Architectural Millwork

Putting the Home in Home Office

Rymar Kitchens Inc. wins the Design Portfolio award for architectural millwork for a residential room remodel.

With the stress of modern business, it's nice to at least have an inviting work area. That was one consideration in the winning architectural millwork entry, the remodeling of a bedroom into a cherry and oak home office by Rymar Kitchens of Warrenville, IL. "The room draws you inside and the feelings of intimacy, beauty and warmth it engenders make you want to stay, even if your mission is to work," says Rymar president David L. Brummel.

One of the client's requirements was to have a large, continuous, durable and attractive work surface. To meet that need, Rymar fabricated a U-shaped insert of Corian solid surface material in Black Quartz.

At the desk, the client has access to his files, computer and dimmer switches underneath the desktop to control room and cabinet lighting. The desk's shape also affords multiple views while working. In one direction, the user faces the outside windows, while in the other, he overlooks the house's slate foyer, living room, deck and pool through the transom doorway. The doors can be closed to filter out house noise, but the view remains through 36 pieces of bevel glass framed in the cherry door.

Construction of the new room began with demolition of the old. Rymar had to remove an existing closet, door, trim and carpeting, and the load-bearing east wall was removed and rebuilt to accommodate double 3/0 by 6/8 pocket sliding doors and a transom. Because of the transom, some load-bearing framing had to be located in the attic.

An angled wall intruded into the closet that Rymar removed, but the client didn't want the room to have a clipped corner. "It took careful planning to ensure that the new room would be the largest rectangle possible, and that the double 15-lite pocket doors were made maximum size,"? Brummel says. He solved the problem by removing 4-1/4 inches of the wall, reducing it to 1/2 inch thick. That squared the room and made space for the pocket doors, but didn't affect the foyer on the opposite side of the wall.

An insert of Corian solid surface gives the U-shaped office desk a generously sized work surface.

Rymar used an instrument from Momentum Laser to obtain final working measurements. Laser technology's benefits went beyond precise measurements. "The laser made it possible to know in advance where the floor and ceiling were out of level, which walls were plumb or out of plumb, and where each wall had out-of-plane bumps that might prove problematic," Brummel says.

An insert of Corian solid surface gives the U-shape office desk a generously sized work surface.

Equipment used to create the room included a 6-inch Powermatic jointer, a 1/2-inch P100F Hitachi planer and Panasonic 12V EY6407 drill drivers. Rymar used a 10-inch Delta Unisaw with Biesemeyer T-square saw fence for rips and most crosscuts and miters; a Hitachi 15-in. miter saw was used for miters too large to cut on the table saw. Sanding was performed by hand or with a Dynabrade 5-inch, 10,000-rpm Dynorbital sander with 3M discs. The stain was chosen by the client and custom-mixed using material from Chemcraft International. Sadolin 431-9120 precatalyzed lacquer was applied with a Wagner HVLP turbine and spray gun used with a Binks 212-gallon pressure pot.

The company fabricated exposed surfaces of the job's cabinetry, desk, wall panels and doors with solid American black cherry and cherry veneers on MDF core, while the floor was built in solid oak and poplar and maple plywood was used for support. Drawers also were constructed of poplar with maple plywood bottoms and dovetailed with a Porter-Cable Omnijig RK-5116. Cabinet doors were manufactured by Conestoga Wood Specialties. Face frames were doweled or biscuit joined, and cabinet carcasses were glued and stapled together. The work was designed to minimize the appearance of fasteners.

"Emphasis was placed on blind screwing components wherever possible and on designing the assembly such that fasteners could be concealed by the next step," Brummel says. "When it was necessary for face nailing any trim or components, small case-hardened nails were driven into predrilled holes or a Senco LSII trim nailer was used. In each instance, care was taken to place these fasteners randomly and in parts of the grain that would help obscure their presence when filled."

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