A Purple kitchen?

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Project by Div posted 10-24-2010 09:55 PM 3656 views 0 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Occasionally, when it is interesting, I will take on a commission for a kitchen. (Unless I’m hungry, then I will take on anything!) So how often does one get the opportunity to build a Purple kitchen?

After looking through my wood samples, the owner of this smallish kitchen decided on Purple Heart for the tops, Poplar for the cabinets. Although the Poplar that grows here can have some amazing figure, it is a little soft for this sort of thing; my opinion. I tried to convince the client to go for Maple or Beech but his budget wouldn’t allow it, so Poplar it was. The price of Poplar is about a third of that of Maple.

I didn’t complain. I mill my own Poplar and had a good supply of dry boards – some extra $$ in my pocket!

An interesting requirement was that the cabinets had to “float”. There is a 150mm clearance between the bottom of the cabinets and the floor, all round. I buried some steel straps and brackets in the cabinet carcasses so I could hang them on the wall and ensure they stay put!

Thanks for looking and tell me what you think of a Purple kitchen!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

40 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4546 days

#1 posted 10-24-2010 10:02 PM

very…..interesting…haha. definitely not my style :) but looks like you did a great job on them. why did the cabinets have to float???

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4491 days

#2 posted 10-24-2010 10:04 PM

I like it. Its a lovely job, smart Div. Can’t help wondering what the cabinets would look like in Beech.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 4305 days

#3 posted 10-24-2010 10:07 PM

Nice job, I’m sure that will remain in your memory a long time. Agreed that the poplar is soft, but it sure looks great.

About the pulls—your design? And if you made them, how did you do that? Looks interesting…

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 4561 days

#4 posted 10-24-2010 10:07 PM

I love the African version of poplar. Very nice kitchen. I would like to see the “floating” part of it. Rand

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#5 posted 10-24-2010 10:13 PM

Good work everyone likes what they like. I’ve made things for customers that I would have picked other wood, finishes and designs but they’re paying for it.


View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4293 days

#6 posted 10-24-2010 10:22 PM

I think the cabinets are quite pretty- and “whatever” comes to mind for the purple counter. I just wonder how they intend to get all the kitchen dust and grime out from under all those cabinets? I have one cabinet that I put on short wide legs – thank good it’s in the corner by the brick chimney. What a PIA – dirt under there all the time and no mop really fits in there- and your arms don’t reach all the way back there. I hope these people don’t have kids or dogs and have in the floor radiant heat. But then again- maybe you’ll get a call back and make some extra money building kick plates. P/s- my cousin’s exwife put PURPLE laminate counter tops with maple cabinets. The cabinets are lovely, but een the center island top is that deep purple. She left him (an the house) and stuck with those God awful counter tops that she had to have. LOL

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5127 days

#7 posted 10-24-2010 10:33 PM

That is very interesting.

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4916 days

#8 posted 10-24-2010 10:40 PM

I am quite interested to see that you are asked to build wooden countertops. I appreciate that these were custom made and I think the purpleheart tops are just beautiful. I would love to have been able to pick out some pieces from the cut off pile. I can see grease boxes, segmented bowls, cutting boards, on and on with purpleheart.

Ok, so the cases are poplar, If they are happy, Div feeds the family a little longer and is happy too. Looks like a very custom, modern kitchen to me. Don’t know how it goes down there, but a kitchen is only good for 20 years or so anyway and people get tired of it and want something new. This is bread and butter work as we would say. Nice job Div. I have a set of laundry/sewing room cabinets to build. I hope for that to be a project this winter. You’ll laugh, but I am considering white melamine for the insides if a cases, because it is a laundry room and I just don’t want to do all that finish work to the inside of the cases. I can put a nice hardwood face frame and doors and drawer fronts. I won’t use melamine for the drawer sides, I promise.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4584 days

#9 posted 10-24-2010 10:59 PM

That’s a lot of purpleheart there – you must think it grows on trees!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4548 days

#10 posted 10-24-2010 11:32 PM

Hi Div, the Purple Kitchen is very interesting, as always your work is perfect
who would have thought Purple Heart could be used for counter tops
So long as you made some ‘geld’ and had some fun.

Thanks for sharing Div, always a pleasure to see your work

-- When you know better you do better.

View PG_Zac's profile


373 posts in 4843 days

#11 posted 10-24-2010 11:32 PM

Not my colour choice, but good quality work again.

Are those tops solid 2” thick?

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4395 days

#12 posted 10-25-2010 12:04 AM

Thanks for all the comments and kind words!

Dakremer: Not what I would do in my own house!
Britboxmaker: Thanks. I think it would have looked a lot classier in Beech. The Polar reminds of Pine and “cheapens” the look in my opinion.
LeeBarker: Yes, the pulls are my design. basically a square in section with tapered ends and routed with a core box bit on the underside.
Scwieb: I do wooden tops all the time. Have a number of kitchen installers that ask me to do tops for their melamine creations. Oak, Kiaat, Mahogany, Cape Beech, even stained Pine. The Poplar I use (Populus deltoides) is different to yours. It’s a little better and sometimes have incredible grain.
A1Jim: The customer is king, right!
Sras: Doesn’t it? :^)
Cher: Nice to hear your voice! This job was for a “moffie”. You will understand!
PGZak: 2” would have been a bit pricey! 22mm with a lip on the front.
Rivergirl: Their problem, not mine. :^)

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Salty's profile


76 posts in 4501 days

#13 posted 10-25-2010 12:07 AM

The craftsmanship looks very nice. I bet the purple top looks really nice in person. How about recommending some kind of tile backsplash? Some tiles with alternative colors or neutral color to complement the purple transition to the wall color.

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4293 days

#14 posted 10-25-2010 12:08 AM

Can’t see if from your house can you Div? :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4544 days

#15 posted 10-25-2010 12:19 AM

Div you have done a wonderful job – period!
I think those purple tabletops are brave, even cool, and really ‘new’.
It’s a shame that the two surafaces don’t play better together, I think they are fighting for the attention, the poplar have so much life, so this should have been with a dark wood or all white top. And the Purple with some more quiet wood on the front’s.
But time will make the contrast more quiet, and make this a really classy kitchen.
When this is said, then I love to see the quality of your work, and this alone makes this kitchen a pearl.
And your eye for details are worth it all.
I admire you my brother,
beautiful work as allways, my God I wish I lived closer, just to be a fly on your walll,
best thoughts my dear brother,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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