Spiraling on Cabinet Styles

I think it was said here before, we are not shooting for an interior with much “traditional” look. Traditional meaning dark teak trimmed with lots of molding and small fiddly bits around cabinets and cupboards. But what we ARE shooting for, is not decided. We have started browsing boat interiors at boat shows and  on the web to determine what we like, and don’t like. Along the way, taking a little time to mock-up parts of the Westsail interior, in place, with styles we discover.

It is a classic exercise of the “design spiral” technique where you go round and round, adding things here, removing bits there, etc. So long as you are not too dizzy and “spiraling” out of control, in the end, you should end up in the center with something appealing. At least that is the theory.

Mock-up #1

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Done a few weeks ago, is something I just dreamed up. Flush drawer faces and cabinet doors with radius-ed corners. The idea is the drawer and cabinet door faces would be some solid color with some thick hardwood edge-banding. Very thin reveals.

Mock-up #2

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Done this past weekend, was shamelessly stolen from the interior of an Oyster 52, seen at the boat show last January. All straight lines, no rounded corners. Some lines would be “fake” reveals for visual aesthetics. The set of parallel lines at the top are grooves for ventilation. Though this mock-up does not show drawer faces, matching drawers could be “full cover” faces. No face frame. Note: Halberg-Rassys seem to have a similar design style, usually in darker woods.

Snap analysis: 

#2 would be easier to build over #1. #1 requires more fiddly trim bits and lots of attention to fit and detail.

Whereas #1 would likely be done with a mix of a solid color (like plastic laminate) and wood, #2 would need to be in %100 wood faces, which means light grained wood like maple or cherry. Dark woods, like mahogany or teak, over that much square feet, risk turning the boat into a “dark cave”, something we know we don’t want. Also, #2 would likely be more efficient use of material. #1 More wasteful (particularly, solid hardwood).

Uncertainty with #2. Clash of geometry. The rounded corners of #1 was done to match the rounded corners of the port-lights that are currently planned. If we go with hard square corners, will it clash with the rounded corner look of the port-lights? Not sure with this one

#1 has no provision for ventilation, unlike #2 with the bank of parallel grooves which allow ventilation for the cabinets. Ventilation is a must on a boat. Traditional boat interiors often use louvered or caned cabinet faces. We don’t like caned cabinet faces. If necessary louvered is fine, but would rather have solid doors. We like the ventilation provided by #2.

So far, something like #2 seems in the running, but has some issues. That is what my gut says right now. Subject to change.

We will be browsing more boat interiors. The spiral continues…

5 comments for “Spiraling on Cabinet Styles

  1. March 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I like the ventilation on design #2. Most cabinet ventilation, or lack of, has me thinking people never use their cupboards.I can't stand cane faces on doors or the louvered teak look.

    I also like the clean lines of #2. One idea i had was for light colored wooden faces with inset stainless vents.

    just my 2 cents.


  2. March 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Great blog you have. I would go for the rounded edges, i know it's more work but in rough weather I'd rather slam into a rounded edge as opposed to a squared off one, but that's the comfort lovin' me talking…

  3. March 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Allan: yes, rounded corners has been first in my mind in this process, particularly on cabinets and tables, to save one from gashing oneself. Reconciling that style has been part of the process.

  4. March 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Maybe you can meld the two styles? I can see from reading your blog you definetly have the skill to pull it off.

  5. March 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Spiral away. You will know the correct design when you see it. I have always liked the simplicity of the Ovni range



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