Kansas-based and family-owned, Crestwood Inc., manufactures fine custom cabinetry for kitchens, bathrooms, libraries and entertainment centers. David Soyka reports on how this company leads the custom cabinet industry in going green with the latest designs in a range of colors and exotic woods.
Writing on hgtvpro.com, Craig A. Shutt notes that the current trend among homeowners in custom cabinetry is for exotic woods. “[T]he highend market in particular wants designs out of the ordinary…cabinetry is gaining a true furniture look. Many of these designs are custom pieces, as it can be difficult to manipulate the standard modular pieces to create the large furniture pieces that are desired.”
Crestwood, Inc., is a family-owned, custom cabinet maker in business since 1969 that has developed a widespread reputation for quality, high end products featuring exotic woods that nonetheless are environmentally friendly and competitively priced. Based in the heart of the American Midwest, in Salina, Kan., the company was originally a small, two-person cabinet shop that served local and regional markets. Today, Crestwood is a fully integrated manufacturer with a national dealer network that proudly distributes its products.
“Crestwood products are produced in one of the country’s most modern woodworking plants with state-of-the-art technology in our 300,000-square-foot production facility employing about 160 people in the shop out of about 180 employees overall,” says Director of Marketing Annette Johnson. “We offer cabinetry in the traditional face frame design with doors that overlay or inset into the frame. Though traditional design seems the most popular, we also make more contemporary cabinetry in European frameless design. Everything is made-to-order, and the typical turnaround time is about eight weeks. As is standard in this industry, the individual dealer hires professional contractors to do the installation. We do provide countertops, but only for kitchen islands or other applications that don’t require a custom fit, as most kitchen cabinetry will. That’s something better handled on the job site, with templates.”
She points out that in addition to kitchens and bathrooms, Crestwood cabinetry is used in libraries and entertainment systems, although she adds that, “The purpose of the entertainment center was primarily to conceal the bulky and unattractive television set behind nice looking cabinetry. However, now with the growing popularity of flat screen TVs, people nowadays like to show-off the television rather than hide it. So we’re seeing a little bit of decline in orders for that kind of cabinetry. One area where we’re starting to grow, though, is in closet organizer systems, which, for the high end market, involves a lot more than a couple of shelves and a rod to hang things from.”
Whatever woes the general housing market may be suffering, Crestwood sales are up and production continues at peak levels.
Crestwood’s cabinets themselves are environmentally-friendly. All engineered panel material and plywood meet or exceed CARB (California’s Air Resources Board) compliance, which sets the strictest standards in North America to reduce formaldehyde emissions from wood panels and products. One way this is accomplished is through the use of PureBond® panels made by Columbia Forest Products. A PureBond panel is an innovation that eliminates traditional urea-formaldehyde hardwood plywood construction with an environmentally-safe soy-based adhesive.
“Today people are very concerned about what kind of pollutants the products inside their home are emitting,” Johnson points out. “Our cabinets are as about environmentally friendly as current technologies can attain. We only use high solids water clear conversion varnish for our finishes, which have been formulated with very low levels of HAPs (hazardous air pollutants) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and is therefore both user and environmentally friendly. In fact, it meets or exceeds the performance requirements that have been established by the KCMA (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association), ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute). At the same time, you get an outstanding finish that actually is superior in look and durability to traditional varnishes.”
By going green, Crestwood thinks outside the box to achieve the highest standards in custom cabinetry that look great at the same time as they are safer for the home while minimizing environmental impact. That’s a door of opportunity that Crestwood continually opens wider.