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The Artistry Of Custom Millwork

Uncategorized The Artistry Of Custom Millwork
Artistry of custom millwork

At Round Table Design, we focus on full-scale commercial and residential interior design projects – meaning that we handle everything from the initial concept to the final execution. As such, we are lucky to work and collaborate with many incredible vendors, subcontractors, and tradespeople. One of the most highly-skilled (and often undervalued) contributor to any interior design project is the mill worker(s). 

In interior design, millwork is a critical component that contributes to the function and aesthetic of the space! High-quality millwork is a true work of art – especially when designed and crafted custom for the space. 

What is millwork? 

Simply speaking, millwork is any wooden object produced at a lumber mill. More specifically, your cabinetry, doors, molding, trims, and wall paneling are all examples of millwork. 

Look around! There is probably millwork all around you that you might not have fully noticed or appreciated before – probably because you just didn’t realize how much craftsmanship, detail, and design goes into every piece of wood. 

Here are some of the ways that custom millwork can transform your interior design, and details to consider for your next design project: 

Custom Millwork Details

artistry of custom millwork

Flush Inset vs. Overlay 

When specifying millwork, a good place to start is by determining your preferred door style. There are: 

  • Flush inset doors, which are set into the cabinet frame to align flush with it. 
  • Overlay doors, which cover the cabinet frame. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each style, so you should choose what best suits your functional and stylistic goals. 

Flush Inset Doors:

  • The frame of the cabinet is visible between the flush doors
  • Better for emphasizing details (like the edge details on the cabinetry shown above)
  • Option to hide or expose hinges
  • Humid weather can cause the wood to expand and become harder to open
  • More expensive

Investment firm kitchen with dark wood cabinets, beautiful brown tile backsplash, fiddle lead fig, black countertops, and buffalo painting.

Overlay Doors:

  • Door panels completely cover the cabinet frame
  • More storage space
  • Clean, modern aesthetic
  • More cost-effective
  • May require more maintenance, as corners can become worn or damaged after use

Painted vs. Stained

Another important choice when designing millwork is whether to paint or stain, and how light or dark to go. This can be an overwhelming decision for some, since it can drastically change the way your space looks and feels. 

Selecting a light color or stain will make your space feel larger, while a darker color can be used to create mood. Let’s explore the pros and cons of both painted and stained cabinetry.

River Cabin – Waco, Texas

Painted Cabinetry: 

  • Endless selection of colors
  • Consistency in color and finish
  • Can coordinate with backsplash colors for a strong, cohesive palette
  • May eventually crack or peel in time
  • More difficult to touch up, as it will require an exact color match

Stained Cabinetry:

  • Shows off the natural grain and texture of the wood
  • Lots of variation in color and texture
  • May hide imperfections better
  • Low maintenance over time


Hardware is like jewelry for your cabinets. A handle is not only a beautiful accessory, but the final piece that brings the entire look together. Hardware is another choice that can be overwhelming, simply because there is no end to the options!

Pulls and knobs are available in a wide selection of styles and finishes, so you’re sure to find something that will enhance your design concept. Try sleek polished nickel pulls in abstract shapes for a modern look. Clear, acrylic knobs would be perfect in a delicate, feminine space. Mismatched and/or vintage hardware will perfectly complement an eclectic or bohemian design. You’ll be amazed at the effect a simple change of hardware can have. 

Custom Millwork Creates Points of Interest

As mentioned above, millwork doesn’t only refer to cabinetry and storage. You can also use custom millwork to create a point of interest, to emphasize certain architectural details, and to set the tone of the space. 

Here are some of our favorite examples from recent residential and commercial projects: 

Round Table Design

Charging Bar 

This commercial office had a structural column that could have been seen as an obstacle, but with the installation of a custom charging bar became a focal point instead! Now, the column brings both functional and aesthetic qualities to the break room!

Coastal Bungalow open kitchen with white antique light fixtures and light wood countertops.

Custom Island

The client wanted a warm, homey feel in this eclectic kitchen. So we designed this custom kitchen island with large weathered beams and exposed nuts and bolts. These thoughtful touches bring so much personality to the space, and keep the relaxed vibe that we were striving for. 

Custom vanity made from vintage library card catalogue

Vintage Vanity

This custom bathroom vanity was created by retro-fitting a vintage library card catalog! We love how unexpected and refreshing it turned out to be, not to mention how much storage potential it brings to the space. If you needed a sign to think outside the box and create something totally unique for your home – let this be it!


Ready to dive into your own custom millwork project? 

You don’t have to face all these decisions alone! Contact Round Table Design today.

For more custom millwork inspiration, follow us on Instagram!


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