This was my first project with Charlie on board, and for that reason alone was a pleasure. We also had the pleasure of working with two artists moving into a Chicago house who were open to a great deal of experimentation during fabrication. Rather than build the cabinets in the shop, we built almost everything on site, with the exception of the initial black walnut frame that was modified to fit over the range. Our consultations were like formal art school critiques, and the composition evolved and developed over time, making changes, repositioning elements until it looked right and worked right. What developed was a composition based largely on the primary components, a walnut cabinet from the Rebuilding Exchange, and the various colors of aged lumber that we were able to accumulate- douglas fir floor joists, cedar fencing, walnut doors and panels, pine shelving, both natural and painted white. To preserve the color of the wood, we coated all of it with wax rather than applying varnish or sealer.
The client provided the following testimonial:
Our kitchen is always telling us stories, inviting us to pause and linger. It is expressive and full of surprises, but also the most functional space we have ever inhabited. John and Charlie worked with us to consider our specific functional needs: taking into account my chronic back injury, cooking style, and the role of the kitchen in our family and social life. We worked to improvise possibilities around a set of parameters: the creative process was a joy, very much like a dance. The result is a space that nurtures us in every way.