This project originally began as a solid black walnut cabinet front for a 600 gallon reef aquarium. After the aquarium cabinetry was completed the client decided to expand the project and panel the entire basement area and include cabinets for three large flat screen televisions. The scope was further enlarged to include a custom cedar sauna with a steam shower, all paneled with the same walnut.
The aquarium cabinet highlights include solid 1″ thick raised panel doors and side panels crafted from American black walnut. To access the tank on each side is a removable display case. Each case has solid walnut dovetailed drawers, with custom beveled glass doors on top. The doors under the tank cover large storage areas, and the panels above the aquarium lift up vertically using special hinges.
The second phase was paneling the room and adjoining spaces with walnut paneling to match the aquarium cabinet. We constructed the paneling using a mix 1/2″ and 3/4″ walnut veneered panels, with solid walnut custom moldings to tie everything together. The large lcd TV cabinet includes a neat feature. We made our own speaker boxes to hold the PX-i speakers, the doors with custom made grills open to allow access. There’s also a hidden storage area above the TV that lifts up, it’s a small area, but we like to make use of empty space whenever possible. In order to make sure the wood grain matched, we ended up making our own walnut switch plates. To maintain the look of the walnut panels instead of replacing the existing doors an artist was hired to paint the doors to match the walnut. They came out great and no one has yet to realize the doors are painted.
The final section for the basement rec area was constructing a custom shaped cedar sauna. The sauna details included custom seating, LED lighting, and a LCD TV built into the wall behind a glass panel. We covered the sauna and shower with more walnut panels which wrapped up the project.