When we put the design documents for the renovation of the nursery at St. John's Parish church we knew that the cabinetry was going to be proportionally expensive and important in distinguishing the space. Working against a very tight budget for the project, we elected to keep most elements of the finish simple and production in quality. The cabinetry would provide the character, warmth and tactile quality for the project. It would also serve to functionally divide the space and provide the vast storage capacity for all of the toys and books needed to keep a couple of generations of little ones occupied.
It was critical that we identify a cabinetmaker capable of carrying out the project successfully with the quality and budget that we needed. Our office reached out to Hostetler Custom Cabinetry, a family owned company on James Island that we'd worked successfully with before. Their capabilities have few limits, with in-house CNC routing machinery among other equipment, and their ethics are very sound. In order to reduce the total cost to of the project to its absolute minimum, we pulled the cabinetry out of the basic construction contract and I vouched personally for Hostetler, convincing the church that they would execute their work appropriately. Branks General Contractors was also willing to work with them on these terms for the good of the project, and we thank them for that. We felt confident enough in Hostetler, and they came through for us all.
In order to reduce the budget for the cabinetry, we agreed that the specifications for the some of the items would have to be altered to reduce the time and cost to Hostetler. In the end, Hostetler restored the specifications to the original and beyond, producing fully inset cabinetry construction throughout, with dovetail drawer boxes in the couple of places where we had drawers. The finishes are impeccable, including the five warm colors carefully selected for the cabinetry, a sixth color for the custom plywood gates (an shade of eggplant) and the clear finished for the pine play tops. They sourced the 2' thick pine material for the edges from Will Albrecht and his company, Southern Lumber and Millwork, and milled it in a wide radius to provide a safer contact point for the heads of new, unsteady walkers.
Hostetler also took on the challenge of fabricating the custom plywood gates that allow flexibility in organizing the various play corrals in the nursery space. Fabricated using the CNC routing equipment of two layers of high quality plywood, we specified that the flat planes of the door be painted while the edges be finished clear to expose the material. This is a difficult finish to pull off, but the Hostetler team did a fabulous job with them. We thank them for their good work, and Branks General Contractors for their patience and cooperation.