What is the Idea Behind Cabinets?

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What is the Idea Behind Cabinets?

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, cabinets – in relation to furniture and not parliament-  originally referred to a small room for displaying precious objects. This evolved into displaying or storing items of significance in a piece of furniture comprising multiple drawers enclosed by a set of doors.

Set in the late Renaissance period, Italy claims the earliest known use of such furniture-like cabinets. Considered as prized pieces, cabinets became popular in many parts of Europe. Some cabinets, with elaborate inlays, carvings and gilding, were placed on chests or stands.  In the 16th century, French-style cabinets were often made of walnut, displaying decorative base reliefs of ivory or mosaics. Such ornate cabinets decorated castles and mansions, where the start of collectors’ items likely began.

The earliest English cabinets were in evidence among the wealthy by the 17th century. Plenty of Japanese and Chinese versions found their way into England during the reign of Charles II. In the 18th century, glass shelving was installed in cabinets, specifically to display fine china.  The crafters of such elaborate wooden furniture were highly respected in their communities in days gone by.

Today’s experts marvel at the artistry and skills of the master cabinet makers of the 18th century. The joints, carvings, and finishes still a great testimony to the craftsmen who made them.

In colonial times, cabinetmaking was a lucrative career. People paid handsomely for their skills. Elaborately carved desks, chairs, and tables were added to a cabinetmaker’s repertoire.

Furniture for the library in England’s mansions, for the dining rooms and lounges, and the special cabinets for prized items were the exclusive domain of the cabinet maker. Furniture for staff quarters and kitchens was relegated to a lowly carpenter.

Cabinets in the Modern World

Cabinet makers eventually added kitchen furniture to their skills. The moment open-plan kitchen became fashionable, and cabinets and free-standing island units became vogue, they became more than just functional furniture pieces, they needed to be appealing to the eye. Today, these are the jurisdiction of skilled joiners who fashion them out of all kinds of woods depending on their intended use.

Cabinets are requested for specific purposes and designing them as free-standing pieces of furniture or as installation under staircases, for example, require many skill sets. Bear in mind that a carpenter is not a designer, rather a professional who would fit or install the work designed by a joiner. A joiner may also install his own handiwork, but a carpenter does not interfere with the joiner’s designs.

Media cabinets are among the beautiful pieces of furniture skilled joiners are asked to design. Might that be to showcase a home’s most prized possession? That would be the television, the sound system or a home theatre, or all three!

Situated at pivotal points of a media room or sitting room, such cabinets require specific measuring to fit existing wall space and other furniture pieces. To close a media cabinet also means that the outside of the doors needs to be beautiful to look at. This is where the artistic eye of a joiner can make all the difference.

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A truly skilled joiner needs imagination and flexibility to design the furniture both to achieve its intended purpose and still look amazing. They need to be very accurate in measuring, with a strong designing ability and skilled in using the machinery to fashion furniture items.

Merik has made the full range of what today describes cabinets;

  • Bathroom cabinets
  • Medicine cabinets
  • Attic cabinets
  • Kitchen cabinets,
  • Island cabinets
  • Built-in cabinets
  • Integrated cabinets
  • Display cabinets
  • TV cabinets
  • Gip doors (for hidden cabinets)

Which Wood Would Work for Your Cabinet?

Having accurate, in-depth knowledge about the different attributes and qualities of wood becomes second nature to a joiner when making bespoke units.

At Merik, we use hardwood, softwood, painted or lacquered wood, HDF and MDF. The choice is determined by what the item will be used for. This is especially important for the tops of the furniture. For example, we wouldn’t use softwood for desk-type furniture tops because they are easily marked. Some wood is easily stained – for example, lacquered wood. So, we don’t recommend this on tops for kitchen usage.

There are times when it’s best to use moisture-resist sheets to stop the wood from being damaged by moisture – for longer-term protection, we use oil or even marine lacquer. For desks, we use leather or glass for protection and comfort. For kitchens, we use oil, stones or good quality melamine.

We are able to match colours or use any colour the client would like in the furniture finish.  We can also use metal paint or add metal strips to the furniture for design purposes.

The bottom line is that people have many reasons for needing these specialised pieces, so our client’s wish is our command. Whether for storage or to save or create space, bespoke units enrich lives on so many levels.

Visit us at https://merik.co.uk/ and let’s talk about how we can create the perfect cabinet for your home. The length of time it takes is dependent upon the complexity of the design, of course, and we always aim to communicate clearly with each of our clients on our time estimate so that we are all clear on what to expect.

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