In life some of the smallest things can lead to big inspiration. This credenza was designed and fabritceted for a clients dining room. If you look closely, the brass pulls are the inspiration for the proportion and design of the doors with their square insets. The cabinet is finished with a colored lacquer and the interior is birch with a custom marble top hand selected by the client.
One of Woodleaf’s many specialties is making credenzas. Here we have one that was designed by an architect for his firm’s conference room and was fabricated by Woodleaf Studios. This cabinet is made entirely of baltic birch plywood with the edges left unbanned to show the veneer layers of the plywood. Ultimately this trapezoidal credenza will be accompanied by a large presentation screen mounted to the wall above the cabinet. Within the cabinet (pictured below) there are adjustable shelves for maximum storage and organization.
These two end tables are a pair to love! Simple in appearance but quite complicated to make. At first glance they look as if their bases are made of metal. However, the bases are actually made with MDF (medium density fiberboard) and flex plywood and finished with a special painted glaze finish. The tops are veneered with zebra wood and finished with a light stain and top coated with lacquer.
The jig work to capture the necessary elliptical curvature of the tables’ “legs” was fairly involved and required a high degree of precision. Matthew, Randy and Robbie created a form on which to press the bending grade plywood with canvas straps. 24 hours later the shape was set and it was time to assemble everything together.
Zipper, the newest addition to our showroom is a wall hanging with lots of personality. Below the photographs is a story and description designer, woodworker and owner of Woodleaf Studios, Matthew Smith.
This piece was inspired by the spectacular qualities of the 2 woods that are used…tamarind and wenge. The serpentine connection of tamarind boxes moves the viewer’s eye up, down, and through its central spine of wenge. Snake-like steely gray pipes neatly pierce the chocolate colored wenge exposing its tight grain and superb linear qualities. The worm eaten character of the spalted tamarind boxes suggest that filtration is somehow in progress as the mysterious material rhythmically flows in and out of the wall. Each tamarind box has an L-shaped operable door that swings out 90 degrees and is visually trapped by the pipe’s anchor plates. The doors generally require 2 hands to operate and due to the wooden indexing blocks mounted to the backside of each door can be a bit clanky sounding as they open and close. But don’t worry no damage is being done as your curiosity invites you to see what is inside each compartment.
Some assembly and your own tools (drill and screwdriver) are required when mounting this piece to the wall. And it will require 2 fairly strong and able bodied people to safely lift and position the unit onto the wall cleat. Matthew will be more than happy to speak with you and outline the installation procedure. You can reach him at (919) 834-2566. Woodleaf can also email you a short video clip of the installation procedure.
NOTE: The pipes are not meant to be used for lifting purposes. Only lift and handle the piece by holding onto each end of the wenge column. Do not lift or handle the unit by holding onto the pipes or tamarind boxes.
NOTE: Zipper will arrive with the top and bottom pipe assemblies unattached. These are the pipe assemblies which connect the smallest of the tamarind boxes to the wall via an anchor plate which literally gets screwed to the face of the sheetrock wall. All other intermediate pipe assemblies come attached and do NOT have to be undone.
This piece mounts to the wall via concealed bedrail fasteners. The bedrail fasteners engage into a concealed vertical wall cleat that is securely attached to studs. There are stabilizing thumb screws mounted into the backs of 3 of the boxes.
First you must locate a vertical stud in your wall and securely attach the wall cleat. The cleat comes with the female side of the indexed bedrail fastener hardware already attached and with predrilled holes indicating where to attach the cleat to the wall. Once the cleat is securely attached to the wall you are ready to hang the unit. The corresponding male portion of the bedrail fastener hardware is already indexed and securely attached within a dadoed channel on the backside of the wenge.
Once the main unit is hanging on the wall you are ready to attach the top and bottom pipe assemblies to the small tamarind boxes and then to the wall. Each pipe assembly will come in 2 sections…one section which gets attached to the tamarind box has an anchor plate, elbow and 6” length of straight pipe. The other section which gets attached to the wall will only have an elbow and anchor plate. Both sections will be clearly marked as to which end goes where. Zipper will come with all the screws necessary to install the unit and to attach the pipes.
This desk belonged to a client’s grandmother. For years the client had been storing it in her attic. She had memories of her grandmother sitting at the desk writing letters and knew she had to have it fixed properly if she herself were going to be able to enjoy again. Woodleaf Studios took on the job with some TLC and refurbishing techniques.
There were several scratches and the finish was worn down and flaking off in some areas. Some of the hardware wash’t working properly. The legs were un-attached and needed to be revived. With a thorough cleaning, repairs to the legs and hardware functions, a light scuff sanding and a hand rubbed oil to match the original finish this pull-out desk was good as new! Matthew provided an outline of what areas he would try to address within a set amount of time. As a result he was also able to give a precise cost estimate for the repairs. Fortunately everything was addressed within the window of time and the client was very pleased with the end result.
If you have an heirloom or sentimental piece of furniture that needs to be repaired, Matthew can help! Give us a call or come on by Woodleaf Studios.
There is something so wonderfully multifunctional about having a kitchen island in one’s home. It allows more counter space for prepping or displaying a meal, it can function as a spot to relax with morning coffee or tea and can be a casual spot to sit and have a meal.
This kitchen island is made of solid maple, birch plywood and has a custom stainless steel top and foot rest. The table is hand painted latex gray to match the client’s kitchen and soon there will be a pair of stools to match the space! We are so happy to see the island in it’s perfect space.
Note: The two pictures below are taken at Woodleaf Studios’ showroom before delivery.
Like herbs & spices speak to a chef, wood speaks to Matthew Smith. This cabinet looks as if it could walk around on it's own, so it has been named Mnyama (knee-yama) Swahili for animal. Below is Matthew's story.
Wenge Meets Tamarind
Here’s a small, 3-drawer, 1-door cabinet that, amongst other things, can be used for storing wine and liquor. Regardless of how it is ultimately used, you know whatever is inside is very special.
A little background…While visiting my hardwood supplier I came across a thick, beautiful board of Wenge, a dark brown, chocolate colored African hardwood that is extremely dense and is sought after for its tight growth rings and naturally dark and delicious colors. This particular piece of wood was special. It was long and straight with no visible knots or defects.
And just around the corner from the Wenge sat a bin full of Tamarind, a tropical fruitwood tree that quite often becomes impregnated with bugs and worms as it grows and ages. Tamarind is primarily a yellowish, blonde colored wood with occasional patches of light browns, grays and tans. The bug traffic and worm holes, along with the natural fungal activity, imparts a spalted quality with sharp lines of blacks and browns that appear like ink drawings from an artist’s pen. I immediately thought that the dark colored striations of the Tamarind would work well with the dark chocolate colors of the Wenge.
So I set out to concept a few designs that would showcase the spectacular qualities of the thick slab Wenge coupled with the spalted qualities of the Tamarind. This piece playfully combines these wonderful qualities and gives life to a piece of furniture. The tapered legs with ringlet grooves elevate the piece to a comfortable height. The sock-like legs are ash with a light grayish stain topped with dark brown filler. The Wenge and Tamarind are unstained with multiple coats of Waterlox, a tung-oil based hand rubbed finish.
Which pair is your favorite?
Last week we delivered two pairs of end tables for a client's guest bedrooms. The first pair is made of Zebra wood with a 1/2" thick glass top.
The second pair is made with Indian Rosewood with a concealed drawer in each top. The legs are custom stainless steel.
We just delivered another beautiful custom dining table. This trestle style breakfast table is big enough to seat 10 people and made of Ash wood. We hope our clients get to have many delicious meals and create lovely memories around this piece. Enjoy!
In November of 2017 Woodleaf had the opportunity to design a cross with Stewart Woodard (of Stewart Woodard Galleries) for Christ Episcopal Church in Downtown Raleigh. Below is a "working" CAD drawing of the cross that was fabricated for the church.
Below you will see a summarized sequence of photos that show the step-by-step process of fabricating the wooden cross. First bevel cuts were made to form the prism edges of the cross. Tapered edges were then cut to allow the cross to seamlessly meet at the narrower hub (the center of the cross). At bottom right you can see the custom steel plate we had fabricated to help reinforce the hub and to provide a means with which to attach the arc pieces. The arc pieces were cut by a router on a compass.
The cross segments are made of solid laminated walnut, stained and lacquered. The arc pieces are made from alder wood. The arc pieces were first sealed, then primed with oriental red paint, gold leafed, sealed with an amber shellac, glazed and ultimately top coated with lacquer.
Woodleaf delivered and hung the cross in The Parish Hall at Christ Episcopal Church last week.
These two walnut burl end tables just settled in their new home today. It's "cool to be square" when you're an end table! The lamps compliment the tables nicely, highlighting the beautiful shades of brown and swirling figure.
We just completed a pair of Alder end-tables with a distressed finish. Did you know a distressed finish is a technique that is used to give new furniture an aged appearance? It's a classic look for cabinets, antiques and collectables. The Alder wood used for these cabinets is a softer wood, with a simple straight grain look. As you can see, it handles stress quite beautifully.
This past weekend Woodleaf Studios hosted Snap Pea Underground's January pop-up dinner. It was definitely a fun and unique experience we will always remember. To see the workshop transform into a large dining room was surreal! The atmosphere was cozy yet industrial with intimate low lighting in the shop. As people arrived they had the opportunity to admire the pieces in the showroom. All of us here at Woodleaf would like to thank Jacob and his Snap Pea crew for doing such an amazing job. Each dish of the 9 course dinner was inspired by furniture Woodleaf has made over the years. It was clear that Jacob put a lot of thought and love into each plate he set out in front of the guests. The pop-up dinner was a three night event feeding around 56 guests each night. It was a great opportunity to meet people from the entire Triangle area. We loved every minute of it. We are passionate about what we do here at Woodleaf, and it married so well with Jacob's passion for what he does with his cuisine and how he presents it. Sharing ideas brings so much inspiration into ones life, and Snap Pea now holds a special place in Woodleaf Studios' heart.
Let's face it, we spend a lot of time in our life working. For many of us that means we sit at a desk for a large part of every week. So, it's important to love the place you work! Woodleaf Studios designs custom desks for clients who want just that, to love where they work. Today, we delivered another desk with custom made stainless steel legs. The Indian rosewood has beautiful, subtle color changes that accentuate the figure of the wood. The hidden drawers allow the desk to maintain a clean and simple look. Let us know if we can help you with your custom desk desires!
Another custom dining table is ready to go to our client's home! We love making dining tables, they are the central place where family, friends and loved ones gather to enjoy meals and have many conversations. This table has half circle legs made with a steaming process to bend and mold the wood. The crotch mahogany, starburst veneer top contrasts beautifully with the ebonized finish of the border and legs. If you have any custom needs or questions, Woodleaf would love to help.
Woodleaf Studios recently completed another custom Credenza! The clean lines and bold finish of this walnut credenza were carefully tailored to meet the wishes of the client. The mitered and beveled door frames are surrounded with crisply machined and ebonized walnut dentals. Sequenced book-and-butt walnut burl panels bordered with ebonized bead stock add symmetry and a degree of sophistication to an otherwise fairly simple and clean rectilinear design. The doors operate via touch latch. Do you have a dream credenza that you would like to have crafted into reality? Send us an inquiry, we'd love to brainstorm with you and create your unique piece.
Another happy client on the books today! We recently delivered this custom piece designed as an audio/video cabinet with simple features to show off the beautiful hardwoods that were used. The cabinet has maple aprons that run between the walnut legs supporting the cherry shelves and, for detail, the legs have maple plugs. The open slots in the back panel (bottom photo) are for wire passage. Do you have any custom shelving needs? Woodleaf would love to help!
Walnut legs with Maple plugs
Matthew and his team at Woodleaf just finished building and installing a custom queen-sized platform bed and headboard which included two (ever so popular) floating nightstands. The subtle, light-brown stain on the walnut gives the bed a smooth, chocolatey finish. The hand carved scalloped detail on the headboard adds dimension and shows off Woodleaf's attention to detail. Wouldn't you like for us to help you create something dreamy for your relaxation space? Give us a call or send us an email, consultations are free.
Woodleaf Studios made this table with cypress from the client's grandparent's land outside of Raleigh. It has a clear lacquer finish. Do you have some special wood that you would love to see turned into a family heirloom? We are here to help!
We recently became a Platinum Sponsor for the AID (Alliance of Interior Designers), an interior design community based in the Raleigh Triangle area! What a great and fun opportunity to meet other designers and work with such talented people! Matthew and his craftsmen at Woodleaf look forward to being a valuable asset to the AID community. We can't wait to work with you!