White Painted Kitchen with Art for Everyday Carvings

Where do the fancy wood carvings you see on high-end cabinets come from?

Ever wonder where the fancy wood carvings you see on high-end cabinets come from?

Where do you buy them? 

How can you use them?

This blog post answers those questions. But, first...a field trip.

Past meets present - 17th Century Wood Carvings to Today

I stumbled upon this carved wood garland, attributed to the 17th century English master Grinling Gibbons, at Hanifin's Arts & Antiques in Carson City, Nevada. 

Amazing, don't you think? It may not be your style, but you can't argue with the craftsmanship.

Gibbons's work won him commissions from Kings Charles II, George I, and William III. It can still be seen at Windsor Castle, at St. Paul's Cathedral, and in many London churches.

Wood Garland attributed to Grinling Gibbons, 17th Century English sculptor and wood carver

Left: Full garland. Top Right: Closeup of floral: Bottom Right: Closeup of bird.

You might think that fine wood carvings belong to another place and time. Not so. Just a couple of days before my serendipitous trip to Hanifin's, I talked with Abbas Ghassemi, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Art for Everyday, about the architectural wood components his company, based in Ontario, Canada, creates.

Art for Everyday is the largest wood carving manufacturer in North America. They run 14 CNC machines (what's a CNC machine?) and employee a team of master carvers. In fact, they can manufacturer 60 corbels, like the ones below, at a time.  

Art for Everyday White Painted Corbel Supporting Hood Mantel

Art for Everyday Traditional Wood Corbel supporting island top

Art for Everyday Modern Corbel Supporting Glass Island Top

Close-ups of three Art for Everyday corbels

Impressive, right? But, not nearly as awe-inspiring as the restoration work Art for Everyday undertook for Toronto's St. Michael's Basilica. Some of the wood carvings they created for St. Michael's were so large they had to be moved onto the manufacturing line with a forklift.

Manufacturing of Traceries for St. Michael's Basilica at Art for Everyday Facility

Traceries for St. Michael's Basilica being created by Art for Everyday

Architectural carvings for your kitchen cabinets

When it comes to architectural carvings for our homes, the kitchen - regardless of style - gets all the love. Photos of three very different kitchens (below) tell the story.

White Painted Kitchen with Art for Everyday Carvings

Traditional Kitchen with Art for Everyday Carvings
Modern Kitchen with Art for Everyday Carvings
Kitchens with Art for Everyday architectural carvings. Top: White Painted Kitchen with Wood Island. Center: Traditional Kitchen. Bottom: Modern Kitchen.

But, don't limit yourself. Think about other rooms with built-in cabinets, like:

  1. Bathrooms
  2. Walk-In Closets
  3. Bars
  4. TV Rooms
  5. Laundry Rooms

You can use one or two architectural carvings in your cabinet design or lots, for example:

  • Crown and Base Molding on the tops and bottoms of cabinets
  • Corbels on hoods and islands
  • Carved Panels on hoods, backs and sides of islands, and in cabinet doors
  • Mullions on cabinet doors
  • Pilasters on base cabinets

Examples of Architectural Carvings

Where to place architectural wood carvings on cabinets

Detailed cabinet designs like the ones above are partnerships

Detailed designs like the ones above are partnerships. A designer works with a manufacturer of architectural wood components, like Art for Everyday, and a cabinetmaker to pull it all together.

  1. The designer lays out the cabinets and specifies the wood details. She might choose off-the-shelf wood details from a catalog, take off-the-shelf wood carvings and customize them, or design them from scratch with a company like Art for Everyday providing technical and creative support.
  2. The maker of the wood carvings sends them to the cabinetmaker. At this point, the carvings are unfinished - not stained or painted.
  3. The cabinetmaker attaches the wood details to the cabinets. Then, he stains or paints the wood carvings and cabinets to achieve a seamless look.

Custom architectural carvings are more accessible than ever

The world of architectural carving has changed a lot since the 17th century and Grinling Gibbons.

In the last decade, Art for Everyday has invested in advanced software and smart programming making it easier and less expensive to design and manufacture custom wood carvings. Today, custom commissions make up about a third of their orders, and that number is trending up. 

Intrigued? Wondering how to integrate architectural carvings into you design? We can help - work with Wide Canvas to design your new kitchen.

Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer and Founder of Venue and Wide Canvas

She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.

Email Jackie

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