Wood Pro Expo Florida Conference attendees to tour Closet Lifestyle
By Rich Christianson

Closet LifeStyle used high-gloss white StyleLite with Egger woodgrain TFL for this customer’s primary closet.

WEST PALM BEACH -- Plant tours are one of the most popular aspects of the Closets Conference/Wood Pro Expo Florida and this year’s tour of Closet Lifestyle in Riviera Beach is no exception. The company is a shining example of how a high-end custom cabinetmaker branched out to service high-end custom closet clients as well. The Closets Lifestyle tour is part of the full day of education slated for the event on April 12 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Antonio Sanchez-Garcia, joined by his wife Ellen, founded Closet Lifestyle in 2017 as a spinoff of Monte Cristo’s of England. By the time Closet Lifestyle launched, Monte Cristos had amassed a 13-year track record of creating custom wood cabinetry and bespoke furniture for the luxury residential and commercial markets distinguished by its European craftsmanship and painstaking finishes. The companies’ roots trace back to Sanchez-Garcia’s 18 years in England’s high-end cabinetry business, including 13 of them as owner of JAG Design of Wiltshire, England.

Sanchez-Garcia said he chose to establish Closet Lifestyle as a separate entity with its own 7,000-square-foot factory and adjoining 3,000-square-foot showroom to more efficiently cater to the closets market. The facility is just a few blocks away from Monte Cristo’s plant.

Antonio and Ellen Sanchez-Garcia
Husband and wife team Antonio and Ellen Sanchez-Garcia run Closet Lifestyle.

"Because Monte Cristo of England’s involves more hand-crafted manufacturing and spray finishing plus dealing with all of the hardwoods and color stains, it takes much longer to process a project," Sanchez-Garcia says. "What I wanted to do without getting a factory five times the size was to see if we could manufacture more product in a shorter span of time. I looked at the closet industry and saw that if I were to invest in a CNC machine and a big edgebander that we could actually produce a lot more in a shorter period of time. So that’s what we did."

Closet Lifestyle’s key investments in technology have included a Felder H10 CNC router; a Felder Tempora 800 edgebander and a Gorbel vacuum lift to place full sheets of material onto the router’s table. The company uses Cabinet Vision, KCD Software and AutoCAD.

"Using advanced woodworking technology for Closet Lifestyle has really saved us so much time in the design and manufacturing aspects, as well as assembly and installation," Sanchez-Garcia says. "We’re still carrying out a high-end product, but in a fraction of the time."

Miter folding is company’s calling card
Whereas custom spray finishes are a hallmark of Monte Cristos, Closet Lifestyle’s claim to fame is its seamless, miter-folded cabinetry made with StyleLite acrylic panels that have a moisture-resistant MDF core. To achieve this no-seam look, the company outfits its Felder CNC machining center with a V-grooving bit to cut through the backside of the StyleLite sheet. The v-grooving operation is so precise that the bit cuts through the substrate but stops short of going through the acrylic face, creating a flexible joint. Next the mitered joints are glued and folded to create the desired shape. Then they are subjected to a heating process that eliminates the seam. "There are actually very few companies that do that so it separates us from most of our competition," Sanchez-Garcia says.

To provide customers with a wider range of products and price points, Closet Lifestyle also makes products using thermally fused laminate. When requested, Closet Lifestyle turns to Monte Christo for spray finished wood closets. It’s a prime example of how the two companies are able to share their unique capabilities with each other.

"We get a lot of clients who walk in and say they have used or tried to use another closet company, but that they couldn’t do this, that or something else," says Ellen Sanchez-Garcia. "We end up getting a lot of jobs that are truly custom and beyond the 32mm system. 

Closet Lifestyle
This entertainment center made with StyleLite acrylic panels is one of 14 vignettes displayed in Closet Lifestyle’s 3,000-square-foot showroom.

"There is pretty much nothing that we can’t do because Antonio has such an expertise from the original company with spray finishing and he’s now brought CNC across to the closet side. It really sets us apart."

Showroom pizzazz
Closet Lifestyle’s showroom features 14 distinct vignettes including walkin master closet, guest suite, kitchen, pantry, home office and garage. The showroom also houses a design center that includes color samples of materials, plus accessories such as hampers and safes.

"We also take pride in our use of Hafele LED and RBD lighting and task lighting from Hardware Resources to create ambience," he continues. "When a client invests in something truly custom from us, they want to have the wow factor. That’s the best way I can put it. If the customer isn’t wowed by what we have done, then we haven’t done our job right."WPE Florida reg button

The Closets Conference is presented by Closets & Organized Storage in partnership with the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals. The Wood Pro track for custom cabinet manufacturers runs parallel to the Closets Conference. It is organized by FDMC and the Cabinet Makers Association. The twin-bill conference, precedes the two-day Closets Expo and Wood Pro Expo Florida, April 13 and 14. Go to woodproexpoflorida.com for more information and to register.


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