Genius Loci by Lillian Reed

At Designed & Made, we consider ourselves to be more than cabinet makers. We think of our company as a design studio with advanced manufacturing capabilities. When we are involved in a project early, we can help shape walls and room layouts to enhance the final product for our clients.

This is evident in the office of our new shop. As we walked the space and considered the office layout, we identified an opportunity within the architectural design process for a piece of art on a feature wall that would be created specifically for this size art piece.

While this may seem like a side project piece of art for our office walls to the lay person, it allows us to experiment with CNC machining and finishing techniques at the intersection of art, design, technology and manufacturing. The knowledge we gain during these types of projects provide us new design, manufacturing and finishing techniques that we can use to elevate our client’s homes, businesses and workspaces in the future. When we create cabinets and other features, we are really creating functional art.

The artwork, named Genius Loci, started as an organic hand drawing which was machined with 3D topographical features and finished using a combination of oil paint, gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum leaf. The methods used range from the ancient to the modern.

See how the process played out in the gallery below from framing the wall to making and installing the artwork.

Mediterranean Estate – Artisan Home Tour

Mediterranean Estate Artisan Home Tour 2019 with Nor-Son Custom Builders

This gorgeous Mediterranean Estate-style home was built in collaboration with Nor-Son Custom Builders, Brooke Voss and Jim McNeil, and features custom wood finishes by Robert Chickey.

For this kitchen, our goal was to fully integrate the cabinetry into the architecture of the home. There were four large cabinets designed initially as pillars to support an intricate beam layout in the kitchen. To take this concept further, we decided to panel the cabinetry into the windows, created the butler pantry as a fully integrated experience with the same paneling extending from floor-to-ceiling, and wrapped the range hood with a custom molding taking design cues from the massive kitchen island co-designed with Brooke Voss.

“This was my first project with Brian and Crew. The attention to detail and creativity are what helps set them apart from other companies. Their ability to think outside the box helps them to be one step ahead of the competition. I look forward to many more projects.”
~ Wade Stock, Job Site Supervisor
Nor-Son Custom Builders

Below is the diagram that illustrates the complexity of the beam layout in relation to the cabinetry. We created a plan for executing sophisticated symmetry, layout, spacing and reveals relying on the expertise for electrical and framing provided by Wade Stock, the job supervisor at Nor-Son.

The staircase landing in this home offered an opportunity to make a statement. To achieve this, we provided custom-CNC-cut wall shapes for the framers to use for construction, allowing us to seamelessly integrate the built-in cabinetry and paneling into the shaped wall.

Staircase Landing with Shaped Sheet Rock Ceiling

Designed using Fusion 360, the custom vents shown below play off the styling of the lighting featured above the kitchen island. The vents are machined into the oversized molding that wraps the marble range hood.

Below are other examples of cabinetry throughout the home that we co-designed with Brooke Voss.

Check out this custom home on the 2019 Artisan Home Tour.

2020 Artisan Home Tour

Exterior Rendering

Designed & Made is excited to work with Tom Rauscher & Associates and Hage Homes on a custom home which will be featured on the 2020 Artisan Home Tour. Working with professionals early in the process allows us to complement their vision for the space and fit architecturally-designed cabinetry within the home without constraints.

Designed & Made is creating a grotto-style range hood using a combination of 3D modeling, 3D printing and CNC technology. These capabilities help bring the vision to reality and enable greater collaboration throughout the process.

As you’ll see from the sketches, photos and renderings below, we are working in an iterative process to execute the architect’s vision tailored to the homeowner’s lifestyle.

Kitchen Line Drawing

Using cutting-edge technology, Designed & Made is able to offer unique textures, patterns and mixed media. This home features an intricate, bespoke pattern on the interior of the island drawers, on a custom ceiling panel, and on the powder vanity which adds sophistication.

Vanity with Custom Textured Pattern

Kansas City Project Featured in New Design Book

Custom Kitchen Designed in conjunction with Bria Hammel Interiors in Overland Park, KS

This home was purchased as a forever home, but the home’s interior needed extensive work to fit the owner’s lifestyle. After careful planning, we ended up creating custom woodwork throughout the home, including:

  • Kitchen Cabinets, Island and Range Hood
  • Mud Room Cabinets and a Pair of Benches
  • Butler Pantry
  • Bar
  • Master Vanity
  • Powder Room Vanity

Designed & Made was involved early on in the creative process which allowed us to tailor the end product for the homeowner. We manufactured the cabinets at our shop in Minneapolis, and then delivered and installed the finished products in Kansas City.

The custom woodwork in this extensive home remodel was designed in collaboration with Bria Hammel Interiors, and was featured in the newly released design book On Style by Carl Dellatore.

On Style by Carl Dellatore

Work in Progress Photos

Kitchen Drawing

Here’s what the homeowner had to say…

“I was introduced to Brian Grabski, and Designed and Made, through Bria Hammel. My husband and I bought a house with privacy and outdoor space that we loved but an interior that I literally hated. I immediately called Bria to help knowing that she would be able to see something I wasn’t able to in making this new house our forever home. The combination of Brian alongside Bria, who I knew and trusted already, in transforming this home has been incredible. His vision has been equally impactful as hers which was not something I expected. Bria recommended Brian at the onset because I wanted a kitchen that was truly unique and I was less than impressed with the kitchen designers in our market. We spend the majority of our time in the kitchen/great room and so since we had a blank sheet of paper to make it exactly right for our lifestyle it had to be thoughtfully designed. She knew his creativity and quality was going to give us the wow factor that the home needed. After we started to work together I basically decided he and his team were the best fit to also take on our mudroom, which includes custom built-in dog kennels, our powder bath, laundry room, basement sports bar, and master bath vanity/storage…putting the entire house in his hands! We’re not quite to the finish line but every detail that Brian and his team have put into our home is already making our friends jealous. Working remotely with Brian hasn’t been an issue at all either – frankly given he’s located near Bria it’s been easier for her to be hands on throughout the design process taking that burden off of me. When we’ve needed to work through something Brian’s created videos to visually and verbally explain what questions he has and how he’s envisioning us using a particular space. He’s personally come onsite for every step of the project ensuring that communication hasn’t skipped a beat. He visited our current home to assess some of the features we have today that we don’t want to lose – like a sports bar in our basement – and took his designs in a direction that gave us the functionality and feel we wanted but were still able to align with the design and style that Bria envisioned for our room. I don’t know if I’ll be remodeling or building a home again but if I ever do Brian will be one of my first calls for sure.”