We’re on the 2014 AIA San Francisco home tour!

My big project last year was a whole-house suite of tricky cabinetry and furnishings for a fantastic residential remodel near Douglass Park, SF. It was among my most demanding projects to date, and [I think] the proof is in the pudding. The home was featured on the 2014 AIA San Francisco Home Tour – an honor, to be sure. It was an absolute pleasure working with architect Christi Azevedo of Azevedo Design and Natal Modica Construction [once again!]. Photos by Cesar Rubio & 510 Media.








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Classy kitchen

Check out this classy kitchen suite we just designed and built for a San Francisco Dolores Park Victorian.


Many of the upper cabinet doors boast custom leaded glass inserts by Berkeley glass artist Sabina Frank.

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We chose frame-and-panel doors with a bit of a fancy profile to mimic the original trim in the house. The finish is pigmented conversion varnish, for durability and a furniture-grade look.


Here’s this same elevation in CAD. This is how we communicate the nitty gritty for client / architect / contractor approval, prior to construction.

East Elevation J

At the far end of the kitchen, preserving a tall, original window gave the opportunity for a cool ‘jog’ in the cabinetry and  [inadvertently] the perfect spot to store the stand mixer!

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The end of the island features this cool hutch for spices and other small items – maximizing an otherwise awkward wall.

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Over the fridge, we did our typical vertical dividers for storage of trays, cutting boards, baking sheets, etc.

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Several cabinets have adjustable-height interior pull-outs – very handy.

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Adjoining the kitchen is this really cool china / bar cabinet.

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This area is underneath a strange, angled soffit – which made for some tricky cabinetry. Can’t tell, can you? That means I did my job well.


The left-most cabinet looks like it has three doors, but they’re actually joined to function as one – to make a generous broom closet.

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On the other side, a flip-up door on the middle cabinet provides access to a concealed microwave [no, that’s not a TV].

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Like what you see? Call me, and let’s talk about building your dream kitchen!



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Captured on film.

Silence Demall and 510 Media made an amazing short about me and my studio. Check it out!

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Tricky Walnut bookcases

We just finished these tricky Walnut bookcases for an office-cum-guest suite in the Oakland Hills.


All looks unified in the end, but each side bookcase is actually a stack of cabinets facing different directions, with interior drawers, secret cubbies, etc. – skinned with sequenced, book-matched Walnut veneer panels. These panels had to be scribed precisely to the ceiling, walls, and a soffit condition – no small feat.


The space in the middle is sized to fit a convertible sofa. LED lighting on the upper cabinet. No, those green painters tape tabs are not the final pulls. Final photography to come shortly…

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Maple & Walnut credenza

Just finished a credenza / bookcase for a long-time patron.

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I had been saving this beautiful piece of curly Maple for just the right project – and I think it couldn’t have found a better application than this top. Check out all that movement!

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The sides, trim, and drawer faces are solid Eastern Black Walnut with ribbon figuring, and the carcass is of birdseye Maple veneer – a celebration of figured wood grain!

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Reclaimed Oak table

An architect friend / customer of mine found this really cool, antique steel coffee table base, in need of a top.


I had a thick plank of reclaimed Red Oak that had been waiting for just such a project.


Lots of deep checks and cracks in the surface – should make for a very interesting tabletop.

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Creating a straight reference edge on the sliding table saw.



After re-sawing [slicing down to thinner pieces] on the band saw and cutting sections to rough length.


Composition, mortise and [floating] tenon joinery, and glue up.


Shaping round w/ router and MDF template.


Reinforcing / stabilizing splints on the bottom side.


The final product.

Table 1

table 2

I love projects like this for so many reasons! They get me out of my patterns and routines – get the creative juices flowing again. Using reclaimed materials allows [forces?] me to loosen up a bit – go with the flow of the materials instead of trying to impose myself on them. A 100+ year old weathered beam that’s full of cracks and knots just is not going to behave the same way as virgin, kiln-dried lumber. You have to let the materials inform the design, or you’re in for a fight. Also, I love that the reclaimed and re-purposed materials add layers to the story of the object – makes it more precious, in my opinion.

So… bring me your funky lumber, your table bases, your slabs and stumps. Let’s [re]make something beautiful together!

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Walnut Kitchen

Horizontal grain Walnut kitchen I did back in 2011 – just got around to photographing. IMG_4354



Custom pantry pull-out with adjustable shelves.


Planter insert on the window sill behind the kitchen sink. This room was not the original kitchen of the house, and its facade is registered historical, so we could not change these windows. This was a cool way to handle running cabinets in front of the windows.


Drawer dividers / inserts. IMG_4434


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Identifying wood.


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Beer keg vacuum press.

My friend and frequent collaborator, Steve Pellitteri, is a mad scientist. Check out this vacuum press he made using an old Coors beer keg and stuff he had lying around his shop.

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Who doesn’t love tools made from beer kegs… that look like bombs… or some discarded part of Sputnik. I was legitimately scared of getting pulled over while transporting it.

Here’s how it works – just slide the parts to be pressed / glued up into the vacuum bag, hook the keg contraption [venturi] up to the air compressor, and switch it on. The vacuum sucks out all the air in the vacuum bag, exerting several thousand pounds of pressure per square inch on the parts.

Here it is pressing out some custom Teak veneer panels for a recent project.


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Slab coffee tables

I just delivered a pair of nesting, live-edge coffee tables to a residence in Greenbrae, Ca. The tops were assembled from slabs of locally salvaged Black Acacia – with reinforcement detailing in Eastern Black Walnut. The legs were custom-made by Steve Pelliterri at Urban Edge Design. Photography and assistance by 510 Media [thanks Mashama!].

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Here are the slabs that became these tabletops.


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