flitch sizes too small, to work successfully on large surfaces such as a desk top.

Madagascar Rosewood was rejected because the colour and grain texture simply didn’t work.

The Ipe looked magnificent, but I was concerned about a random “splotch” that appeared in the actual test samples we made. While this discolouration may have been a natural element of the wood itself, it would end up looking ugly if it appeared unexpectedly on the top of the desk. Therefore, I decided to err on the side of caution by insisting that we not use that species.

Of all the woods under consideration the East Indian Rosewood looked best of all. In its raw state it almost seemed too purple in colour, but once a finish was applied to the test panels a depth and richness appeared that worked perfectly with the carpet and wallpaper samples.

JLT concurred with this assessment, so based on his approval we decided to go with this for the furniture.

The design of the furniture was now starting to gel, and in my mind’s eye I could actually see what the finished office was going to look like.

We were now at the defining moment of the design of this space, and it is here that someone like JLT actually becomes a dream client for a studio furniture maker such as myself. Although he was always very clear on what he liked and disliked, JLT always managed to curb his veto power enough so it didn’t smother the creative process. In fact, it would be appropriate to say that he actually participates in the creative process enough so that collectively the ideas end up manifesting in a manner that was not only effortless but almost intuitive in some cases.

Although this last part is difficult to articulate, hopefully I can illustrate it better in the next post. That post will evaluate the resulting furniture designs and office layout from the standpoint of Feng Shui , which is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetic that is growing in popularity in North America and around the world.

Feng shui is ultimately about flow and balance, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the final design of the office melded almost perfectly with those principles – especially since very little conscious effort was made to do so.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 4) – Applying Feng Shui to the Design.