2018 Wood Diamond Award
Northland Woodworks (Blaine, MN)
Main Category: Kitchen
Sub Category: Inset
Dollar Amount: Over $50,000
Briefly describe your business and the type of products manufactured.
Northland Woodworks is a custom cabinet shop that produces a wide range of products for new homes and remodels, from traditional face frame styles to frameless modern.
What materials/species were used in this project/item?
Clear finished walnut exteriors and clear finished maple plywood interiors.
Describe, in detail, the project/item's construction
This was a face frame inset project. That construction style tends to indicate high-end — for this project, that phrase is an understatement. We worked with meticulous clients to keep a powerful and tasteful look running throughout the home. The walnut makes a strong impression in every space: Two examples are a 12-foot-high built-in bookcase in the great room and three giant, beautiful islands in the kitchen. That room also features multiple client selections we incorporated into our cabinetry: winterlake glass panels in doors, jumbo dental crown molding, wood grape appliques, fanciful hardware and decorative legs and feet.
What is the most unusual aspect or outstanding characteristic of this entry?
These clients own homes all over the world. We had to make sure our product and processes matched well with their particular ideas about design and functionality. The rugs, stools and hardware pulls alone in this home are more costly than some kitchen remodel projects we’ve completed — it was clear from the start we had absolutely no room for error. With this project, we proved we can produce top-quality cabinets. And with the homeowners allowing us to return to take photographs, we know we had satisfied demanding customers.
List any items that were outsourced.
We used soft close drawer guides and door hinges from Blum throughout the home, except in the great room, where touch latch mechanisms required regular concealed hinges. We outsourced drawer inserts, door glass, decorative legs and feet, some molding, and decorative hardware for the kitchen; a library ladder and rail for the great room; and a few other accents in the home. We pride ourselves on manufacturing as much as we can in-house, which improves turnaround times, helps us maintain exacting tolerances and provides superior customer service.
How has being a member of the CMA benefited you and/or your business?
Our membership is at the core of our business. One year of CMA membership is akin to 25 years of experience alone, in terms of internal improvements. Being a member speeds up the learning curve for new processes and products. Membership is priceless when it comes to hiring, management, selecting big equipment, and dealing with day-to-day questions. We often receive quick, simple solutions we would miss without the CMA. Membership has helped reshape our company and made it exponentially more profitable.