Allan Rosenthal, owner of Linear Fine Woodworking (LFW) in Phoenix, had a big challenge last year when his firm was hired to transform a high-end kitchen into a masterpiece.

“The homeowners really wanted to use Rosewood for the cabinets and a few accompanying pieces of furniture,” he said. “That’s a very difficult species to find. This was around the same time that Fender got fined for using illegal wood for its guitars, which made finding Rosewood that much harder.”

After scouring the country, Rosenthal located some of the scarce material in a New York woodworking shop that was closing its doors for good, and sourced about 5,000 square feet for the project. The effort paid off for Rosenthal and his firm, as the kitchen redesign not only pleased the homeowners, but also captured the 2015 BEST Kitchen Design Contest sponsored by Timber Products Company.

“It was a pleasant surprise to win,” said Rosenthal, who usually uses local distributors, including Rugby, for his materials. “The cabinetry in the house didn’t match the architecture at all, so the first thing the clients did was hire an interior designer, Elizabeth Rosensteel, who did a phenomenal job. It was a fun project to work on and I’m proud of my team.”

The Project

With a clientele of high-net-worth executives and part-time winter residents from the East Coast, Linear Fine Woodworking is known for exotic veneer projects that skew toward contemporary designs and can cost upward of $2 million.

For the BEST Kitchen Design winning project, Rosenthal and his team put together a design for the roughly 600-square-foot kitchen that was focused on a linear presentation.

“All of the cabinet doors were flat and they matched horizontally,” he said. “As an added touch, we mounted linear, integrated, steel pull-handles to the top of every door and drawer. The other interesting design element was installing a band under the counters that matched the stone appearance but really contained the electrical outlets. It doesn’t look like there’s an outlet anywhere in the kitchen.”

Rather than the traditional swing cabinets, LFW installed slip-style doors in the upper units to support the linear theme.

For the cabinet box interiors, Rosenthal’s team of 17 employees used prefinished Maple and built the units in the company’s 22,500-square-foot workshop using two CNC machines.

“We’re well-equipped and have true craftsmen who take great pride in their work,” he said. “We do all of our own drafting and Auto CAD work, and then we cut all the parts and pieces. This particular client was very detail-oriented, but we are used to working with particular clients who are perfectionists. We excel in that field.”

In addition to the kitchen, LFW used the Rosewood material, as well as metal touches, for a number of other elements in the home:

  • A dining room table and floating buffet that match the kitchen’s look and feel
  • Floating shelves that are supported by aircraft cables mounted to the ceiling
  • A panel over the TV in the living room that used a copper and steel woven material

By the completion of the project, Rosenthal and the owner had become close friends, and still occasionally socialize.

“I’m from New York and I understand how to work with people,” he said. “That’s why builders and designers use our firm.”

See all of the entries in the 2015 BEST Kitchen Design Contest, sponsored by Timber Products Company. For more information on materials used in the winning project, contact your Timber Products Company sales representative.

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