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Dilworth’s Custom Design
Dilworth’s Custom Design

Cabinets are the main design element in your kitchen. Like fine furniture, your cabinetry should always look beautiful in addition to being functional. The value in both beauty and function is the quality of materials and construction. Since quality can vary greatly, homeowners should make sure to do an apples-to-apples comparison.  

Few people know the skills and details of custom cabinetry like Dan Dilworth, owner/CEO of Dilworth’s Custom Design. He started his cabinet-making business in his father’s garage in 1990 and it has since grown to a family-run, full-service kitchen and bathroom remodeling company. House & Home spoke with Dilworth about what makes custom kitchen cabinetry a better choice and how homeowners can create a design unique to their kitchen.

What effort goes into the construction of custom cabinetry?
Quality, custom-built cabinetry is made to last and just like a high-quality chair or sofa, it’s the things you don’t see that make all the difference. Good joinery techniques such as dovetail or mortise and tenon make for stronger joints and more durable cabinets. Glue, staples or nails can be used to reinforce  the wood joinery techniques, but used alone they make for a less sturdy construction. 

Cabinet boxes made with furniture grade plywood and wood block corner braces for reinforcement are far superior to particle board with plastic corner braces. High-quality drawer parts made of solid wood stand up to the abuse of frequent opening and closing. Since thicker is stronger, shelving is made of ¾-inch plywood with a ¼-inch maple edge. Internal hardware also plays a part in your cabinetry. Concealed undermount slides offer a full drawer extension to  eliminate that area in the back of the drawer that often can’t be used. Higher load ratings on the slides also mean more longevity. Adjustable shelf tracks and hinges allow for future adjustments. Soft-close hinges and drawer slides allow silent and smooth closure.

How does custom cabinetry allow someone to maximize the potential of their kitchen?
Stock cabinetry is mass produced and usually only available  in standard depths and widths. This can result in the need to use fillers when your space doesn’t conform. On the other hand, custom cabinetry is built to the exact size needed for your kitchen. Nearly every inch of space is utilized when the cabinets are custom made, giving a fitted look that is not available with stock.

What options do homeowners have for the style and color of their custom cabinets?
Door and drawer style and color are limited in stock cabinetry, often to just a few of the most popular. If you are looking for a unique style or color to express your individuality, then custom is the only option.  Being able to choose the wood species is another plus. Whether you just love the warmth of cherry or the beautiful grain of walnut or, if you are more interested in the environmental impact of your choices, custom cabinetry offers a broad range of options. Finish options are virtually unlimited. Paint or stain, and special finishes such as timeworn can be customized. Additional finish like  glazing is hand-applied and can be heavy or light to achieve the desired effect.  

Trim is one of those things that is often overlooked. Beautifully crafted crown and plinth moulding, decorative corbels and furniture-style legs can all be incorporated into the design of your kitchen cabinetry. Trim is the “finishing touch” that enhances the look of your space.

These choices of wood species, style, finish, color and trim can be used in any combination with the end result being a manifestation of your dreams and desires that is completely unique to you. 

What qualities make your company stand out?
The importance of skilled installers plays a vital role. A shoddy installation job can negate the benefits of even the finest cabinetry. Dedicated craftsmen using only the highest quality materials, paired with experienced  and skilled installers, guarantee that your custom cabinetry is an investment that will last for years. And of course, the final  consideration is the local factor. You know exactly where and how your cabinetry is being made and you can even make arrangements to visit the shop. 

Dilworth’s Custom Design
175 N. Whitehorse Road | Phoenixville, Pa.
(610) 917-9119 | DilworthsCustomDesign.com

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 19, Issue 10 (April 2019). 
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