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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We’ve come up with quite a few small home bar designs over the last 30 years but this client asked us to come up with a rich, classic look for their ancient (230 year old), two story stone house. It’s location was in an older, upscale section of town.
Their contractor had used us for some high-end work before and knew of our skills. We were to create cabinetry for a large master bath and likewise for a built-in wet bar in a niche on the opposite wall from the main fireplace in their living room . I told them I’d like to see a piece that looked like it had been there for a hundred years or more. What you might see in a very old, private, country club, for instance.
Although we do*modern design work*when asked to, I particularly enjoy creating a classical look, of woodwork from a bygone era. I love dark greens, copper counter tops and the look of well made, antique furniture. …so I finally found a small magazine photo of the kitchen in Cameron Diaz’s Manhattan apartment, that would help them visualize the direction*I was aiming for….

Next I had to plan the configuration of cabs for both function and ‘old world’ appeal…

original wet bar rendering with amendment notes /*A small refrigerator exists behind the lower right door

Cabinets installed (pre-finish) and a door’s lower rail to handle the fridge’s heat exchange

I found another pic of a well worn antique piece. I wanted this bar to look like it had existed*in their home for over a century*(even upon close inspection)…so I showed them the kind of aging I thought best.

After much experimenting, I came up with a finish sample that really looked authentic. On some scraps of poplar wood, I stained and then painted over with a beige color, all those exposed edges that I intended to appear*‘worn through’. Then I painted over everything with a dark Hunter green. Next I sanded those ‘worn’ edges, through the top coat, to expose the stained*wood beneath, showing a thin line of the beige existing between the stained area and the green top coat. Then I covered the the whole surface with urethane (to protect and make it a bit more glossy, like a old, oil based’ paint might. We had our painters*do this work but I had established exactly what the finisher would do to get the look I achieved in the sample. We also used hand rolled glass to give it more ‘aging’ and help obscure those objects stored behind.
Here are two, tight, close-up shots to explain what we really did and then wider shots to show the over-all (more subtle) effect it gave.

a copper grate was created in the lower right door / sink was created as an integral part of the*counter top.

this hand rolled glass has random air pockets and is closer to how old ‘seeded’ glass looked

LED lights were hidden beneath left and right sections

a home’s wet bar… made to appear ‘vintage’. Over-all effect looked very authentic.

I’m adding this last shot because it but shows the copper counter best.

The copper is unfinished so it will age further. It’s known as a ‘live’ finish.

Now I have another nice photo to show for the small home bar designs we’ve made.

Russell Hudson / www.hudsoncabinetmaking.com

· Sawing against the Wind
2,404 Posts
Love that green!!! Beautiful work as usual !!!

· Registered
1,942 Posts
What a build! The copper counter top is outstanding. My father had a sheetmetal shop for a while. Easy to work with but expensive for the raw copper. His claim to fame was the entry to a Chinese restaurant- pagoda style with copper "shingles." I'll see if I can find a picture in the boxes of pictures I have. You would appreciate the entry.
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