WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Built-In Furniture

Built-In Furniture
by Jim Tolpin

Taunton Press, 1997
Hardbound: 216 pp., $34.95
  (Paperback: $24.95)
ISBN: 1-56158-121-6

       Order Now!
     Jim Tolpin has assembled a gallery of fine cabinetry and furniture in this volume, but he goes beyond simple household photography to describe unusual construction techniques and non-traditional projects. Line drawings accompany many of the descriptions, telling how to modify a load-bearing wall, scribe to an irregular surface, and build for wiring going to an entertainment center.
     There are tips and techniques aplenty: using story sticks, veneering panels for continuous grain patterns, room divider and mantel construction, gap-hiding strategies and storage tricks.
     Tolpin shows how to build secret doors into a formal library, with bookcases that pivot, that slide to the side or open as hidden entry doors to secret rooms. He shows a use for every nook and cranny a built-in could fill: under eaves, under stairwells, inside window seats and along hallways. His "Gallery of the Vanities" is a revelation in bathroom cabinetry.
     An entire chapter on home offices includes everything from the most formal to the least noticeable. One semi-circular alcove is shown with curved wall panels that drop down over computer components when not in use.
     Kitchens, closets, entryways, attics, bedrooms, dining rooms, utility rooms . . . nothing escapes Tolpin's built-ins. Every project is represented by a variety of ideas and possiblities. He credits a long list of contributors from all over the country, and the book is well indexed and photographed in color.

...Barb Siddiqui