Hostetler Custom Cabinetry: Top Shelf Workmanship and Service

One of four custom plywood gate fabricated by Hostetler Custom Cabinetry 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.

View from one play corral to two play areas; cabinetry and custom plywood gates divide and organize the space while allowing visual access over the pine tops

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.

Completed nursery at St. John's Parish Church, just before soft opening on Sunday.

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.

Custom plywood gates divide the play corrals, adding a fun, whimsical feel to the nursery.

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.

You might know these colors from such places as the GSW building in Berlin; one of my favorite uses of color ever in a work of architecture.

Sign Concept for St. John's Parish Nursery

Hanging sign concept for St. John's Parish Church Nursery. Now that the St. John's Parish church nursery is all but complete, we put together a sign concept this morning to help visitors locate the facility. Chris Hostetler, of Hostetler Custom Cabinetry, volunteered to make a sign using their CNC routing table.  Hostetler already did a fabulous job with the cabinetry inside, which forms the storage capability, play top areas, and spatial divisions within the space.  The sign concept, which would be rendered in colors to coordinate with the vibrant interior, would be an appealing element to welcome the congregation and visitors to this completely renovated space.  Two would be made, one to hang on each side of the new entry porch structure.  We may go a different direction with the signage, but I enjoyed a bit of graphic design this morning.

Completed nursery at St. John's Parish Church, just before soft opening on Sunday.

Nursery interior with custom cabinetry and plywood gates that we designed, all fabricated by Hostetler Custom Cabinetry.


St. John's Nursery closing in

New portico with integrated benches marks the preferred entry into St. John's Church nursery.

Branks General Contractors and Hostetler Custom Cabinetry are closing in on the completion of the renovation to the nursery at St. John's Church on Johns Isand.  There are a number of items to complete, including the staining of the new entry portico and installing the remaining room division cabinetry tops.  Both Branks and Hostetler are doing a great job in delivering a worthwhile product to this historic congregation.

Corral divider cabinetry, in progress; a variety of saturated warm colors were selected for the cabinetry components, which also varies in height and width.

Our response to the programmatic requirement of have an open space subdivided into distinct, controllable spaces was to design a series of low cabinetry forming corrals for this purpose.  The cabinetry organizes the spaces while also organizing the toys and games provided for the children. We carefully selected five saturated colors, all in the warm family, to enliven the space.  Custom tops in southern yellow pine with chunky, rounded edges grounds the space in its rural, Lowcountry setting and protects the young inhabitants as they enjoy the fellowship in their early and unsteady steps.

Hostetler Custom Cabinetry fabricated the cabinetry and pine tops for the St. John's Church nursery.

Southern yellow pine structure (to be stained) and cypress ceilings were used for the new entry portico at the St. John's Church nursery.

Cantilevered Ipe Bench at Kiawah Cottage

Ipe bench instead of railing along perimeter of deck When presented with the challenge of maximizing the utility of a relatively small deck space, we elected to pursue alternatives to a guardrail at a new renovation of a cottage on Kiawah Island. As any well used deck also requires seating, we designed a built in bench design to serve as perimeter protection for the deck.

South elevation of new renovation of Kiawah Island cottage

The position of the windows in a new shed dormer that addresses the deck and ocean breezes beyond made it unpalatable to build in a bench within the perimeter of the deck, as it would have come too close to obstructing the windows.  In response, we designed a bench that would cantilever over the edge of the deck, adding some precious useable seating to the deck while freeing up the view lines out from the cottage.  Nice job by River Creek Construction in fabricating this bench design.

The backrest support timbers continue down to form the chief attachment to the deck structure.

Backrest slats continue across the sides to serve as points of attachment to the structure.

With some landscaping adjustments, we will be close to completing the exterior of this Kiawah Island cottage.