written by:
April 15, 2013
In this series, Sebastian Mariscal designs a home in Venice, California, that brings the outside in. We track the project from start to finish with future resident Michael Sylvester. Part 18, October 2012 – March 2013: Fabricating and installing the cabinets.

1 / 17
The CNC machine is computer controlled to create rapid, precise cuts with efficient use of material. This machine is manufactured in Germany by Weeke.
2 / 17
Cuts are optimized to produce the maximum yield from a panel of MDF.
3 / 17
The system generates labels for each panel, identifying the component, the cabinet and the location in each room of the house.
4 / 17
Cabinet components are stacked up ready to be joined into boxes or delivered as panels for interior cabinet shelving.
5 / 17
Selecting the mahogany veneers to be used on all cabinet doors, exterior panels and various trim.
6 / 17
John McDonald from Semihandmade discusses the cabinet installation in an upstairs bedroom with General Contractor Peter DeMaria.
7 / 17
Planning a cabinet installation. The drywall panels are in place temporarily to simulate cabinet panels or to check dimensions between finished walls.
8 / 17
The Semihandmade team installs wardrobe cabinets in an upstairs guest bedroom.
9 / 17
This guest bedroom has an integrated wardrobe and built-in desk under a light well. Additional mahogany wall panels and desk shelves are yet to be installed.
10 / 17
The great room is converted into a temporary wood shop as the kitchen and other cabinets are installed.
11 / 17
The Semihandmade team delivers the living room bookshelf.
12 / 17
Preparing to stain the kitchen cabinets. The ceiling drywall and all cabinet openings are papered and taped to keep the stain contained..
13 / 17
Comparing the first coat of stain on the living room bookshelf against sample stains. The final sealer coat will bring out the warmth of the mahogany color, amplifying any amber tones.
14 / 17
A mahogany cabinet in a hallway has been stained and sealed. The doors are stained off-site and will be installed towards the end of the project.
15 / 17
There is an art to matching the mahogany stain on the cabinets with the large doors that were provided by a different vendor. The image shows a good color match.
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A close-up of the living room bookshelf.
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img 4952 edit 2000w

For the built-in cabinets located throughout Dwell Home Venice we selected Semihandmade, a company based in Duarte, just outside of Pasadena CA, lead by John McDonald. The home features both custom-made mahogany cabinets and also, in the guest bathrooms, Semihandmade’s custom doors combined with IKEA cabinet boxes. This latter method is a very cost-effective way to produce well finished cabinets.

For this project, Semihandmade’s cabinet boxes were made from MDF with a gray laminate and the MDF was cut on a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine.

dhv cnc edit 2000w
The CNC machine is computer controlled to create rapid, precise cuts with efficient use of material. This machine is manufactured in Germany by Weeke.

dhv cuts edit 2000w
Cuts are optimized to produce the maximum yield from a panel of MDF.

dhv labels edit 2000w
The system generates labels for each panel, identifying the component, the cabinet and the location in each room of the house.

dhv parts edit 2000w
Cabinet components are stacked up ready to be joined into boxes or delivered as panels for interior cabinet shelving.

veneers edit 1800w
Selecting the mahogany veneers to be used on all cabinet doors, exterior panels and various trim.

img 2621 edit 1800w
John McDonald from Semihandmade discusses the cabinet installation in an upstairs bedroom with General Contractor Peter DeMaria.

img 2624 edit 1800w
Planning a cabinet installation. The drywall panels are in place temporarily to simulate cabinet panels or to check dimensions between finished walls.

img 3783 edit 1800w
The Semihandmade team installs wardrobe cabinets in an upstairs guest bedroom.

img 3786 edit 2000w
This guest bedroom has an integrated wardrobe and built-in desk under a light well. Additional mahogany wall panels and desk shelves are yet to be installed.

img 4067 edit 2000w
The great room is converted into a temporary wood shop as the kitchen and other cabinets are installed.

img 4238 edit 2000w
The Semihandmade team delivers the living room bookshelf.

img 4777 edit 2000w
Preparing to stain the kitchen cabinets. The ceiling drywall and all cabinet openings are papered and taped to keep the stain contained..

img 4774 edit 1800w
Comparing the first coat of stain on the living room bookshelf against sample stains. The final sealer coat will bring out the warmth of the mahogany color, amplifying any amber tones.

img 4784 edit 2000w
A mahogany cabinet in a hallway has been stained and sealed. The doors are stained off-site and will be installed towards the end of the project.

img 4811 edit 2000w
There is an art to matching the mahogany stain on the cabinets with the large doors that were provided by a different vendor. The image shows a good color match.

The completed cabinets will play a prominent role in the finished presentation of the home. Stay tuned for photography of the house at completion.

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