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The Editors Mailbox

Patient takes the Design Doctor's advice

comments (6) April 8th, 2011 in blogs

MKenney Matthew Kenney, senior editor
thumbs up 12 users recommend

Heres the original. This is a nice piece, but it does have a few problems.
This is Hanks take. He reworked the base and got rid of the inlaid characters.
Cabinet reborn. Havenss second attempt at the jewelry cabinet is a big improvement. Changing the base makes a huge difference.
Tall, thin, graceful. The new legs make the cabinet so much lighter, like a lithe ballerina rather than a squat lineman.
Two aprons are better than one. These two narrow aprons (or stretchers, I suppose) are just as strong as the big one Havens used on the original, but they are in greater harmony with the piece.
Nice handles. Havens got rid of the inlaid characters, turned the handles 90 degrees and gave them a subtle Asian flair. Nice work.
Heres the original. This is a nice piece, but it does have a few problems. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Here's the original. This is a nice piece, but it does have a few problems.

Photo: Brian Havens

Some of you might remember the article "A Visit to the Design Doctor" (FWW#214, p. 60). Designer and furniture maker Hank Gilpin offered design advice to three readers. And those readers were brave souls, because they actually sent Hank photos of a piece of furniture they had made and he gave them an honest evaluation of its merits and shortfalls. Two of the readers, Stephen Harding and Brian Havens, later remade their pieces with Hank's advice in mind. Brian recently sent me photos of his second take on his Asian-inspired cabinet-on-stand. I think he did a great job, and so does Hank.

Take a look at how well he did, and give him your congratulations in the comments section. He really is to be commended for volunteering in the first place, and for reworking his design.



posted in: blogs, cabinet, veneer, asian inspired, brian havens, design doctor


Comments (6)

latheman latheman writes: I like both of them! The new design is cleaner and fresher. However, the original design had the original builder's own stamp on it. Cleaner or original? How about both? :)
Posted: 9:21 am on April 29th

DCMurphy DCMurphy writes: It’s hard to design something that looks good against a grey or black backdrop; it’s much harder to design a piece that will also work harmoniously in a real room where real people live. Your cabinet is beautiful, but it’s also functional and easy to live with. Congratulations!
Posted: 2:11 pm on April 22nd

Anatole Anatole writes: I am impressed. Brian, you really took the advice and pulled if off. The piece has a delicate, modern flavor with a hint of Asian inspiration. It really sits well, as the various elements work well together. Bravo!
Posted: 2:25 pm on April 11th

YonedaD YonedaD writes: Yes. Wow. A quantum leap finer. Excellent design and execution. How's the view from up there, Brian? Hope to get there myself someday.
Posted: 8:16 pm on April 9th

Goondog Goondog writes: It's a work of art! Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 1:28 am on April 9th

GEide GEide writes: Awesome Brian. Cool to see real world example of good, better, best (as Albert Sack would say http://www.amazon.com/New-Fine-Points-Furniture-Masterpiece/dp/051758820X)
Posted: 10:09 am on April 8th

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